Venona: The Greatest Secret of the Cold War

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9780006530718: Venona: The Greatest Secret of the Cold War

This book is based on the only complete set of decrypts held in Britain outside Whitehall and is supplemented by interviews with most of the principal players in the VENONA drama (NSA, GCHQ, FBI and MI5 officers). In 1996 the White House authorised the release of the complete VENONA collection, which proves that the FBI and CIA had accumulated compelling evidence against the Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss, Klaus Fuchs, Donald Maclean and other Soviet spies. To protect the source, VENONA was never mentioned in any trial. Study of the VENONA material reveals that there are nearly 300 unidentified Soviet agents in Britain and America, plus a smaller number of people (like the nuclear physicist Dr Theodore Hall) whose activities are described in compromising detail.

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From the Publisher:

The astonishing story of VENONA remains one of the last untold chapters in the history of the Cold War. Based on the only complete set of decrypts held in Britain outside Whitehall, and supplemented by interviews with most of the key players in the drama, VENONA reveals how the U.S. National Security Agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ, spent 37 years analyzing cipher traffic to and from Moscow. VENONA provided the FBI and CIA with compelling evidence against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Alger Hiss, and many others, but ‹to protect the source ‹VENONA could never be mentioned in any trial. Nigel West identifies, for the first time, the real names of several important Soviet British spies, disclosing that there are nearly 300 as yet unidentified agents in America and Britain. Once again, West proves himself a masterly guide to the intricate world of espionage and a supremely well-informed authority on the spies themselves.

About the Author:

Nigel West is a military historian specialising in intelligence and security issues, author of some 20 titles including A Matter of Trust: MI5 1945--72, MI6: British Secret Intelligence Service Operations 1909--45, GCHQ: The Secret Wireless War, Molehunt, Secret War: The Story of SOE, The Secret War for The Falklands and The Crown Jewels: The British Secrets at the Heart of the KGB's Archives (HarperCollins, 1998).

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