Brand: Potomac Books Inc.
Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History
From Library Journal Former Time editor Jerrold Schechter and historian Leona Schechter mine the Soviet archives and U.S. documents declassified in the 1990s, most notably the famed Venona intercepts meant to decrypt Soviet messages, in an effort to shed light on some Cold War mysteries and assess the impact of Soviet espionage on U.S. foreign policy. The usual suspects the Rosenbergs, Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss, and Whittaker Chambers all put in appearances. The book is a touch oversold, however. While it adds some details to the historical literature, little new ground is actually broken. The Schechters do a good job, for instance, in clearing up the riddle of who started the Korean War. (Kim Il Sung did; Stalin agreed, fearing that a resurgent Japan would resume its bid for dominance on the Korean peninsula and thus menace the Communist bloc.) Such insights make the book worthwhile. Yet overall, it is less a path-breaking work than an incremental addition to the Cold War literature pioneered by Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes's Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. Recommended for all academic collections. James R. Holmes, Ph.D. candidate, Fletcher Sch. of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts Univ., Medford, MA Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more About the Author Leona Schecter is a historian and a literary agent. With Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov, the Schecters wrote Special Tasks, the milestone book of KGB revelations. The Schecters are married and live in Washington, D.C. Read more nsi-SacredSecrets