First Directorate: My Thirty-Two Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West

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During thirty-two years with the KGB, Oleg Kalugin enjoyed one of the most meteoric and illustrious careers in the history of the Soviet spy agency, so his dramatic break with the Communist Party and his advocacy of democratic reform provided a sensational end to an amazing career. Now, with this candid and ultimately moving autobiography, he becomes the highest-ranking KGB officer ever to tell his story. With a telling eye for detail, Oleg Kalugin takes the reader into the very heart of the Soviet spy apparatus ...
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Overview

During thirty-two years with the KGB, Oleg Kalugin enjoyed one of the most meteoric and illustrious careers in the history of the Soviet spy agency, so his dramatic break with the Communist Party and his advocacy of democratic reform provided a sensational end to an amazing career. Now, with this candid and ultimately moving autobiography, he becomes the highest-ranking KGB officer ever to tell his story. With a telling eye for detail, Oleg Kalugin takes the reader into the very heart of the Soviet spy apparatus at the peak of the defining event of our time - the Cold War. The First Directorate is nothing less than a full-scale personal account of a life in espionage. A Fulbright exchange student (and already a KGB officer), Kalugin came to America in 1958 and immediately recruited his first spy. As deputy station chief in Washington, he played a major role in handling American spy John Walker, as well as orchestrating a brazen attempt to bug the House Armed Services Committee. As chief of KGB Foreign Counter-intelligence, he helped rehabilitate the famous, broken-down British agent Kim Philby. He played a role in the assassination of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov and worked intimately with the men who ran the KGB, from the Cold Warrior and future Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, to the devious Vladimir Kryuchkov, the chief plotter in the failed 1991 Soviet coup.
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Editorial Reviews

Gilbert Taylor
After he had been cashiered from the KGB in 1990, Kalugin blazed into prominence as a critic of the pervasive spy empire. But oddly enough, he remains a professional loyal to the spook's ethos: tell no tales out of school. Although frank about generalities, he ventures few blockbusting specifics that haven't popped up elsewhere in the post-cold war wave of espionage books, but this memoir of a stellar career in the secret service is, nonetheless, engrossing for aficionados. In the 1960s Kalugin worked in New York and Washington and handled some devastating turncoats, such as the notorious John Walker; in the 1970s he headed counterintelligence from Moscow. On the fast track, a protégé of Andropov, he then fell victim to a bureaucratic intrigue of Vladimir Kryuchkov--a coup leader in 1991--and was put to pasture chasing nonexistent spies in Leningrad. There Kalugin finally became disillusioned by the corruption and cronyism that infested "mature socialism." Filled with anecdotes linked by personal journey from Stalinist true believer to champion democrat, Kalugin's account of life in the secret world will haul in all spy buffs--a number to be augmented by a full-press publicity push.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312114268
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/8/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 384

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Intriguing!

    He was the youngest general in the history of the KGB. He was a Soviet spy in the U.S. disguised as an exchange student, a journalist, and a diplomat. His fascinating career lead him to head the KGB's Foreign Counterintelligence. Yet, at the dawn of his career, he became the biggest critic of the KGB. In his book, Kalugin gives his account of the intriguing Cold War espionage struggle between the KGB and the CIA...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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