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KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev Hardcover – October 12, 1990


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 776 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (October 12, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060166053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060166052
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 2.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this analysis of Soviet intelligence from Lenin to Gorbachev, Cambridge historian Andrew and ex-KGB colonel Gordievsky open KGB files to reveal Soviet secret agents, espionage missions, British traitors and international targets for liquidation. Photos.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

This is the most comprehensive book on the structure and history of KGB. The text is very logical and easy to read. The book is written partly by Oleg Gordievsky - a man who spent around thirty years within KGB. It starts from Tsar Okhrana (1500) and leads you up to 1990s. It covers all Russian and USSR secret services. The book gives details of almost all famous assassinations carried out by KGB and it's predecessors. Good coverage of life of the most known spies including Sydney Reilly. It deeply analyses lives of the Oxford "Magnificent Five". It gives good analysis on the "active measures", "wet affairs", agent penetration and other actions carried out by KGB. I recommend it to everyone interested in KGB. --By Lysak "Victor Lysak" (London, UK)

KGB The Inside Story is very exciting reading by Christopher Andrew, highly regarded Cambridge professor ,who writes a series of books brilliantly on intelligence subjects involving many different countries and agencies. It is co-authored by a former top Russian agent to add to the fascination. --By M. McNulty "bookish type" (England)

Written in co-operation with Oleg Gordievsky this books tell the grim story of the birth and development of the KGB. No punches are pulled by the writers the story line very much parallels Soviet political history. With tales of countless executions, show trials, assasinations and infiltration into the Western sercret services the KGB is painted as all powerful. I would have liked to have read more about their success outside violence, I'm sure they happened (of course the Cambridge spies fall into this catagorie - were they the only ones ?). The book is well written and easy to read, crammed full of facts and figues, dates and names, highly recommended. --By Christopher Lalor "Soulcharger" (Belgium)

More About the Author

Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History and Chair of the Faculty of History at Cambridge University.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Oleg Gordievsky is the most remarkable and productive Soviet defector of recent times. When Gordievsky made his escape from Moscow in 1985, he departed with a gold mine of information on the KGB's operations, personnel, and organizational structure. Because Gordievsky was involved in researching histories of several different divisions at KGB headquarters, he possessed a unique knowledge of te organization's operations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on June 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I agree with the other reviewers here as this book is not perfect. It was written before the Venona Transcripts or the Mitrokhin Files became known, and, for this reason, is not as complete a work as something like the Sword and the Shield would be. Regardless, it is an extraordinary primary source testament concerning one of the most secretive, nefarious, and befuddling organizations in history. I got the impression that Mr. Andrew wrote this account based on notes he obtained from Mr. Gordievsky. The result is a somewhat lumbering, and often repetitive, narration. A few of the same sentences are repeated at different points in the book which could potentially irritate many a reader. I did like the chapter outline, however, as it was sequenced chronologically which is helpful considering the varying scenarios within the foreign directorate discussed. We're very lucky in the west that men like Gordievsky had the courage to defect because, if they didn't, there would have been little chance of obtaining information about the Soviet Union at all.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
When this book came out, it was considered to be groundbreaking and astonishing as far as new information about Soviet operations goes. However, it is almost completely irrelevant. If one takes a close look at the book and compares it with "The Mitrokhin Files" (Mitrokhin being another KGB officer who defected several years later), it will be noted that much of the information Gordievsky SHOULD HAVE KNOWN if he really had access to all top Soviet files is missing. This, along with several other contradictory statements, leads us to conclude that the Soviets knew of Gordievsky's activities and so were using him to feed false and/or irrelevant information to the West.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Shaker on January 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A relative gave me this book as a Christmas present. I could not put it down. KGB opened a new world for me. I was blown away by what the soviet revolution did to its own people.
Murder on a massive scale. Who killed more Russians, Hitler's Army or Stalin and Lenin?

It has been several years since I read this book, but I still remember the sections detailing how they took over the eastern block countries.

People in Hollywood should read this book.

Chris Shaker
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andrius Uzkalnis on July 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book tries to be both academic and a good read. Many writers stronger than Gordievsky failed when trying to achieve this.
The authors obviously have a wealth of material at their disposal, but somehow structured approach is lacking. Still, if you have time and/or deep interest in the subject, it is a recommended read.
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By Roland E Burgess on October 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Its not Paranoia, even if others say it is. The Soviet Union used spying as Sun Tzu would have used them even if their philosophies some times misled them. Senator McCarty may have been a jerk but he was on to the truth about the infiltration of the U.S. Government.
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