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Special Tasks Paperback – June 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
You won't believe the documentation in the back of the book. Atomic espionage documents, Katyn Forest Massacre, and more.
The author not only occupied one of the few positions where knowledge of the events is first hand but his actions also shaped history from his near invisible position. His early days as a field agent are both instructional and interesting in the period after the Spanish civil war.
Some of the tidbits from the book...........
The Soviets had throughly penetrated both the US government with many of their agents not spies in the classical sense but rather believers in the Soviet cause and willing to subordinate the interests of the US and GB to their Soviet cause allegiance. Stalin probably had more current information on the US / GB nuclear program than did Roosevelt or Truman and that knowledge changed history at several points.
But it was worse, the USSR had agents inside the President's circle both providing information and guiding US policy. The results proved tragic and perhaps resulted in the greatest crimes against humanity in the history of the world, Stalin's post WW2 liquidations and forced labor camps (which were worse than a death sentence ) and the rise of Mao.
The author, armed with information from his British and American based spies determined during the early post war days that the US supply of nuclear materials was limited but also that the US was seriously considering intervention in the civil war in China to stop Mao. Such intervention would include the use of nuclear weapons (a very acceptable strategy in that day and age) .Read more ›
In my oppinion the purpose of the author is to write a book with valuable information without betraying the USSR. An making money by selling it in the West.
Still a Stalinist at heart, Sudoplatov offers few regrets for a career filled with death up close and personal. One of his first solo operations entailed infiltrating a Ukrainian nationalist group. After befriending one it's leaders for the better part of a year, he dispatched him in Rotterdam with a box of chocolates loaded with explosives. Later, he went on to supervise large roving killer squads himself, such as the team that assassinated Trotsky outside Mexico City in 1940.
The book is filled with surreal scenes, such as in the "Komandatura" in the Lyubianka, where prisoners were executed. One section was outfitted more as a hotel than a prison. But as prisoners were given a "routine" medical examination, they were administered a lethal injection, then quickly cremated. Sudoplatov, himself arrested on bogus charges after Beria'a arrest, describes receiving not one, but two spinal taps while pretending to be catatonic (so as to avoid interrogation). His simple, direct language in describing these kinds of sequences is chilling.
More than a few of the author's historical claims are either suspect or simply false based on information long available elswhere. For instance, his assertion that Stalin was not involved in the murder of Leningrad Party leader Sergei Kirov can't be taken seriously.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very illuminating and very indicative of how things rolled in the USSR before and during WWII. A lot of us in the West have little to no inkling of how severe consequences were... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Greg Torino
You really need to have an extensive knowledge of the soviet era and people involved. without this knowledge it is difficult. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Neville D.
Had a tough time with the unfamiliar Russian names, but really enjoyed the intrigue. Definitely worth reading.Published 14 months ago by RalphA
This is very informative book packed with info spanning several decades. Not for everybody, must for 20-th century history buffsPublished 14 months ago by Sidney Benda
a very genuine book by one of the KGB top killers and administrators.Published 23 months ago by S. A. Axelrod
Great and at the same time very scary! It's proof of how ignorant we are when it comes to politics, and also how little human life counts in the eyes of a totalitarian regime,... Read morePublished on August 15, 2014 by Bianca Jurim
If you are interested in the effectiveness and efficiency of secret services, this book is hard to beat. Read morePublished on July 15, 2014 by Rene Scull
The book was very mind opening. It gives one a better understanding about the extensive evil of the soviet communist system. By the way it is still with us. Read morePublished on April 15, 2014 by David Luscher