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E and extensive intelligence ever received from any source' This extraordinary bestselling book is the result'Co authored in a brilliant partnership by Christopher Andrew and the renegade Soviet archivist himself This is a truly global exposé of major KGB penetrations throughout the Western world' T. uite recently a colleague told me that he resented a newspaper columnist who had referred to a relative of his as a communist spy My colleague believed his relative had been an innocent victim of McCarthyist red baiting I knew that his relative was no innocent but a high level KGB operative It said so in the Mitrokhin Archive vol I The Sword and the ShieldOne of the tragedies of the Cold War is that many western communist spies traitors to their own countries and dupes to one of the worst systems humanity has ever known managed to rebrand themselves as victims of persecution The paradigm for this view is Miller s The Crucible where for witches one should read spies Except that there were no real witches but there sure were real spies The Rosenbergs were spies and they did help Stalin put together his nuclear weapons Alger Hiss was a spy And so on and on And as we have known or suspected for a long time many NGOs such as the World Council of Churches and many political parties and publications were also preferred haunts for KGB agents and contacts in its neverending propaganda warVolume I of the Mitrokhin files is bulky and longwinded The writing is what used to be described as workmanlike in that it goes to some lengths to avoid rethoric and even elegance It just piles on fact upon fact The facts are fascinating As noted above many of us knew that the governing and the chattering classes of the West were filled with spies and fellow travelers but the sheer magnitude of that presence is impressive We also knew that the Soviet leadership often did not manage to make the best possible use of the extraordinary intelligence these spies provided remember Sorge s warning about operation Barbarossa and how Stalin dismissed him as a stooge to the British The book goes in mind numbing detail on just how often political or personal prejudice stood in the way of taking advantage of the informationAs a Latin American I am a much bigger fan of volume II of the files But volume I is a good place to start and to never let us forget that the Cold War was a real war that it could have been lost and what it could have been like if that had happened

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

He Times'This tale of malevolent spymasters intricate tradecraft and cold eyed betrayal reads like a cold war novel' Time'Sensational the most informed and detailed study of Soviet subversive intrigues worldwide' Spectator'The most comprehensive addition to the subject ever published' Sunday Telegrap. whiney mccarthyists given access to secret archives decent narrative of soviet espionage efforts including assassinations of monarchists and then Trotskyists this volume doesn t cover operations such as overthrowing foreign governments which is the meat of the second volume s allegations

Christopher M. Andrew Ë 5 Free read

'One of the biggest intelligence coups in recent years' The TimesFor years KGB operative Vasili Mitrokhin risked his life hiding top secret material from Russian secret service archives beneath his family dacha When he was exfiltrated to the West he took with him what the FBI called 'the most complet. plenty of interesting information but cluttered and unstructured therefore uickly becoming tiring and boring instead of captivating which potential it did have


10 thoughts on “The Sword and the Shield The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB

  1. says:

    First of all I'm filled with respect for the dedication it took for Vasili Mitrokhin to painstakingly copy thousands upon thousands of documents as a KGB archivist and secretly store them under his home The trove

  2. says:

    plenty of interesting information but cluttered and unstructured therefore uickly becoming tiring and boring instead of captivating which potential it did have

  3. says:

    A very interesting read for those interested in Russian or Cold War history or espionage This book is very thorough so be prepared for a long read The writing style is consistent so my flagging interest at the midway point in the book was a result of my general lack of interest of the post Stalin Cold War period The notes secreted away from the archives and published in the West reveal some very important historical fact

  4. says:

    Those poor hapless KGB agents throwing bombs at Trotsky’s grandson and missing getting drunk and losing their microfilm n

  5. says:

    uite recently a colleague told me that he resented a newspaper columnist who had referred to a relative of his as a communist spy My colleague believed his relative had been an innocent victim of McCarthyist red b

  6. says:

    This volume 1999 continues and substantially recapitulates Andrew's previous KGB 1991 Like the former Andrew consulted with a former KGB agent this time with one who had had long term access to the KGB archives Both books are histories beginning with the overthrow of the Czar in 1917 the former going up to Gorbachev the latter to Yeltsin Both also discuss the allied intelligence agencies of the Warsaw Pact countries Reading one right after

  7. says:

    whiney mccarthyists given access to secret archives decent narrative of soviet espionage efforts including assassinations of monarchists and then Trotskyists this volume doesn't cover operations such as overthrowing foreign governments which is the meat of the second volume's allegations

  8. says:

    This was a really really long book that took me an unusually long time to get through It took me 11 days when I almost always finish even the longest books in under a week I think it took me 4 days to get through Brandon Sanderson's most recent book OathbringerThe information in it was really interesting I learned an awful lot about the histo

  9. says:

    A subtitle that should be considered by any potential reader is The Paranoia of Stalin The information alone in the odd way it is presented rega

  10. says:

    Vasili Mitrokhin took a lot of work home with him and not just his took notes sometimes verbatim and then smuggled the notes out with him when he defected Ranging from bone chilling and frightening to ridiculous and laughable this book may not have all the KGB's secrets but it has a lot of them The KGB could be brutally efficient but at times its efforts were wildly out of proportion with any sort of rational estimation of the level of t