Richard B. Spence


Spence, Richard B. Boris Savinkov: Renegade on the Left. Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, distributed by Columbia University Press, 1991.

Barros, I&NS 8.2, sees this work as a "notable scholarly departure from the largely unbalanced and shallow literature on Savinkov ... in the past." There is "one weak section: the discussion of Savinkov's involvement with Reilly, the Trust, and the Sindikat operations.... Several important sources are neglected."

[Russia; UK/Interwar/Trust]

Spence, Richard B. "Englishmen in New York: The SIS American Station, 1915-21." Intelligence and National Security 19, no. 3 (Autumn 2004): 511-537.

Spence provides "a survey of the organization, personnel and, so far as can be determined from available records, the operations of the SIS New York station during the First World War and the years immediately following. In large part it is the story of Sir William Wiseman and the men who served with and under him."


Spence, Richard B. "Interrupted Journey: British Intelligence and the Arrest of Leon Trotskii, April 1917." Revolutionary Russia 13, no. 1 (Jun. 2000): 1-28.


Spence, Richard B. "K.A. Jahnke and the German Sabotage Campaign in the United States and Mexico, 1914-1918." Historian 59, no. 1 (1996): 89-112. [Calder]


Spence, Richard B. "Russia's Operatsiia Trest: A Reappraisal." Global Intelligence Monthly 1, no. 4 (Apr. 1999): 19-24.

The author refers to this article as "an overview of the Trust operation and a reassessment of it based on recently available Soviet documents." Spence, IJI&C 15.2/241/fn.63.


Spence, Richard B. "Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley and British Intelligence in America, 1914-1918." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 13, no. 3 (Fall 2000): 359-371.

Despite Crowley's virulent anti-British/anti-Allied writings in U.S. publications during World War I, materials from the archives of the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Division convince the author that Crowley was working for British intelligence.


Spence, Richard B. "Senator William E. Borah: Target of Soviet and Anti-Soviet Intrigue, 1922-1929." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 134-155.

"So, was William Borah a paid tool of the Soviet regime? Given the character of the evidence and the many other factors involved, the appropriate answer would seem to be 'probably not.' Still, a scintilla of doubt must remain."


Spence, Richard B. "Sidney Reilly in America, 1914-1917." Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 1 (Jan. 1995): 92-121.

Spence, Richard B. "Sidney Reilly's Lubianka 'Diary' 30 October to 4 November 1925." Revolutionary Russia 8, no. 2 (1995): 179-194. [Calder]


Spence, Richard B. "The Strange Case of Sergius Riis." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 15, no. 2 (Summer 2002): 222-242.

This is an interesting if often speculative article about a man who, as the author concludes, "managed to keep himself employed -- and alive -- through some three decades of clandestine work, no mean achievement."


Spence, Richard B. "The Terrorist and the Master Spy: The Political Partnership of Boris Savinkov and Sidney Reilly, 1918-1925." Revolutionary Russia 4, no. 1 (Jun. 1991): 111-131.


Spence, Richard B. "The Tragic Fate of Kalamatiano: America's Man in Moscow." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 12, no. 3 (Fall 1999): 346-374.


Spence, Richard B. Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly. Los Angeles, CA: Feral House, 2003.

For Troy, IJI&C 17.3, this is a "comprehensive and perhaps overly detailed biography." Although "rich in many ways," it "is not easy to get through" and "contains many factual errors." Mandelbaum, AFIO WIN 14-03 (9 Apr. 2003), refers to the author's "exhaustive research" which provides "a density of detail that one seldom encounters in an espionage biography." However, readers "seeking more drama and less detail may find" this work "a rather slow-going read."

Peake, Studies 47.3, finds "several instances where Prof. Spence adds details to the Reilly history not mentioned by others....  But overall, the 500 pages of this book do more to show how little is reliably known about Reilly than how much.... [D]espite an impressive display of names, dates, and events involving Reilly, the outcome is such a bewildering mix of lies and half truths that even Prof. Spence is forced to conclude with an admission that Reilly’s 'entrance and exit from this world are equally shrouded in mystery.'  The same can be said of the time in between."


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