ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS CONCERNING SOVIET STATE SECURITY
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ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS CONCERNING SOVIET STATE SECURITY by Charles Trew Burke, Virginia The following is a short collection of books concerning, either directly or indirectly, the Soviet Committee for State Security (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, or KGB). All of the books were written during the 1980's and are arranged alphabetically by author or editor. The list is not intended to be comprehensive. The list contains a wide range of authors. Among the group are scholars, government officials (active and retired), Soviet bloc defectors, and other people in positions that afford them the ability to provide information on the Soviet state security apparatus. Some of the works deal only with the KGB. Others deal primarily with other topics yet, still provide insightful commentary on a specific topic concerning the KGB. INTRODUCTION During the late spring of 1989, at the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies, former weight lifter Yuri Vlasov made one of the harshest attacks on the Soviet Committee for State Security (KGB) in recent memory. Vlasov, whose father disappeared in 1953, stated live on Soviet television: "This service sowed grief, cries, torture on its native land...The democratic renewal in the country has not changed the position of the KGB in the political system." Vlasov also made a number of other emotional and dramatic charges during his speech. At the conclusion of his remarks, the hall gave him an extended ovation. The incident is, indeed, evidence of how far political changes have come to the Soviet Union. A very short time ago, Vlasov's comments would have placed him in very serious trouble. Yet, Vlasov is quite correct that the KGB has retained its power and privileged postion in the USSR. The organization that is now the KGB has undergone a number of reorganizations and name changes since the inception of the Cheka on December 7 (or 20), 1917. Although the organization was supposed to be temporary, the Cheka and its successors (the GPU, OGPU, GUGB, NKVD, NKGB, MGB, and now the KGB) have remained a key element in the administration of internal and external policies of the USSR. Interestingly, members of the KGB still call themselves Chekists in recognition of a hallowed tradition. Despite the widespread public recognition of the organization's existence, few, even in the Soviet field, comprehend the full role of the KGB in Soviet society. Most frequently the KGB is compared to the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). However, the scope of activities carried out by the KGB include the functions that are carried out in the United States by at least a dozen Federal agencies. ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS CONCERNING SOVIET STATE SECURITY by Charles Trew Burke, Virginia Barron, John. KGB Today. New York: Reader's Digest, 1983. 489 pp. Contains photographs and index. Barron, an editor at Reader's Digest, has written a number of articles and books on the KGB. He has benefitted enormously from CIA cooperation on his books. His access to government officials and documents, and a number of Soviet defectors, has allowed him to put together two of the best-selling works ever on the KGB (his previous work was KGB published in 1974 by Reader's Digest). Aside from providing a wealth of information, Barron writes in a style that is to easy read. He dosen't get too technical for the non-specialist or place footnotes everywhere. For this work, Barron worked extensively with Stanislav Levchenko, a former KGB Major who defected while on operational assignment in Japan in the late 1970's (Levchenko has also been involved in two other works that will be discussed further on). Corson, William R. and Robert T. Crowley. The New KGB. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1985. Contains index and photographs. 560 pp. Both authors are retired American intelligence officers. This work is a very well researched piece which covers many different periods of Soviet state security. The objective of the work is to present the reader a "fresh way of looking at the current operations and global strategies of the new KGB." The authors argue that the KGB has taken on a more active role in Soviet government and has increased its dominance in the Communist Party of the USSR. Dzhirkvelov, Ilya. Secret Servant. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1987. 398 pp. Contains index. A fascinating account by a former member of the KGB who defected to the West in 1980. Dzhirkvelov, who participated in many "direct action" operations, is particularly interesting because he defected for personal reasons and remains unrepentant for many of his activities. He is still an admirer of Joseph Stalin, for example, and some of the extermination operations he participated in against nationalist minorities in the USSR after WWII. A very unusual autobiography. Dziak, John J. Chekisty. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1988. 234 pp. Contains index. A very well written historical account by a senior intelligence official with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The extensive documentation, frequently using Soviet materials, is invaluable. The bibliography is also quite useful. This hard-hitting work has many classic quotes and comments including the infamous comment on the Soviet secret police by Felix Dzerzhinski, its founder: "We represent in ourselves organized terror --- this must be said very clearly..." (interview with B. Rossov, "From Our Moscow Correspondent," Novaya Zhizhin,' June 9, 1918, p. 4). Highly recommended work. Knight, Amy W. The KGB. Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1988. 