Agabekov, George. Tr., Henry W. Bunn. OGPU: The Russian Secret Terror. New York: Brentano's, 1931. Westport, CT: Hypernion Press, 1975.
According to Pforzheimer, Agabekov worked for the GPU/OGPU from 1920 to 1930, when he defected; he disappeared in Brussels in 1938. In this book, he "describes the internecine warfare and intrigue between the Foreign Ministry and Soviet intelligence representatives abroad.... This is probably the most important book, from the historical point of view, in the literature of Soviet intelligence operations and organization in the 1920's."
Constantinides finds that the language in the translation "is stilted and awkward" and "much of the book is of primarily historical value." Rocca and Dziak, p. 29, note that translations of some of Agabekov's other writings, "O.G.P.U.-- Reminiscences of the Chekist, G. Agabekoff," appear in: Hearings before a Special Committee to Investigate Communist Activities in the United States. House of Representatives. 71st Cong., 2d sess., Part I --Volume 5, Dec. 1930, pp. 147-154. "These and other writings by Agabekov are fundamental to an understanding of Soviet security and intelligence organizations and operations in the 1920s, especially in the Near and Middle East."
Akhmedov, Ismail. In and Out of Stalin's GRU: A Tatar's Escape from Red Army Intelligence. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1984.
Clark comment: Akhmedov defected from the GRU in Turkey in 1942 and came to the United States in 1953. Pforzheimer notes that, among other stories, Akhmedov "tells of his lengthy 1948 debriefing by Kim Philby." For Milivojevi, I&NS 1.2, this work is "of great historical importance" because of its account of early GRU history. Akhmedov joined the GRU in 1930 and survived the decimation of the Soviet military by the NKVD in the purges of the late 1930s. He argues that intelligence with regard to Barbarossa was so good that the actual date of the attack was known, but Stalin chose to ignore the warning. Rocca and Dziak call In and Out of Stalin's GRU an "important memoir."
Alexeev, Kirrill Mikhailovich.
1. "Why I Deserted the Soviet." Saturday Evening Post 220 (26 Jun. 1948): 18 ff.
2. "Was Ambassador Oumansky Murdered?" Saturday Evening Post 220 (3 Jul. 1948): 20 ff.
3. "How We Duped Our American Friends." Saturday Evening Post 220 (10 Jul. 1948): 30 ff. [Petersen]
Allilueva, Svetlana. Tr., Paul Cjavchavadze. Only One Year. New York: Harper & Row, 1969.
Petersen: "Stalin's daughter describes oppression in the USSR, but returned to that country in 1984."
Anders, Karl [Pseud., Hendrik Van Bergh]. Murder to Order. New York: Devin-Adair, 1967.
Petersen: "Former KGB agent."
Costa, Alexandra. Stepping Down from the Star: A Soviet Defector's Story. New York: Putnam's 1986.
The author was the "wife of the first secretary of the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C." For Kirkus Reviews, the biggest problem with this book," long-windedness and credibility questions aside, is that Costa is not particularly likable.... [T]he most interesting part of the book: FBI planning and shenanigans. Too bad Costa seems to skip over a good bit of the FBI goings on, perhaps for narrative reasons, probably for security."
Dzhirkvelov, Ilya. Secret Servant: My Life with the KGB and the Soviet Elite. New York: Harper & Row, 1988. New York: Touchstone, 1989. [pb]
Clark comment: Dzhirkvelov defected in 1980. Chambers describes the book as a "defector's tale, almost classic in its profile of idealism and disillusionment," with "some interesting specifics." Haslam, I&NS 4.4, worries about possible fictionalization for publication purposes in defector memoirs generally and in this work specifically. Broadly, he concludes that there are few insights to be gained from Dzhirkvelov's account of life in the KGB.
Earley, Pete. Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War. New York: Putnam's, 2008.
Tretyakov died 13 June 2010 at his home in Florida. See T. Rees Shapiro, "Sergei Tretyakov Dies; Former Russian Spy Defected to U.S. in 2000," Washington Post, 10 Jul. 2010, B4.
Wise, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2008, notes that Comrade J is SVR Col. Sergei Tretyakov, who was the deputy rezident (station chief) in New York when he defected in 2000. The reviewer does not care much for some of Tretyakov's accusations against Western politicians, but finds that "[t]he real value of [his] saga lies less in his scattershot claims and innuendoes than in his sharp eye and gossipy insider's view of the KGB/SVR's training, methods, foibles and tricks."
