General Overviews


Fedor, Julie. Russia and the Cult of State Security: The Chekist Tradition, from Lenin to Putin. London: Routledge, 2011.

Peake, Studies 57.2 (Jun. 2013), calls this work "a unique and absorbing look into the history of Russia's intelligence profession, with some disturbing conclusions about its future. A very valuable contribution."

Haslam, Jonathan. Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011.

Burleigh, Telegraph (London), 20 Feb. 2011, sees this as "the first comprehensive account of Soviet policy between the October Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall." The author uses "an astonishing array of original materials that take readers into the heart of decision-making in Moscow and its satellites.... Although Haslam is against the general scholarly trend in his repeated focus on Germany and central Europe, he gives fascinating vignettes of the proxy conflicts which the superpowers and their surrogates waged in various Third World contexts."

For Legvold, FA 90.2 (Mar.-Apr. 2011), this work traces the history of Soviet foreign policy in a "seamless, comprehensive fashion.... [T]he previously untapped testimony of aides and subordinates to key Soviet officials offers the most interesting and surprising insights into Soviet decision-making." Pringle, IJI&C 24.4 (Winter 2011-2012), finds this to be a "carefully and clearly written history." The author addresses "issues not understood well in the West." However, Haslam has "a tendency to rely on his private undocumented sources for intelligence information." Peake, Studies 55.3 (Sep. 2011), notes that intelligence "is not a major theme," but is "part of the narrative" throughout.

Miller, John. All Them Cornfields and Ballet in the Evening. Kingston upon Thames, UK: Hodgson Press, 2010.

Peake, Studies 55.2 (Jun. 2011), notes that the author is a British journalist who "spent 40 years as a newspaper correspondent in the Soviet Union and Russia.... Miller's story is worthy of attention in an intelligence journal because of his encounters with several subjects of intelligence interest -- Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, and Kim Philby." This work "broadens one's understanding of Soviet society, adds colorful details to some well-known Cold War espionage cases, and is an unqualified pleasure to read."

Mochulsky, Fyodor Vasilevich. Gulag Boss: A Soviet Memoir. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

According to Peake, Studies 55.3 (Sep. 2011), despite postwar assignments to the UN and Beijing, among others, the author focuses on "supervising railroad-building prisoners crews in the Arctic permafrost." This "is the only book that describes life in the [Gulag] camps from an NKVD supervisor's point of view."

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