Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America

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9780300123906: Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America

This stunning book, based on KGB archives that have never come to light before, provides the most complete account of Soviet espionage in America ever written. In 1993, former KGB officer Alexander Vassiliev was permitted unique access to Stalin-era records of Soviet intelligence operations against the United States. Years later, living in Britain, Vassiliev retrieved his extensive notebooks of transcribed documents from Moscow. With these notebooks John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr have meticulously constructed a new, sometimes shocking, historical account.

Along with general insights into espionage tactics and the motives of Americans who spied for Stalin, Spies resolves specific, long-seething controversies. The book confirms, among many other things, that Alger Hiss cooperated with Soviet intelligence over a long period of years, that journalist I. F. Stone worked on behalf of the KGB in the 1930s, and that Robert Oppenheimer was never recruited by Soviet intelligence. Spies also uncovers numerous American spies who were never even under suspicion and satisfyingly identifies the last unaccounted for American nuclear spies. Vassiliev tells the story of the notebooks and his own extraordinary life in a gripping introduction to the volume.

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About the Author:

John Earl Haynes is a modern political historian in the Manuscript Division, the Library of Congress. He lives in Kensington, MD. Harvey Klehr is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Politics and History, Emory University. He lives in Atlanta, GA. Haynes and Klehr are coauthors of Venona. Alexander Vassiliev, journalist, novelist, and coauthor with Allen Weinstein of The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America, now lives in the UK.


"So outstandingly authoritative and convincing is this material that it will take an honored place alongside the basic sources on Soviet espionage in the United States. Here, the heart of the KGB is laid out as never before."—Tennent Bagley, author of Spy Wars

(Tennent Bagley)

“This work should serve as the final salvo in the long battle between those who are still in denial regarding KGB espionage in America in the 1930s and 40s and those who assert that this story must be told.”—David Murphy, author of What Stalin Knew (David Murphy)

“An original and important book based on scholarship of the highest standards.”—Hayden B. Peake, former Army and CIA intelligence officer (Hayden B. Peake)

"Using now available Soviet sources, this valuable book tells the sobering and frightening story of the extent to which ideology will blind clever people and lead them to betray their country, democracy and freedom."—Paul Johnson, author of A History of the American People
(Paul Johnson)

“This is an important book for students of history and espionage.”—Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia Inquirer 2009-06-14)

"[The book] succeeds as an indictment of an entire era in which some of the nation's best and brightest sold their souls to a foreign master—and as a stinging, definitive rebuttal to those who have defended Alger Hiss all of these years."—Justin Raimondo, The American Conservative (Justin Raimondo American Conservative 2009-08-01)

"[Spies] shows how the Soviets went about the business of spying, its failures and successes, and, most interestingly, the names of the Americans from whom the KGB received information."—Alex Kingsbury, US News & World Report

(Alex Kingsbury US News & World Report)

“John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev present persuasive evidence.”--Commonweal (Commonweal)

Finalist for the 2009 Book of the Year Award, presented by ForeWord magazine (Book of the Year Award ForeWord Magazine 2010-01-01)

 “This magisterial book transcends the old debates and paradigms, and provides the most complete and thorough account of what Soviet espionage agents actually did in the United States.”--Ronald Radosh, The Weekly Standard
(Ronald Radosh The Weekly Standard)

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