The Man Behind the Rosenbergs

Overview

Until the publication of this book, Alexander Feklisov's role was unknown to the general public. Feklisov reveals for the first time that he was the case officer handling the secret Rosenberg intelligence network in New York. He claims that he actually formed a close friendship to Julius Rosenberg and always felt Julius and his wife had been wrongfully executed. No ordinary intelligence officer, he was also the case officer of atomic spy Klaus Fuchs in London, and finally acted as the secret messenger between ...
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Overview

Until the publication of this book, Alexander Feklisov's role was unknown to the general public. Feklisov reveals for the first time that he was the case officer handling the secret Rosenberg intelligence network in New York. He claims that he actually formed a close friendship to Julius Rosenberg and always felt Julius and his wife had been wrongfully executed. No ordinary intelligence officer, he was also the case officer of atomic spy Klaus Fuchs in London, and finally acted as the secret messenger between President John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, helping to end the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, as seen in the Hollywood movie, Thirteen Days.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Alexander Feklisov was the KGB spymaster who "controlled" Soviet spy Julius Rosenberg, who, with his wife, Ethel, was executed for selling atomic secrets in 1953. He also was responsible for the handling of German physicist Klaus Fuchs, who worked on the Manhattan Project and subsequently passed important information on to the Soviets. Here, he tells his story, including his role in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this important memoir, a former handler of spies for the Soviet Union including Julius Rosenberg, who, with his wife, Ethel, was the first American civilian to be executed for spying offers details about his work in the U.S. and a window into the world of Cold War intrigue. Feklisov provides a picture of Rosenberg familiar to those who know Soviet hagiography: Rosenberg "enjoyed excellent health," "was completely indifferent toward material things" and was generally unwilling to accept compensation from the Soviet government because he believed wholeheartedly in the cause for which he spied. But his descriptions of clandestine meetings in New York restaurants give a rare personal flavor to Cold War espionage. Feklisov criticizes the American government for executing Julius and Ethel while the British government only jailed Klaus Fuchs. (Feklisov briefly handled Fuchs, too, the German-born physicist who helped the Soviets produce the nuclear bomb by sharing secrets he learned at Los Alamos.) But insights into his work with Rosenberg and Fuchs are just part of Feklisov's story. He also guides readers on a journey through his own life, in which he ascends from an impoverished childhood in the USSR to a career in which, he claims, he played a leading role in ending the Cuban Missile Crisis. Feklisov even follows the post-spy career of those Americans who worked for him and communism. This work humanizes a subject that is all too often abstract or sensationalized. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Eventually it all comes out. The publication of Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev's The Haunted Wood (LJ 11/15/98) and John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr's Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (LJ 4/15/99) signaled the advent of a new age of information on Soviet spying during the Cold War. Now Feklisov, one of the Soviet Union's top KGB agents, tells his own story. Feklisov was Julius Rosenberg's main case manager during the late 1940s, and he proudly explains how Rosenberg delivered valuable secret material to the Soviets beginning in 1944. Despite what their defenders may still believe, Feklisov's account puts another nail in Rosenberg's spy coffin. Feklisov also served as the back channel to Nikita Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 and was the one who communicated with ABC news reporter John Scali. Feklisov names names and knows the Cold War Soviet spy system intimately. This is fascinating stuff from someone who was present at the creation of Stalin's espionage network in the United States and chilling reading for anyone who still cannot believe the extent of Soviet spying in the United States during the Cold War. Recommended for most collections. Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-It is always fascinating to get a new, first-person account of a well-known slice of history. Feklisov provides that and much more in this gripping story of his long and distinguished career as a Russian spy. He was the case officer handling the Julius Rosenberg spy ring operating in New York from 1943 to 1946, and the case officer for Klaus Fuchs in London after the war. Nuclear scientist Fuchs was the most important source of secrets concerning atomic and hydrogen bombs, and as such a major player in the delicate global balancing act known as the Cold War. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Feklisov was instrumental as a go-between for Kennedy and Khrushchev. The details of his role, and his perspective on how close the world was to unimaginable disaster, are, in a word, chilling. Teens will be familiar with some of this history, but it is unlikely that they will have heard much, if anything, from the viewpoint of a Russian. Feklisov considers the Rosenbergs and Fuchs heroes of the highest order. His reasons for this provide a history lesson that none of us, of any generation, dares to ignore. The original French title, Confession d'un agent sovietique, is more indicative of the content, and here and there the rewrite or translation is a bit clunky, but otherwise Feklisov's memoir is a compelling read.-Robert Saunderson, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Former KGB operative Feklisov's memoirs detail his activities supervising American engineer Julius Rosenburg and English physicist Klaus Fuchs. Feklisov also describes his role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, serving as a mediator between Kennedy and Krushchev. The book provides an insider's view into Soviet espionage techniques, including the recruitment of operatives, the selection of case officers, and the identification and retrieval of nuclear secrets. Forty-five photographs are featured. Co-author Kostin is a Moscow-based filmmaker, specializing in documentaries about the Cold War and the KGB. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929631247
  • Publisher: Enigma Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 510,640
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexander Feklisov, now retired, was a highly successful KGB officer in charge of foreign espionage, specializing in English-speaking countries. He lives in Russia.

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations ix
Introduction xi
The Crossroads of History xxvi
Part 1 From Worker's Alley to 61st Street 1
Part 2 Foul Play or Gentleman's Profession? 42
Part 3 Fighting Comrade and Fellow Soldiers 89
Part 4 A New War 139
Part 5 The Puritan of Espionage 167
Part 6 The Wrecking of a Network 233
Part 7 The Clash of the Titans 295
Notes 413
Index 421
Acknowledgements 428
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