Soviet Spies


Carran, Edward. The Soviet Spy Web. London: Ampersand, 1961.

Wilcox: "Popular paperback account of Soviet espionage around the world, particularly in England."

Copp, Dewitt. Famous Soviet Spies: The Kremlin's Secret Weapon. Washington, DC: US News and World Report, 1973. [Petersen]

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.

Duff, William E. A Time for Spies: Theodore Stephanovich Mally and the Era of the Great Illegals. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 1999.

According to Powers, NYRB (11 May 2000) and Intelligence Wars (2004), 99-100, Mally was "a Hungarian captured by the tsarist armies during World War I and freed by the Bolsheviks, who recruited him to the Communist cause and a career in the running of spies.... He performed his most important job during the two years (1935-1937) he spent handling the Cambridge Five in London....Much of Mally's life is still unknown, but the character of the man emerges clearly in Duff's wonderful book."

Goedeken, Library Journal (15 Oct. 1999), finds that the author is "at times overly detailed in his presentation"; nevertheless, he "provides the reader with a sophisticated analysis of ... Mally and his work as an undercover agent for Stalin." Barron, IJI&C 14.3, notes that although this "well-documented treatise" focuses on Mally, it "is really an exposition of overall operations of Soviet Illegals during the 1930s."

Halebian, Olivia. "New Light on Old Spies: A Review of Recent Soviet Intelligence Revelations." Studies in Intelligence 9, no. 4 (Fall 1965): 77-92.

"For the first time since the Revolution the espionage exploits of the Soviet military intelligence service [GRU] and state security [KGB] have been officially acknowledged." This is a dramatic revision of official policy that the USSR does not engage in foreign espionage activities. Halebian looks at new works on Richard Sorge; GRU officer Col. Lev Manevich; executed GRU chief Semen Uritskiy; the German portion of the Rote Kapelle; Col. Rudolf Abel; Feliks Dzerzhinskiy; and a few other lesser known Chekists. In addition, there have been works published on the Trust operation of the 1920s.

Hutton, J. Bernard [Pseud., Joseph Heisler]. School for Spies: The ABC of How Russia's Secret Service Operates. London: Spearman, 1961.

Chambers: Czech defector.

Kessler, Ronald. Spy vs. Spy: Stalking Soviet Spies in America. New York: Scribner's, 1988. Spy vs. Spy: The Shocking True Story of the FBI's War Against Soviet Agents in America. New York: Pocket Books, 1988.

Lewis, Donald. Sexpionage: The Exploitation of Sex by Soviet Intelligence. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1976.

Madeira, Victor. Britannia and the Bear: The Anglo-Russian Intelligence Wars 1917–1929. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2014.

Peake, Studies 58.4 (Dec. 2014), calls this as "the first detailed study of a Soviet espionage network that penetrated the English establishment long before the better-known Cambridge Five.... The principal Soviet agent involved was William Ewer." Howevwe, the book "is not easy reading. It is chronologically muddled, topically confusing, and saturated with awkward syntax."

Meier, Andrew. The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service. New York: Norton, 2008. 2009. [pb]

From Publishers Weekly, 11 Aug. 2008 (via The author tells the story of "Cy Oggins, a Columbia University undergraduate who joined the fledgling Communist Party in 1920. Recruited by Soviet intelligence in 1926, he went to Europe in the guise of an academic.... After 1930 he sailed to China and Manchuria for various undercover schemes, then traveled to Moscow in 1939 during Stalin's purges.... [H]e was arrested[,] sent to an Arctic gulag and ... murdered ... in 1947."

Goulden, Washington Times, 26 Oct. 2008, and Intelligencer 16.2 (Fall 2008), comments that the author's "decision to present his narrative in non-chronological fashion, skipping back and forth, resulted in a jumble of a book" that was "highly confusing." For Schecter, I&NS 26.2&3 (Apr.-Jun. 2011), "Meier does well in setting the scene in Europe and Asia during Oggins' working period and the reporting is diligent, but his analysis of the facts is weak."

Newman, Bernard C.

1. Famous Soviet Spies: The Kremlin's Secret Weapon. Washington, DC: U.S. News & World Report, 1976. [Petersen]

2. The Red Spider Web: The Story of Russian Spying in Canada. London: Latimer House, 1947. [Wilcox]

3. Soviet Atomic Spies. London: Robert Hale, 1952. [Petersen]

Rees, Mervyn. "The Spy Who Knew It All." Daily Mail (London), 20 Nov. 1983, 1-2, 31-34.

Schecter, Jerrold L. and Leona Schecter. Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History. Washington, DC: Brassey's, 2002.

According to Goulden, AFIO WIN 35-02, 2 Sep. 2002, the authors believe that the activities of Soviet intelligence agents certainly affected U.S. policy and changed U.S. history. Their effort to document that viewpoint makes Sacred Secrets "an important contribution to intelligence literature." In addition, "their analysis of VENONA is the best yet published." Bath. NIPQ 19.4, sees Sacred Secrets as a "well-researched view of some of the murkier aspects of Cold War espionage." Although he is "not sure" that he agrees "with all their conclusions," the reviewer finds that "they make a plausible case."

Holmes, Library Journal, Jul. 2002, finds that Sacred Secrets "is a touch oversold.... While it adds some details to the historical literature, little new ground is actually broken.... [I]t is less a path-breaking work than an incremental addition to the Cold War literature." For Haynes, I&NS 17.4, the absence of an explanation of how the authors obtained Soviet intelligence documents opens the door for doubters to reject them but, for his part, he is willing to "accept[] them as authentic." Although "[a]n inattention to detail has allowed minor errors to creep into the text..., students of Soviet espionage ... would be foolish to ignore" this book.

See also, Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes, "Special Tasks and Sacred Secrets on Soviet Atomic Spies," Intelligence and National Security 26.5 (Oct. 2011): 656-675: "In regard to Soviet atomic espionage Special Tasks and Sacred Secrets are neither reliable nor credible."

Shipley, Peter. Hostile Action: The KGB and Secret Soviet Operations in Britain. London: St Martin's, 1989. New York: St Martin's, 1990.

van der Rhoer, Edward. The Shadow Network. New York: Scribner's, 1983.

Verbitsky, Anatole, and Dick Adler. Sleeping with Moscow: The Authorized Account of the KGB's Bungled Infiltration of the FBI by Two of the Soviet Union's Most Unlikely Operatives. New York: Shapolsky, 1987. [Petersen]

West, Nigel. [Rupert Allason] The Illegals: The Double Lives of the Cold War's Most Secret Agents. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1993. London: Coronet Books, 1994. [pb]

Surveillant 3.4/5: "On the well-known examples,... West supplies new information, and he identifies other less-familiar and far more recent cases."

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