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The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for The Third World, Vol. 2 Hardcover – September 20, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This second volume of the post-war history of the KGB-based on the "Mitrokhin Archive" of secret documents purloined by the late co-author, a KGB dissident-surveys the Soviet spy agency's skullduggery in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Historian Andrew portrays Russian policy toward the Third World as largely the creation of the KGB, which hoped that the spread of Soviet influence and revolutionary upheavals would make these regions the decisive Cold War battleground. The Cuban Revolution inspired these ambitions, and by 1980, after the American defeat in Vietnam and with leftist regimes installed in Nicaragua and Grenada, Cuban troops fighting in Africa and Russian forces occupying Afghanistan, both American and Soviet officials saw communism on the march. Still, in Andrew's account, Soviet initiatives-with a few exceptions, like the Afghanistan intervention-seem cautious, reactive and uncomfortably dependent on fickle client regimes; wary of confronting the United States, Russia often exerted a restraining influence on local allies. Andrew's engaging, occasionally gossipy narrative provides new evidence of Soviet sponsorship of Latin American insurgencies and Palestinian terrorists, along with details of KGB spycraft and dirty tricks. The world-wide communist conspiracy he depicts was far from a juggernaut, but he sheds new light on the hidden history of the Cold War. Photos.
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About the Author

Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Cambridge University. In addition to The Sword and the Shield, his previous books include Her Majesty’s Secret Service, KGB, and For the President’s Eyes Only. He lives in Cambridge, England.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1st edition (September 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465003117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465003112
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAME on September 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is, like the first book, an extraordinary piece of scholarship. While it can be tedious in both its detail and in the drollness of the "accomplishments" that enjoyed so much Politburo attention and funding, it joins books such as Derek Leebaert's The Fifty-Year Wound: How America's Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World in documenting the insanity and waste that characterized much of the so-called "secret wars" between the US Intelligence Community (within which the CIA is a $3 billion a year runt against the larger defense budget approaching $50 billion a year) and the KGB and GRU.

For those who have the patience or speed to get through this entire book, the single most important revelation and documentation concerns the ease with which the Russians were able to recruit traitors within the US defense community contractors. Ralph Peters has written about this in New Glory : Expanding America's Global Supremacy but speaks mostly of legal treason--corruption and waste. This book carefully addresses the sad reality that DoD is totally penetrated by foreign spies (one would add, Third World and allied spies including France, Germany, and Israel, never mind China and Iran) via the contracting community.

One day someone will do a careful calibration of both the good and the bad of secret intelligence. When that day comes, this book will be as good a place as any with which to start.

Best General Couonterintelligence Books:
...Read more ›
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This book is even better than the first one (in my own opinion).For years,we were told that the front lines of the cold war were in Europe with the third world serving as a battlefield where the superpowers can fight proxy wars.Before this book came out we were very familiar with the CIA's role in Iran,Guatemala,Guyana,indonesia,Chile and other places using dirty tricks and covert operations to promote american interests.This book details the KGB 's equivalent operations.We learn that the KGB sponsored a "Hostile takeover " of india;that it was in close contact with Salvador Allende and Fidel Castro and that it was the main support for the ANC during the apartheid struggle.The book shows that although the KGB had numerous tactical successes ,in the long run this could not help the Soviet system as communism was a flawed ideology and doomed anyway.
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My first recommendation to readers is to watch the superb Youtube video presentation at the International Spy Museum by Christopher Andrew in 2005 when this book was published. This is the best introduction. This is part of the Mitrokhin series and Vasili Mitrokhin should be credited as a co-author as is done on the title page. The book is dedicated to the late Mitrokhin and his late wife. Mitrohkin was the archivist of the KGB secret files and risked his life and probably that of his wife in smuggling his extensive notes out of Moscow to the newly free Baltic states. The first book in the series "The Sword and the Shield" published in 1999 should be read first and covers the entire history of Soviet intelligence. This book focuses on Soviet activities in the third world and will be of special interest to present and former residents of third world countries and scholars of modern third world history. I am passing this book on to a colleague born in Pakistan who will have a hard time putting down the parts describing KGB activities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. In this series, Cambridge historian Christopher Andrew points out that many previous works that claim to be based upon the release of previously secret KGB were actually accounts that were hand fed to authors by the current Russian Intelligence Service and are sanitized versions of KGB history. This is the real unsanitized history and is probably the most complete picture of any intelligence agency the world will ever see. It is must reading for anyone wanting to understand the cold war, the era of decolonization and the failure of the Soviet Union. Ronald Reagan had it exactly right--this was indeed the "Evil Empire."
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The book is a very interesting continuation to the first volume of the metrokin archive. I would howerver like to point out that at the middle of the book the form of writting of the book becomes very dull because all the charpters are prepared in the same way. To be fair probably from a scientific point of view this is the most correct form to do so, however at some point the reader becomes a bit bored. Chapters that speak of Iraq, Syria, Israel and Afganistan are very interesting, specially because they purport the russian or soviet point of view for strategical analisys. Nevertheless its a good book and provides good information.
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The title for this book makes me chuckle every time I see it. It makes me picture a retired KGB agent reminiscing about the old days when they thought they were winning the Cold War.

This book is the continuation of "The Sword and the Shield," which was was richly documented by the papers collected by Mitrokhin before his defection.

Like the first book, this volume is a revelation for people who study the Cold War. And, like the first book, this book is not for beginners. Before reading this book, you will need to understand the history of the Cold War in order to put the information in context.

This was not a quick or easy read, but it was interesting. The book reveals a world of espionage and dirty tricks that is much more compelling for being real.
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