Deadly Illusions: The KGB Orlov Dossier Reveals Stalin's Master Spy

Overview

This is the first published book to be based on the archives of the KGB. Drawing on the actual operational case files, Soviet cryptographic traffic and debriefings of agents such as Kim Philby, Deadly Illusions offers direct insight into the reality behind some of the most famous Soviet intelligence operations of the century. The product of an unprecedented collaboration between a KGB officer and a veteran historian, this remarkable book reaches deep into the still-secret former First Chief Directorate archives ...
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Overview

This is the first published book to be based on the archives of the KGB. Drawing on the actual operational case files, Soviet cryptographic traffic and debriefings of agents such as Kim Philby, Deadly Illusions offers direct insight into the reality behind some of the most famous Soviet intelligence operations of the century. The product of an unprecedented collaboration between a KGB officer and a veteran historian, this remarkable book reaches deep into the still-secret former First Chief Directorate archives inherited by the Russian Intelligence Service. Deadly Illusions lays bare - from the contemporary Soviet intelligence files - the astonishing secrets of the career of Alexander Orlov. He stands revealed as the true eminence grise of the Cambridge and Oxford spy rings, before he fled from Spain to escape the assassination squads of Stalin. Orlov's is the remarkable story of one of the legendary figures of Soviet intelligence whose active service spanned the tumultuous founding years of what became the KGB. It documents the origination of the brilliantly successful penetration networks whose "moles" provided Stalin with the stolen intelligence that helped the U.S.S.R. defeat Hitler, obtain the atomic bomb, and steal a march on the West during the opening years of the Cold War. Orlov - until now - has been regarded in the West as the highest-ranking Soviet intelligence defector. But Deadly Illusions opens the secrets contained in his seventeen-volume dossier that reveals how the KGB tracked him down in the United States in the late sixties to invite him to return to Moscow as a hero. It documents how Orlov saved his life by blackmailing Stalin with the threat of the exposure of Philby and sixty other Soviet agents. He did not betray a single one of them. Nor did he ever yield any important intelligence secrets to the Americans during years of interrogation by the FBI and CIA after he surfaced in 1953 with a sensational denunciation of Stalin's crimes. Orlov

Alexander Orlov was the most successful spymaster in the history of the Soviet Union. This book--the first ever to be based on the archives of the KGB and coauthored by a former KGB officer and current consultant to the Russian Intelligence Service--reveals details of his career that will make headlines in the U.S. and Europe. 16-page photo insert.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Soviet master spy Alexander Orlov (1895-1973), who defected to the U.S. in 1952 to denounce Stalin's crimes, was eulogized in the U.S. Senate for helping America fight the Cold War. But this astonishing report--an unprecedented collaboration between British historian Costello and former KGB officer Tsarev, press consultant to the Russian Intelligence Service--persuasively argues that Orlov played a game of wits with the CIA and FBI, feeding them half-truths and trivialities while concealing the identities of former colleagues and Soviet agents he had recruited. Using a trove of declassified Russian intelligence files and FBI and CIA documents, the authors establish that Orlov masterminded the notorious Cambridge spy ring and the recruitment of British moles Kim Philby, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean. They also reveal that KGB agents held secret meetings with Orlov in 1969 and 1971, inviting him to return to Moscow as a hero. This newsworthy book reads like a spy thriller. Photos. (May)
Gilbert Taylor
This trip through yellowing papers and cryptograms unveils the career of Alexander Orlov, a Russian defector who went public 40 years ago. But he didn't tell all in his "Secret History of Stalin's Crimes" (1952); least of all, he didn't discuss his task as the "control" of the damaging Cambridge spy ring of Kim Philby, Donald MacLean, and four others. Manifestly a master operative, he proved his undercover mettle in Berlin, Paris, and London, then headed Soviet espionage in the Spanish Civil War, an especially murderous episode in the history of the Soviet secret service. Documents cited here conclusively dirty Orlov's hands with one assassination and the theft of Spain's bullion supply. But Stalin's sinister purge, undeflected by Orlov's efficiency at exterminating Trotskyites, closed in on its own agents; Orlov defected and lived underground in the U.S. before writing his "expose." Teasing the truth from even declassified materials is not easy when dealing with such a wilderness of mirrors, and libraries keeping pace with revelations will want Costello and Tsarev's chronicle, a presage of titles to come as the ex-KGB publishes its secrets from motivations partly confessional, partly commercial.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517588505
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/8/1993
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 1.71 (d)

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