Michael Dobbs


Dobbs, Michael.

1. "Code Name Mlad: The 'Crime of the Century' Is Not Yet Closed." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 4-10 Mar. 1996, 9-10.

Based on "a review of dozens of recently declassified Soviet and U.S. documents," Dobbs develops the argument that Theodore Alvin Hall was the Soviet spy known previously only by the code name Mlad.

2. "Pointing the Finger at Mlad. Newly Declassified Intercepts of Soviet Spy Messages Also Renew Suspicions about Alger Hiss." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 11-17 Mar. 1996, 34.

A new release of VENONA documents with NSA notes identifying U.S. officials and others as the Soviet agents mentioned by code name in the Soviet cables names Theodore Alvin Hall as the Atomic spy known previously only as Mlad ("Youngster").


Dobbs, Michael. "Into Thin Air." Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2003, W14. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

The author explores the U-2 flights over Cuba in 1962 from the point of view of the pilot who died in that effort, Maj. Rudolf Anderson, and the other pilots who did not.

{GenPostwar/60s/Missile Crisis]

Dobbs, Michael. "Julius Rosenberg, Spy: But His KGB Handler Says His Role in Stealing Atom Bomb Secrets Was Minor." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 24 Mar. 1997, 6-7.

Dobbs, Michael. "KGB Defector Tells of Soviet Bugging Operation in U.S." Washington Post, 14 Sep. 1999, A2. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

A new book based on notes made by former KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin reveals that the "KGB mounted a massive bugging operation in the United States in the 1970s and early '80s that provided the Kremlin with intelligence on everything from Henry Kissinger's phone conversations to top-secret weapons."


Dobbs, Michael. "Myths Over Attacks on U.S. Swirl Through Islamic World: Many Rumors Lay Blame on an Israeli Conspiracy." Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2001, A22, [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

"Israeli agents did it. That, at least, is a theory widely discussed and believed in the Islamic world concerning who organized the suicide attacks of Sept. 11.... A slight twist to the theory has been provided by the Voice of Palestine radio, which is controlled by Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority. Earlier this week, the station reported, without providing any source, that the Mossad at least had advance knowledge of the hijackings, and that U.S. law enforcement officials had arrested three Mossad agents in connection with the attacks."

[Israel/00s; Terrorism/01/WTC]

Dobbs, Michael. One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War. New York: Knopf, 2008.

Hershberg, Washington Post, 22 Jun. 2008, believes that the author "succeeds brilliantly, marshaling diverse sources to relate an intensely human story.... Dobbs's vivid narrative brings the crisis alive not only in the rarefied inner sancta of politicians, bureaucrats and revolutionaries in Washington, Moscow and Havana but also among the grunts in the superpowers' vast, unwieldy military machines." However, the work does contain "its share of (mostly trivial) errors or omissions."

For Holbrooke, New York Times, 22 Jun. 2008, this book contains "sobering new information about the world's only superpower nuclear confrontation." The author "is at his best in reconstructing the near misses, misunderstandings and unauthorized activities that could have led to an accidental war." The book is filled with "insights that will change the views of experts and help inform a new generation of readers."

Peake, Studies 52.4 (Dec. 2008) and Intelligencer 17.1 (Winter-Spring 2009), finds that "[p]erhaps the best part of the book is the chronological depiction of tension and frustration." This work "gives a balanced, detailed, sensitive account that is great reading." To Stavridis, Proceedings 135.3 (Mar. 2009), this "instant classic ... provides the best single-volume treatment in print of the events leading up to the crisis, as well as its resolution."

Placing Dobbs's work within a wider review of Cuba under Fidel Castro, Abedul and Hughes, I&NS 26.4 (Aug. 2011), see the author bringing "a seasoned journalist's racy style as well as a great deal of important new information" to the discussion of the Missile Crisis. The reviewers are less pleased with Dobbs's praise of the handling of the crisis by Kennedy and Khrushchev.


Dobbs, Michael. "Revolution by Focus Group." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 18 Dec. 2000, 13-14.

The Washington, DC-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) worked on much of the "$41 million U.S. democracy-building campaign in Serbia" that led to the defeat of Slobodan Milosevic. The overthrow of the Yugoslav President "may ... go down in history as the first poll-driven, focus group-tested revolution."

[CA/Eur/PostCW; GenPostwar/00]

Dobbs, Michael. Saboteurs: The Nazi Raid on America. New York: Knopf, 2004. New York: Vintage, 2005. [pb]

Citino, World War II (http://www.historynet.com/wwii/reviews/wwiireview0105-1/) notes that this is the tale of two small groups of German saboteurs who were landed by submarine near Amagansett, Long Island, and Jacksonville, Florida, in June 1942 (Operation Pastorius). The author "is a fine writer, and many readers will find themselves unable to put down the book once they start. His characterizations are on the money, and his eye for the telling detail is superb."

For Peake, Studies 48.4 (2004), "the depth of detail and the particular relevance to current legal decisions facing the government concerning the use of military tribunals to deal with agents or combatants of a foreign government" makes Saboteurs "especially pertinent." The author "has used primary and secondary sources mixed with interviews of participants to write an important history in a way that makes for stimulating reading."


Dobbs, Michael. "Soviet Files Show Kremlin Aid to U.S. Comrades Dates to 1920 Funds for Founder John Reed." Washington Post, 12 Apr. 1995, A6.


Dobbs, Michael, and R. Jeffrey Smith. "The KGB's Keystone Kops: How the FBI Penetrated Moscow's Washington Spy Ring." WPNWE, 8-14 Mar. 1993, 11-12.

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