Albright, Joseph, and Marcia Kunstel. Bombshell: The Secret Story of America's Unknown Atomic Spy Conspiracy. New York: Times Books/ Random House, 1997.
Clark comment: The speculation that Theodore Alvin Hall was the Soviet spy whose codename was "Mlad" seems to be at an end. Hall admits to the authors of Bombshell having contact with the Soviets, although he carefully (even at this late date) avoids admitting to specific acts of espionage. The self-serving justifications offered by Hall for his acts of treason (the Soviets were allies and a fear "of an American monopoly of atomic weapons if there should be a postwar depression") ring particularly hollow today. The question remains, however, why he was allowed to walk away from an FBI investigation in the 1950s and 1960s. Perhaps, the best guess may be that the FBI lacked the evidence to convict Hall of espionage without revealing the existence of the Venona decrypts. See report in New York Times, 16 Sep. 1997, A17 (N). See also, Hall's obituary: Bart Barnes, "Atomic Bomb Physicist Theodore Alvin Hall Dies at 74," Washington Post, 11 Nov. 1999, B7.
Herken, WPNWE, 10 Nov. 1997, says that Bombshell "is both a solid, well-researched work and a brilliant piece of reportage." The focus is the spy ring known to its Soviet handlers as the "Volunteers," comprised of Theodore Alvin Hall ("Mlad" in the Venona traffic), Saville Sax ("Star"), and the husband-and-wife team of Morris and Lona ("Helen") Cohen. The book "provides convincing evidence" that Klaus Fuchs' treachery "only confirmed information the Russians already had from Hall."
For Wettering, IJI&C 11.4, this is "an interesting biography of Ted Hall, with some fascinating looks at Morris and Lona Cohen." Although the book "contains very little real information on Hall's espionage activity," Bombshell is overall "a well-researched and very well-written biography of a heretofore little known spy."
Andrew, Christopher. "The VENONA Secret." In War, Resistance and Intelligence: Essays in Honour of M.R.D. Foot, ed. Kenneth G. Robertson. Barnsley, UK: Leo Cooper, 1999.
Ball, Desmond, and David Horner. Breaking the Codes: Australia's KGB Spy Network, 1944-1950. St. Leonards, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 1998. Concord, MA: Paul & Co., 1998.
According to Peake, NWCR 53.3 and Intelligencer 11.2, this work "is primarily concerned with ten Australians who spied for Soviet intelligence.... The book also offers a short history of Australian intelligence, its World War II role (including naval intelligence and naval ULTRA), and its close links to Britain's Security Service (MI 5).... The book is well written and impressively documented with primary sources."
Kruh, Cryptologia 24.2, notes that the authors "cover a wide range of information including the success of the US cryptanalytic attack on VENONA." For Unsinger, IJI&C 14.1, this "is an excellent review" of the operations of the Comintern, KGB, and GRU in Australia from late in World War II to the beginning of the Korean War. Breaking the Codes provides "insight into Australia's reaction to Soviet intelligence operations" and "describes Australia's security establishment and some of the personalities who shaped its postwar development."
Beichman, Arnold. "Decrypted Details of Soviet Designs." Washington Times, 24 Aug. 1997, B4.
Benson, Robert Louis. [At http://www.nsa.gov]
1. "The 1942-43 New York-Moscow KGB Messages."
Written in association with the Venona document release in 1995.
2. "The 1944-45 New York and Washington-Moscow KGB Messages."
Written in association with the Venona document release in 1996.
Benson, Robert Louis. The VENONA Story. Ft. George G. Meade, MD: National Security Agency, Center for Cryptologic History, [n.d.] [http://www.nsa.gov/about/_files/cryptologic_heritage/publications/coldwar/venona_story.pdf]
This is an excellent overview of the VENONA materials.
Benson, Robert Louis, and Michael Warner, eds. VENONA: Soviet Espionage and the American Response, 1939-1957. Washington, DC: National Security Agency/Central Intelligence Agency, 1996. Laguna Hills, CA: Aegean Park Press, 1996.
Clark comment: There are two parts to this volume: Part I, "The American Response to Soviet Espionage," has 35 "original documents available to American policymakers during the period covered"; Part II, "Selected Venona Messages," consists of 99 of the approximately 2,900 KGB, GRU, and GRU-Naval messages that have been released to the public. The Venona translations can be accessed via NSA's Homepage at http://www.nsa. gov.
Peake, NWCR 53.3 and Intelligencer 11.2, finds that "[w]hile this book is an excellent introduction to the [Venona] program, it does not deal in depth with the details of how the decrypted cables were analyzed or the impact of VENONA on the resulting espionage cases."
For Herken, I&NS 16.3, this is "[t]he starting place for any serious Venona scholar." The Aegean Park Press edition also "contains ... five of the six monographs on Venona as well as a valuable index of names and cryptonyms." Cohen, FA 77.2 (Mar.-Apr. 1997), notes that these documents are "introduced by a balanced and informative historical essay. The result is a fascinating glimpse of compromised intelligence operations that helped shape the early phase of the Cold War."
Breindel, Eric M., and Herbert Romerstein. The Venona Secrets: The Soviet Union's World War II Espionage Campaign against the United States and How America Fought Back: A Story of Espionage, Counterespionage, and Betrayal. New York: Basic Books, 1999.
According to Peake, NWCR 53.3, this work adds "corroboration to the work of Haynes and Klehr with new documentation and analysis, putting particular emphasis on the role of the Communist Party in Soviet espionage in America."
Budiansky, Stephen. "A Tribute to Cecil Phillips -- and Arlington Hall's 'Meritocracy.'" Cryptologia 23, no. 2 (Apr. 1999): 97-107.
From abstract: "Cryptanalyst Cecil Phillips, who made the crucial break into the 'VENONA' problem near the end of the Second World War, exemplified the diverse talents that rose through Arlington Hall's unusual meritocracy."
Cogan, Charles G. "Review Article: In the Shadow of Venona." Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 3 (Jul. 1997): 190-195.
In a review of Neville, The Press, the Rosenbergs, and the Cold War (1995), and Haynes, Red Scare or Red Menace (1996), Cogan draws the following conclusion about the impact of the release of the Venona materials on the Rosenberg debate: "it is a useless and sterile exercise, post Venona, to keep insisting that the accusations against the Rosenbergs were 'political'.... Julius Rosenberg was a spy and a principal agent of the Soviets, targeted on the United States' atomic secrets."
Crowell, William P. [Deputy Director, National Security Agency] "Remembrances of VENONA." http://www.nsa.gov.
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