Red Spies in America: Stolen Secrets and the Dawn of the Cold War

Overview

When the United States established diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union in 1933, it did more than normalize relations with the new Bolshevik state-it opened the door to a parade of Russian spies. In the 1930s and 1940s, Soviet engineers and technicians, under the guise of international cooperation, reaped a rich harvest of intelligence from our industrial plants. Factory layouts, aircraft blueprints, fuel formulas-all were grist for the Soviet espionage mill. And that, as ...
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Overview

When the United States established diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union in 1933, it did more than normalize relations with the new Bolshevik state-it opened the door to a parade of Russian spies. In the 1930s and 1940s, Soviet engineers and technicians, under the guise of international cooperation, reaped a rich harvest of intelligence from our industrial plants. Factory layouts, aircraft blueprints, fuel formulas-all were grist for the Soviet espionage mill. And that, as Katherine Sibley shows, was just the beginning.

While most historians date the onset of the Cold War with American fears of Soviet global domination after World War II, Sibley shows that it actually began during the war itself. The uncovering of atomic espionage in 1943 in particular not only led to increased surveillance of our ostensible Russian allies but also underscored a growing distrust of the Soviet Union.

Meticulously documented through exhaustive new research in American and Soviet archives, Sibley's book provides the most detailed study of Soviet military-industrial espionage to date, revealing that the United States knew much more about Soviet operations than previously acknowledged. She tells of spies like Steve Nelson and Clarence Hiskey, who passed on information about the Manhattan Project; moles within the federal government like Nathan Silvermaster; and Soviet agents like Andrei Schevchenko, who pressed defense workers to divulge high tech secrets. At the same time, hundreds of other Red agents went completely undetected. It was only through the revelations of defectors, and the postwar cracking of Soviet codes, that we began to fully understand these breaches in our nationalsecurity.

Sibley describes how our response to this wartime espionage shaped a generation of Red-baiting-triggering loyalty programs, blacklists, and the infamous HUAC hearings-and how it has clouded U.S.-Russian relations down to the present day. She also reviews recent cases-John Walker, Jr., Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen-that demonstrate how Russian efforts to gain American secrets continues.

For Cold War-watchers and spy aficionados alike, Sibley's work spells out what we actually knew about Communist espionage and suggests how and why that knowledge should also shape our understanding of intelligence in the Age of Terrorism.

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
An invaluable reference on Soviet espionage and a notable addition to scholarship on the origins of the Cold War.
Foreword Magazine
An illuminating investigation of Soviet spying and America's response to it.
Philadelphia Inquirer
A page-turner for foreign-affairs historians or students of espionage.
Library Journal
The spate of recent books treating various aspects of Soviet spying may have convinced some that everything has been said about this intriguing subject. Don't believe it! Sibley (chair, history, St. Joseph's Univ.; Loans and Legitimacy: The Evolution of Soviet-American Relations, 1919-1933) has crafted a deeply researched and well-written study of Soviet espionage in America's industrial and manufacturing sectors, beginning long before World War II. Delving into newly opened Soviet archives and using many underutilized domestic primary sources, Sibley shows that Soviet spying was quite active, sophisticated, and pervasive even in the 1930s. Sibley's sprightly narrative will serve as a fine companion to other recent works such as Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev's The Haunted Wood, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr's Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, and Nigel West's Mortal Crimes. Recommended for public as well as academic libraries.-Ed Goedeken Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700613519
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Pages: 370
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine A. S. Sibley is chair of the history department at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia and author of The Cold War and Loans and Legitimacy: The Evolution of Soviet-American Relations, 1919-1933.
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Table of Contents

1 Espionage in the 1930s 13
2 Soviet agents and the "National Emergency" 1939-41 53
3 Penetration of wartime military-industrial targets 85
4 Soviet spies, the atomic bomb, and the emerging Soviet threat 133
5 Cold War consequences of World War II espionage 175
6 Soviet and Russian spies since World War II 221
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