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Foto taget av: By Mohamed Nanabhay from Qatar - Sir Richard Dearlove & Christopher Andrew, CC BY 2.0,

Verk av Christopher M. Andrew

The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (2009) 679 exemplar, 10 recensioner
The Secret World: A History of Intelligence (2018) 323 exemplar, 3 recensioner
The KGB in Europe and the West (1999) 234 exemplar, 2 recensioner
Her Majesty's Secret Service (1985) 195 exemplar, 1 recension

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Andrew, Christopher Maurice
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK



plenty of interesting information, but cluttered and unstructured, therefore quickly becoming tiring and boring instead of captivating (which potential it did have)
milosdumbraci | 9 andra recensioner | May 5, 2023 |
Vasili Mitrokhin took a lot of work home with him--and not just his--took notes, sometimes verbatim, and then smuggled the notes out with him when he defected.

Ranging from bone-chilling and frightening to ridiculous and laughable, this book may not have all the KGB's secrets, but it has a lot of them. The KGB could be brutally efficient, but at times its efforts were wildly out of proportion with any sort of rational estimation of the level of threat something presented. Paranoia and conspiracy theories will do that to you, and the KGB was nothing if not prone to both.

The only caution I would give is not to dive into this without some background in the Cold War (which I had from various other readings) and some knowledge of the KGB's history (which I did not have). This is a down in the bushes and weeds book, not a holistic history. If you're like me you'd appreciate a bit of framework to hang all the events and names and places on to.

The writing is good. The tone of Andrew's writing tracks well the seriousness and absurdity of the events. If you've had a taste of the Cold War and/or Russian/Soviet history and want something juicier (in more ways than one), definitely pick this up.
… (mer)
qaphsiel | 9 andra recensioner | Feb 20, 2023 |
Note: I received a digital review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
fernandie | 2 andra recensioner | Sep 15, 2022 |
The book I read was 1864 pages, free on It is well organized.

Christopher M. Andrew has done an excellent job of assembling into a readable account the smuggled voluminous notes made by former KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin from official top secret KGB files at the risk of his life. They pertain to the period from about 1918 to 1992. The KGB changed names several times. Mitrokhin did not have direct access to GRU (military intelligence) files.

Any professional intelligence hand who fails to read this is derelict. It should interest any alert United States citizen.

Russia today is employing active techniques proven successful over many decades in order to disrupt any comity in the world that might constrain the increase of its (and its potentates') power and influence. They are very good at it despite limitations arising from the institutional paranoia and top-down doctrinaire bureaucracy that have historically plagued their intelligence services. Credit them with maintaining a doomed and brutal government in power for 70 years.

Andrew supplies parenthetically the KGB code names of many of its assets and agents for convenient cross reference to those decrypted in the Venona project, a U.S. counterintelligence program of the Army Signal Intelligence Service and then the National Security Agency from 1943 until 1980 which covertly intercepted over 3,000 NKVD, KGB, and GRU coded messages wherein true names were further encoded and then to some extent identified from context and other sources. Many Venona texts remain undeciphered today, and many true names are not yet worked out. We await the next momentous defection.

The Mitrokhin files largely confirm some accounts, previously of disputed accuracy, of defecting U.S. Communist party spies such as Elizabeth T Bentley and Whittaker Chambers in their books "Out of Bondage" and "Witness". Mention should be made of John D. Barron's account of the remarkable U.S. double agent Morris H. Childs in "Operation Solo: The FBI's Man in the Kremlin". "Witness" is deservedly on many Top Books lists.

Histories of the 20th century, and even of the cold war, generally have not addressed the magnitude of influence of Soviet intelligence activity as proved by these archives, resulting in some lamentable perspective these days (2019).
… (mer)
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KENNERLYDAN | 9 andra recensioner | Jul 11, 2021 |



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