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The Spy Who Saved the World: How a Soviet Colonel Changed the Course of the Cold War

Deriabin, Peter S., Schecter, Jerrold L.

23 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1574880462 / ISBN 13: 9781574880465
Published by Brassey's Inc, 1995
Used Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Spy Who Saved the World: How a Soviet ...

Publisher: Brassey's Inc

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title


Winner of the National Intelligence Study Center's Award for Intelligence Literature, this book is set at the height of the Cold War. In 1961 and 1962, Oleg Penkovsky became the highest-ranking Soviet military official ever to co-operate with the West. This true story details how the CIA "runs" its agents, and how brutally the KGB hunts down its turncoats. Jerold Schecter is the co-editor of "Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes".

From Kirkus Reviews:

While Oleg V. Penkovsky may not, literally, have saved the world, this tellingly detailed saga reconfirms that the turncoat GRU colonel provided the West with priceless intelligence during the early 1960's, when the cold war very nearly turned hot. Drawing on hitherto unavailable transcripts of Penkovsky's debriefings by the CIA and the UK's MI6, Schecter (coauthor, Back in the U.S.S.R., etc.) and former KGB officer Deriabin (The KGB, 1989, etc.) deliver a fascinating rundown on a defector in place who wreaked incalculable havoc on the Soviet regime. With his own military career stalled by dint of a White Russian father who had fought the Bolsheviks, Penkovsky offered himself to the West as a ``soldier of freedom.'' Eventually accepted as a genuine apostate, he proved an astonishingly fertile source of accurate data on the USSR's nuclear capabilities, geopolitical aspirations, industrial priorities, and allied matters. Under his cover as a trade official, the GRU operative often traveled to London, Paris, and other points beyond the Socialist Bloc to talk with his Western contacts; otherwise, the high-ranking mole was obliged to pass on his espionage material (including exposed microfilm) at dead drops or embassy receptions in Moscow. Penkovsky's information proved invaluable to JFK in his confrontations with Khrushchev prior to the Berlin Wall, as well as during the Cuban missile crisis. In the meantime, however, Penkovsky took one risk too many and was arrested by the KGB and, following a show trial, executed in 1965. Having evaluated the theories advanced to explain Penkovsky's apprehension, the authors conclude that the truth won't be known until Kremlin files are opened. They leave little doubt, though, that their philandering, money-minded subject would probably have remained a loyal apparatchik had not his patrimony precluded his promotion to general. A fascinating portrait of a double agent whose active disaffection with the communist system helped consign it to history's dustbin. (Eight pages of photos--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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