1. Alexander Orlov
2. Yuri Modin
Costello, John, and Oleg Tsarev. Deadly Illusions: The KGB Orlov Dossier Reveals Stalin's Master Spy. New York: Crown, 1993. Deadly Illusions: Inside the Looking-Glass War. London: Crown/Century, 1993.
Surveillant 3.2/3 notes that Deadly Illusions is based on the KGB's archives, access to which comes from an agreement between Crown Publishing and the Russian Intelligence Service. The book covers the career of Alexander Orlov, "the true éminence grise of the Cambridge and Oxford spy rings." To Chambers, the book is the "first serious look at Alexander Orlov"; it is "like lighting a candle in a darkened room."
For Bates, MI 10.1, the "major problem" is that the book "is deadly reading." Nevertheless, it is "an important contribution, ... [and] should be part of any bibliography supporting studies of the KGB and its predecessors." Haslam, I&NS 9.4, believes that Deadly Illusions contains "many useful new and surprising facts about the Cambridge spies."
West, FILS 12.4, argues that "Orlov continued to serve the Soviet cause until his death.... Costello is a controversial author who has stern critics.... Gordievsky ... savaged Deadly Illusions in the Sunday Telegraph (23 June 1993)." Kerr, I&NS 11.3, comments that while the book is based in part on documents from the KGB's archives, it was the KGB which selected the documents and gave them to Costello. Thus, "[t]his is a KGB book serving KGB purposes.... [Consequently,] the book's historical contribution is circumscribed by the KGB's political motives."
As far as Boris Volodarsky, "The KGB in Ann Arbor," American Intelligence Journal 30, no. 1 (2012), is concerned, this book "should either be dismissed as unreliable or studied as one case of Moscow's distortion of espionage history -- of which it is by no means the only example."
Bisher, Jamie. "Colonel Modin on Philby, Burgess, and Blunt." Foreign Intelligence Literary Scene 12, no. 6 (1993): 1-2.
Modin, Yuri Ivanovich, with Jean-Charles Deniau and Aguieszka Ziarek. Tr., Anthony Roberts. My Five Cambridge Friends: Burgess, Maclean, Philby, Blunt, and Cairncross by Their KGB Controller. London: Headline, 1994. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994.
The author "was initially the Five's deskman in Moscow Centre during World War Two, and after 1948, he became the London controller of John Cairncross,... Guy Burgess,... and Anthony Blunt." (p. 2)
According to Chambers (see also IWRQ 2.1), there are "no major revelations" in Modin's biographic sketches of the members of the ring "except to give credit to the veterans Deutsch and Maly for recruiting the ring, and to support the view that Morris Dobb was a talent spotter rather than a recruiter, and his opinion that the prime mover in the formation of the ring was Burgess.... The overall tone of the book is that of an old soldier who did his duty and who is proud of his service.... Praise must go to the translator (Anthony Roberts) for his role.... This book may not be the very last word on the Cambridge ring, but it is a significant contribution and a highly entertaining one that is strongly recommended." Click for Chambers' full review.
Surveillant 3.6 says Modin "reveals previously unknown details.... Burgess, he tells us, was far more an important player than previously thought.... [He] admits that most of the book comes from his memory." For Kerr, I&NS 11.3, "Modin's book gave the general impression that he was closely connected to the Cambridge network throughout their careers ... from the 1930s to 1951.... When Modin's career is juxtaposed with the movements of the Cambridge network this general impression of omniscience fades away.... Modin's access to ... these agents fluctuates from being a firsthand witness to ... relying upon secondary source material.... [Nevertheless,] Modin is a valuable source but ... in Mclean's case he has marginal value."
See also, Jamie Bisher, "Colonel Modin on Philby, Burgess, and Blunt," Foreign Intelligence Literary Scene 12, no. 6: 1-2.
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