The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB

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Overview

As chief archivist of the KGB's foreign branch, Vasili Mitrokhin had virtually unfettered access to its most closely held secrets. But his government's relentless repression of dissidents at home and abroad and its bungled Afghan war policy disillusioned him. Determined to preserve the truth, Mitrokhin secretly compiled a detailed record of the feared agency's operations abroad.Written with historian Christopher Andrew and backed with meticulous supporting research, what emerges is a chilling chronicle of murder ...
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The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB

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Overview

As chief archivist of the KGB's foreign branch, Vasili Mitrokhin had virtually unfettered access to its most closely held secrets. But his government's relentless repression of dissidents at home and abroad and its bungled Afghan war policy disillusioned him. Determined to preserve the truth, Mitrokhin secretly compiled a detailed record of the feared agency's operations abroad.Written with historian Christopher Andrew and backed with meticulous supporting research, what emerges is a chilling chronicle of murder and treachery, slander and corruption, paranoia and purges. KGB placed agents high within British intelligence agencies and American defense contractors; yet they failed to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr., J. Edgar Hoover, Senator Scoop Jackson or President Ronald Reagan. And their massive information gathering brought them no international advantages; to the end Soviet officials remained baffled by the West. The Sword and the Shield is a compelling--and historically significant--narrative destined to cast new light on the Soviet era.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Mitrokhin, archivist for the KGB, risked death to copy material painstakingly from the highly secret archives over 30 years; he hid the scraps under his house and bided his time. With the advent of glasnost and Gorbachev, he hauled the secrets to a British Embassy in the Baltics and received asylum in the UK. This is a highly detailed account of Soviet espionage from the beginnings of the Soviet state to the end of the Cold War. Early on, Mitrokhin shows how easily future spies were recruited to further the goals of the workers' state while they pursued careers in the diplomatic corps. But Russians were too paranoid to take full advantage of this superb intelligence. After World War II, spies were harder to recruit as the truth about Soviet life became common knowledge. Robert Whitfield meets the challenge and reads these massive tomes well--trouble is, the details are too massive even for the interested listener. A library would do better to get an indexed hard copy so students can use selected parts for research.--James L. Dudley, Westhampton Beach, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786117154
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: 14 Cassettes
  • Product dimensions: 6.91 (w) x 9.66 (h) x 2.27 (d)

Meet the Author

CHRISTOPHER ANDREW is Chair of the History Department at Cambridge University, distinguished author, frequent BBC radio and TV host and guest lecturer at leading American universities.

A former KGB agent, VISILI MITROKHIN was the chief archivist for its foreign operations. He now is a British citizen and lives in the United Kingdom.

CHARLES STRANSKY has appeared on Broadway in Glengarry Glen Ross and The Front Page. He can be seen in The Spanish Prisoner, Homicide, andThings Change, all written and directed by David Mamet, and many other films. He has appeared in sitcoms such as Newhart, Murphy Brown, Frank's Place, My Sister Sam, in several episodes of Law & Order, and also in daytime dramas and commercials. He has narrated numerous audio books.