348 pp. Contains index. An excellent scholarly work by a senior analyst with the Congrssional Research Service of the Library of Congress. The focus of the work is the politcal role of the KGB in the government of the USSR. This work is very rich in documentation and detail and is definately more for a specialist. Other readers may find the work rough going. Researchers will find this work invaluable and very well balanced. Highly recommended work. Leggett, George. The Cheka: Lenin's Political Police. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981 (reprinted with corrections as paperback, 1986). 514 pp. With index. This piece is a masterwork of research by a British scholar. This book is one of the best works ever on the Soviet secret police, certainly on the Cheka. Totally comprehensive and "must reading" for information on the beginnings of Soviet state security. Levchenko, Stanislav. On the Wrong Side. Washington: Pergammon- Brassey's, 1988. 244 pp. Levchenko was a member of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB (Foreign Operations) working in Japan. This book is his autobiography and covers the early years of his life and career up to his defection to the United States in 1979. This work is very Russian and emotional in style. While telling the reader about his life and career, Levchenko effectively illustrates the difficuly and strains of conflicting loyalties and beliefs. Pacepa, Ion Mihai. Red Horizons. Washington: Regnery Gateway, 1987. 446 pp. With index and photographs. A controversial work by a Romanian spymaster who defected to the United States in 1978. Pacepa had held a number of exteremely sensitive positions in the Romanian Securitate. One of his duties included directing the personal security of Romanian President Nicolae Ceusescu. His defection accelerated a massive purge being conducted in the Romanian Communist Party by President Ceusescu. Pacepa was debriefed by the CIA on a full- time basis for three years following his defection. His remarks on the turbulent Romanian-Soviet relationship and Soviet control mechanisms over Warsaw Pact allies are insightful. Richelson, Jeffrey T. Sword and Shield. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing Co., 1986. 279 pp. The author, a professor from the Washington DC area, has written a number of works on intelligence matters. Compared to some of the other works available on the KGB, this work has pretty shallow research behind it. In a number of areas, up to 20 footnotes will be taken up using only two, maybe three different sources. Non-specialists may, however, find the work an easier read than some of the more thoroughly researched books. Rocca, Raymond G. and John J. Dziak. Bibliography of Soviet Intelligence and Security Services. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1985. 203 pp. With index. An indispensible tool for researching the KGB and its cousins. The work covers other bibliographies, Soviet accounts, Defector/First Hand accounts, Second Hand accounts, and government materials. This is another "must have" work. Rommerstein, Herbert and Stanislav Levchenko. The KGB Against Main Enemy. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1989. 369 pp. With index. Rommerstein was recently director of the Office to Counter Soviet Active Measures and Disinformation at the US Information Agency. This work, by two intelligence professionals, traces the history of Soviet intelligence operations against the Glavny Vrag, or Main Enemy, as the US is called in Soviet intelligence literature. The work covers both old and new ground. The authors were able to successfully dig up some new information on past events through the Freedom of Information Act. The book also includes material on events in the late 1980's. Sharansky, Natan (Anatoly). Fear No Evil. New York: Random House, 1988. 437 pp. Contains index and photographs. This is the memior from one of the most well-known of the Soviet refuseniks and dissidents. Sharansky's dislike of the KGB is matched only by the dislike of the KGB toward him. The book is a dramatic testament from an intense, determined man. The work is useful because of the unique view it gives of some of the KGB's internal roles. Sharansky also has a very articulate and effective writing style. Shevchenko, Arkady. Breaking With Moscow. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985. 378 pp. With index. Shevchenko was serving as under Secretary-General of the United Nations during the 1970's when he agreed to spy for the United States. He later defected. Because of Shevchenko's senior diplomatic position, he has information to provide in a number of areas. One area is Soviet intelligence operations. Shevchenko, and most other Soviet employees at the UN, had to preform duties for the KGB. Because of his senior position, Shevchenko had regular contact with the top Soviet security personnel in New York and Washington. Wise, David. The Spy Who Got Away. New York: Random House, 1988. 288 pp. With index and photographs. Wise is a journalist with a number of articles and books on intelligence matters to his credit. In this book Wise analyzes the Edward Lee Howard affair. Howard was an employee of the CIA being trained to run US agents in Moscow. The CIA discovered that Howard had lied about his personal life, specifically his drug use and past thefts. Howard was fired and then retaliated by passing information to the Soviets. He later made a rare US defection to the Soviet Union shortly before he was to be arrested by the FBI. Wise was actually able, with KGB permission, to interview Howard in Budapest, Hungary (around the same time British espionage journalist Phillip Knightly was allowed to interview Kim Philby in Moscow). Wise also reveals very interesting details of FBI and CIA counterintelligence operations. A good story. Wright, Peter. Spy Catcher. New York: Viking Penguin, Inc., 1987. 392 pp. With index and photographs. The highly controversial memior from a former MI5 official that the British government tried desperately (and unsuccessfully) to prevent from being published. The book is a treasure trove of accounts of American, British, and Soviet intelligence operations. The intrigues and conspiricies run wild in this one.