During the decade that culminated in the rise to power of Mikhail Gorbachev, an avalanche of top secret documents poured out from KGB headquarters in Moscow to its residencies throughout the world. Oleg Gordievsky was a KGB colonel and Resident-designate in London in 1985 when he defected; it was later revealed that he had been working as a double agent for British intelligence since 1974, regularly risking his life by passing copies of KGB documents to the British.
This volume is a revealing selection of this highly classified material, with an informative commentary by Christopher Andrew, based on joint analysis of the documents with Gordievsky. The book gives us a fascinating inside look at the workings and the thinking of the KGB, whose chairman was General V. A. Kryuchkov, later one of the leaders of the abortive coup against Gorbachev in August 1991. The documents range from somewhat comic instructions to sabotage the U.S. bicentennial to detailed methods for recruiting agents to orders concerning the KGB's largest peacetime intelligence operations, an attempt to secure information on President Reagan's (non-existent) preparations for a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union.
The book was first published in England in 1992 under the title Instructions from the Centre.
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Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Cambridge University, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, former Visiting Professor of National Security at Harvard University, and guest lecturer at numerous American universities and the CIA. His writings, translated into many languages, have established him as one of the world's leading authorities in intelligence history. Professor Andrew is also a frequent host of BBC TV and radio programs on history and world affairs.Review:
'It is reassuring to find out how much of the old spy fiction was rooted in fact. Thanks to John le Carre, 'Moscow Rules' - complete with dead letter boxes and chalk marks on benches--are part of our vocabulary. It is, therefore, eminently satisfying to have Gordievsky, Moscow Centre's most famous defector, detail how the KGB actually used them.' The Sunday Times
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