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Acronyms xi
The Evolution of the KGB, 1917-1991 xv
The Transliteration of Russian Names xvii
Foreword xix
1 The Mitrokhin Archive 1
2 From Lenin's Cheka to Stalin's OGPU 23
3 The Great Illegals 42
4 The Magnificent Five 56
5 Terror 68
6 War 89
7 The Grand Alliance 104
8 Victory 122
9 From War to Cold War 137
10 The Main Adversary
Part 1 North American Illegals in the 1950's 162
11 The Main Adversary
Part 2 Walk-ins and Legal Residencies in the Early Cold War 176
12 The Main Adversary
Part 3 Illegals after "Abel" 190
13 The Main Adversary
Part 4 Walk-ins and Legal Residencies in the Later Cold War 203
14 Political Warfare: Active Measures and the Main Adversary 224
15 Progress Operations
Part 1 Crushing the Prague Spring 247
16 Progress Operations
Part 2 Spying on the Soviet Bloc 262
17 The KGB and Western Communist Parties 276
18 Eurocommunism 294
19 Ideological Subversion
Part 1 The War Against the Dissidents 307
20 Ideological Subversion
Part 2 The Victory of the Dissidents 322
21 Sigint in the Cold War 337
22 Special Tasks
Part 1 From Marshal Tito to Rudolf Nureyev 356
23 Special Tasks
Part 2 The Andropov Era and Beyond 374
24 Cold War Operations Against Britain
Part 1 After the "Magnificent Five" 397
25 Cold War Operations Against Britain
Part 2 After Operation FOOT 417
26 The Federal Republic of Germany 437
27 France and Italy during the Cold War: Agent Penetration and Active Measures 460
28 The Penetration and Persecution of the Soviet Churches 486
29 The Polish Pope and the Rise of Solidarity 508
30 The Polish Crisis and the Crumbling of the Soviet Bloc 517
31 Conclusion: From the One-Party State to the Yeltsin Presidency 544
Appendices
A KGB Chairmen, 1917-26 566
B Heads of Foreign Intelligence, 1920-99 567
C The Organization of the KGB 568
D The Organization of the KGB First Chief Directorate 569
E The Organization of a KGB Residency 570
Notes 571
Bibliography 669
Index 683
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2001

    Dangers of Secret Police Directly Taken from KGB Archives

    Anyone who is seriously interested in how to conduct government is the most responsible way should read this book. In addition, those who love spy stories, histories, and novels will be rewarded with many new details and perspectives on Soviet and Russian foreign intelligence activities since the Russian Revolution at the beginning of the 20th century. This book surprised me in several ways. First, I did not expect to learn that the KGB did not have a lot of important successes that were not already known publicly. Second, the KGB's effectiveness was more related to Western mistakes than to KGB brilliance. Third, the Soviet perceptions of the United States and Britain seem to have come from Fantasyland. The Soviet state made very poor use of terrific foreign intelligence because its leaders were such poor thinkers and the system did not encourage free discussion. Fourth, helping the dissidents inside the Soviet Union could have helped undo Communism much sooner. What makes this book unique is the combination of having had access to almost all of the foreign intelligence archives of the KGB for 12 years and having those archives interpreted by someone in the KGB who was interested in the need to reform Soviet socialism. By having Christpher Andrew join Vasili Mitrokhin in authoring this book, you do get a Western overlay but the fundamental Russian perspective is still there. I found the 'big picture' aspects of the book far more rewarding than the specific examples. The rise of fascism clearly was Moscow's greatest resource in getting information from the West. The most effective spies (like Kim Philby and the other Magnficent Five in Britain) were as much motivated by anti-fascism as they were by helping the U.S.S.R. Although some are always willing to sell out for money or sex, idealism is the most dangerous motivation for traitors. Interestingly, leaks from the United States about the atomic and hydrogen bombs related again to idealism -- concern about avoiding a world in which those bombs might be used. How might future offensive and defensive technology breakthroughs create similar actions? It's a chilling thought. At the same time, the failure of the Soviet system eventually limited its ability to gain new traitors. The human rights abuses of the Soviets made Communism seem as dangerous to many idealists as fascism had earlier. Stalin doomed the Soviet system as much as its structural flaws did. On the other hand, Lenin was just as committed to controlling through secret police and intelligence gathering as Stalin was. Clearly, the Communist hand at the tiller in Moscow would have slipped much sooner if severe repression and fear had not been used. I also wondered how many of the problems that Western democracies had with the KGB could have been eliminated by having focused on proper security earlier. The shocking lapses of the British foreign service prior to World War II and in the Roosevelt administration clearly allowed a disproportionate share of the Soviet gains through foreign intelligence. It would also be very interesting to read about how Western democracies could have countered these foreign intelligence operation

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 2, 2013

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