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Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America Hardcover – May 26, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Much of the evidence presented in the book is drawn from the notebooks of the Russian journalist Alexander Vassiliev. In 1993 Vassiliev was granted limited access to the KGB's operational files for the 1930s and 1940s. His transcripts of pages from these files would eventually fill 8 notebooks comprising more than 1000 pages. Summaries of the documents were used in writing the book "The Haunted Wood (1998)," which Vassiliev co-authored with Allen Weinstein. In a lengthy introduction to "Spies," Vassiliev tells the story of his notebooks and his defamation suit against the publisher Frank Cass. He also paints a sympathetic portrait of the American spies, whom he views as heroes, which helps to counterbalance the more severe portrait painted by Haynes and Klehr.
The authors open the book by revisiting the Hiss case in a chapter subtitled "Case Closed.Read more ›
The current book gives us a fascinating tale about the different activities,plots and machinations woven by the Russian spymasters during the thirties and forties of the previous century. Based on the documents transcribed by Alexander Vassiliev, who was a former KGB employee,the authors describe to what extent the USA was penetrated by and riddled with spies who came in all varieties and from all corners of the United States.Those spies were "men and women, Jews and gentiles,old-stock Americans, etc.While some spies grew up in poverty ,others basked in luxury from their childhoods.Some,like Alger Hiss,were graduates of Ivy Leagues colleges;others were born in Russia and retained a visceral national loyalty."
Many of them feared the rise of Fascism;others were disappointed by capitalism, or had strong ideological beliefs in a Communist utopia ,believing they were serving a higher cause.
The book has chapters on Alger Hiss, confirming he was a Russian spy.Many famous journallists were employed in this big game, including I.B STONE and Ernest Hemingway(although the last one was a dilettante spy).Some were caught and confessed,(like Klaus Fuchs) and some testified against their comrades(like David Greenglass),but most agents simply lied or took the Fifth Amendment.Read more ›
There are lengthy sections on the big fish like IF Stone whose covert work for the KGV/NKVD is now documented beyond any doubt and "philosopher" Corliss Lamont (who damn near became a US senator) whose work for the KGB/NKVD while mainly circumstantial is damning. Tepidly unreliable agents like Ernest Hemingway who the KGB eventually gave up on and Robert Oppenheimer the one that despite the Soviet's best efforts, got away are also extensively covered in the book.
Unlike their earlier work though, this book contains many pages on some of the lesser well know, but numerous everydayers that the Soviets had in their employment.
Overall, a great read for anyone interested in espionage, leftist politics or McCarthyism.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book for those interested in the historical background of the NKVD or KGB in America. The authors are extremely credible in this field and have decades of research... Read morePublished 13 days ago by The Bruce
This book's comprehensive scope, level of detail and insight into this shameful era should be required reading for those in key government positions.Published 4 months ago by John Geheran
Excellent history of the penetration of our government by he International Left propelled by Marxism/Communism starting in the 1920's
to the present day.
This considerable book—more than 600 pages, not counting endnotes—had a strange genesis. During the early 1990s, Alexander Vassiliev, a Russian journalist and former KGB officer,... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Anson Cassel Mills
This has been on the shelf at our home for a while, a book my husband much enjoyed. On a cold winter's day, I dove into it. Read morePublished 14 months ago by L. Johnson