For Goulden, Washington Times, 20 Jan. 2008, this is "an unsettling book." However, "[s]py buffs will love Tretyakov's gossipy accounts of National Enquirer-style sexual and alcohol misbehavior in KGB and SVR offices." Ransom, NIPQ 24.2 (Apr. 2008), comments that the author "covers a great deal of ground, sometimes roaming without any specific destination."
Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), wishes there were more details on Tretyakov's work for the FBI in the three years before his defection. This book is in essence an unsourced defector memoir, and that raises "the question of accuracy." Nevertheless, "Earley has provided another well told espionage case study." While lamenting its lack of an index, West, IJI&C 21.4 (Winter 2008-2009), still finds the book to be "important, not so much because it contains sensational disclosures -- which it does not -- but more for what it reveals about the daily grind of life in the New York rezidentura."
Golitsyn, Anatoliy. New Lies for Old: The Communist Strategy of Deception and Disinformation. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1984. London: Bodley Head, 1984.
Clark comment: Golitsyn defected from the KGB in 1961. According to Pforzheimer, the focus in this book is "on what [the author] thinks are major Soviet disinformation operations.... The book is more solid when [he] considers activities that are within his own KGB career span." While acknowledging that "some of Anatoliy Golitsyn's more controversial views ... border on the incredible," Milivojevic, I&NS 2.2, notes that, nonetheless, "Golitsyn is unusually qualified to analyse KGB Active Measures operations against the West." He provides "a masterly analysis of communist disinformation methods, Western vulnerability to such methods, and the lack of a Western counter-strategy."
Gordievsky, Oleg. Next Stop Execution: The Autobiography of Oleg Gordievsky. London: Macmillan, 1995.
"Gordievsky was employed by the KGB from 1962 to 1985. After a year's training in 1962-63, he spent nine years at the Centre (1963-65 and 1970-72) and at the Copenhagen Residency (1965-70) organizing operations by KGB illegals. For the next 12 1/2 years he worked on Political Intelligence in Copenhagen (1973-78), the Centre (1976 [sic] - 82) and London (1982-85).... At the time of his escape from the Soviet Union in the summer of 1985 he held the rank of KGB Colonel and was Resident-designate in London." From "Editorial Announcement," Intelligence and National Security 5, no. 3 (Jul. 1990): 3.
For the reviewer in the Economist, 8 Apr. 1995, this autobiography "is the sort of book where you turn first to the index at the back to search out the references to your friends -- and your enemies. The heavy hand of the libel lawyers is soon apparent. In fingering British politicians, trade unionists, journalists, and others who he asserts helped the Soviet Union in one way or another, the KGB defector is outspoken about the safely dead but mealy-mouthed about the living."
Unsinger, IJI&C 9.3, finds "much new material" in Next Stop Execution. Setting this book apart from other defector literature "is Gordievsky's description of his exfiltration from the Soviet Union." His evaluation of KGB personnel is also "particularly interesting." Overall, this "is a fine addition to the literature of intelligence services in the Cold War." To Mathers, I&NS 13.2, this "is a very easy book to read.... It is written in a vivid and immediate style and contains many of the details of life inside the KGB that outsiders find so fascinating." Although there is little that is new in Gordievsky's book, its "details, anecdotes and trivia ... help to fill out our picture of the operation and attitude" of the KGB.
Gouzenko, Igor. The Iron Curtain. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1948. Toronto: Dent, 1948. This Was My Choice. 2d ed. Montreal: Palm, 1968.
Clark comment: Gouzenko was a Soviet code clerk who defected in Ottawa in 1945. His revelations of Soviet espionage in Canada caused a significant commotion at the time. See Canada, Royal Commission, The Report of the Royal Commission.... (1946); and Bothwell and Granatstein, The Gouzenko Transcripts (1982). Constantinides reminds us that the Gouzenko "case was an eye-opener on the methods, levels, and quality of Soviet agents, as well as their political and ideological motivations, and was the prelude to subsequent discoveries of other well-placed Soviet spies."
According to Rocca and Dziak, Granovsky served in the NKVD from 1942 to his defection in Stockholm in 1946.
1. All Pity Choked: The Memoirs of a Soviet Agent. London: Kimber, 1955.
2. I Was an NKVD Agent: A Top Soviet Spy Tells His Story. New York: Devin-Adair, 1962.
Hyde, Earl M., Jr. "Still Perplexed about Krivitsky." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 16, no. 3 (Fall 2003): 428-441.
The author provides a readable (although somewhat speculative) review of Krivitsky's role and life between his defection and his death.
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