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The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for The Third World, Vol. 2

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for The Third World, Vol. 2.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Christopher Andrew(Author)

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In 1992 the British Secret Intelligence Service exfiltrated from Russia a defector whose presence in the West remained a secret until the publication of The Sword and the Shield in 1999. That man was Vasili Mitrokhin, the KGB's most senior archivist. Unknown to his superiors, Mitrokhin had spent over a decade making notes and transcripts of highly classified files which, at enormous personal risk, he smuggled out of the KGB archives. The FBI described the archive as "the greatest single cache of intelligence every received by the West." In The Sword and the Shield , Christopher Andrew revealed the secrets of the KGB's operations in the United States and Europe; now in The World Was Going Our Way , he has written the first comprehensive account of the KGB and its operations throughout the Third World. Our understanding of the contemporary world remains incomplete without taking into account the vast impact of the KGB in developing nations: Andrew reveals the names of political leaders on the KGB payroll as well as the KGB's successful penetration of numerous foreign governments. He also points to the many absurdities of KGB operations-such as agents attempting to assess the spread of influence of rival Chinese communism by visiting African capitals and counting the number of posters of Mao Tse Tung. For decades the KGB believed that the world was going their way-and Americans at the highest reaches of government lived in fear that they were losing the Cold War in the Third World. This extraordinary book will transform our understanding of the history of the twentieth century.

This second volume of the post-war history of the KGB-based on the "Mitrokhin Archive" of secret documents purloined by the late co-author, a KGB dissident-surveys the Soviet spy agency's skullduggery in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Historian Andrew portrays Russian policy toward the Third World as largely the creation of the KGB, which hoped that the spread of Soviet influence and revolutionary upheavals would make these regions the decisive Cold War battleground. The Cuban Revolution inspired these ambitions, and by 1980, after the American defeat in Vietnam and with leftist regimes installed in Nicaragua and Grenada, Cuban troops fighting in Africa and Russian forces occupying Afghanistan, both American and Soviet officials saw communism on the march. Still, in Andrew's account, Soviet initiatives-with a few exceptions, like the Afghanistan intervention-seem cautious, reactive and uncomfortably dependent on fickle client regimes; wary of confronting the United States, Russia often exerted a restraining influence on local allies. Andrew's engaging, occasionally gossipy narrative provides new evidence of Soviet sponsorship of Latin American insurgencies and Palestinian terrorists, along with details of KGB spycraft and dirty tricks. The world-wide communist conspiracy he depicts was far from a juggernaut, but he sheds new light on the hidden history of the Cold War. Photos.Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Cambridge University. In addition to The Sword and the Shield , his previous books include Her Majesty's Secret Service , KGB , and For the President's Eyes Only . He lives in Cambridge, England.

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Book details

  • PDF | 736 pages
  • Christopher Andrew(Author)
  • Basic Books; 1st edition (September 20, 2005)
  • English
  • 6
  • Biographies & Memoirs

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Review Text

  • By A Sociologist on June 17, 2015

    For anybody that is interested in accurate history, this book is a misleading work. These are "handwritten notes" are assumed to be from the KGB archives, although that is questionable because the authors don't provide real evidence that in fact the notes come from official documents from the KGB. While the book does have true facts based on the historical record already available before this book, which Christopher Andrew (the official historian of the MI5) quotes extensively, a lot of the new information is contradicted or not supported by existent well documented historical records or evidence. At the same time, some of the new claims are impossible to verify because the notes are the only source that exists. No serious historian should assume that information contained in "handwritten notes" alleged to be from the KGB archives are in fact based on the original documents. But that is exactly what Christopher Andrew does when he carelessly includes sensational claims without even bothering to check their accuracy. What is even more damaging to the author's integrity is the fact that he neglects to provide evidence to support the new unprecedented claims. What bothers me the most about this book is the fact that it combines real historical facts with false or distorted claims, and unverified information. If the reader is not familiar with the history covered in this book he or she could easily end up believing claims that are in fact false or distorted.I am quite familiar with Latin American history and US foreign policy towards the region, so when while I was reading the material that covers KGB actions in Latin America, I was quite appalled to find several incorrect claims made in the book. Besides some sensational and other unverified claims such as bribery and other unfounded allegations, the book accuses some Latin American left-wing or revolutionary leaders of being agents, assets, or close collaborators of the KGB. After Khrushchev, there were policy changes in the Soviet Union towards the Third World. The KGB was not allowed to recruit Latin American communists or other left wing members as KGB agents because they feared that it could damage the doctrine of the party and other sister parties. In this book, Christopher Andrew quotes a document of a Lecture by Leonov, a former Sub-Director of the Latin American Department of the KGB, to provide historical context or corroborance for some of the claims made by Mitrokhin. But surprisingly, he completely neglects the fact that in the document, Leonov says that there were not Latin American KGB agents or assets that were from the communist or other left wing parties. Latin America was seen in friendly terms by the Soviet Union after the Cuban Revolution, so the region was not the target of Soviet Intelligence. The target of the Soviet Union was the USA, which at the time was seen as the enemy. The Soviet Union saw Latin America as an ideal region to meet with their contacts from the United States, because counterintelligence inside the United States was very strict and rigorous. Latin America became a convenient region for KGB agents to meet with their CIA informants from the US, and to recruit new agents like journalists, businessmen, and politicians from the US. Certainly, there were strong relationships and cooperation between the Soviet Union and several Latin American countries, but Leonov emphasizes that these relationships did not involve intelligence. I wonder why does Andrew use this document to put in historical context and to support some of the allegations made in the notes, yet he completely omits key information that contradicts other allegations?Also, Russia has released original documents of the Soviet Union financial contributions to other communist or sister parties in the world and the bribes described in Mitrokhin's notes are nowhere to be found, yet Andrew persist on blindly believing the material written on Mitrokhin's notes. The CEP, a conservative pro-Pinochet Chilean think tank conducted a study during the time that the old dictator was in London suddenly loosing his mental sanity and hoping no to be extradited to Spain. While many Latin Americans were shocked watching in television how Margaret Thatcher thanked one of the most brutal dictators in Latin American history for bringing "democracy" to Chile, the study did not bring the result the think tank was hoping to get. The investigators of the study had access to various archives from the Soviet Union and the KGB, but they were unable to find the dirt that the think tank was looking for to justify the blood they had in their hands by working for or supporting the illegal government of the dictator. The report actually confirmed a secret, but now unclassified CIA assessment that the Government of Salvador Allende was independent from the the Soviet Union. When it comes to Chile, another surprising fact is that Christopher Andrew completely downplays the well documented role of the CIA in Chile. Strangely he is not only very careful about what information not to add in his book from the sources he uses, but one of his main sources to cover the CIA operations in Chile relies largely in a compromised and discredited source. He relies largely in a book published in 1985 by the US ambassador to Chile previous to the coup, a book that had information later contradicted by the release of official documents of the CIA more than 10 years later. On top of that, the new declassified documents implicated the ex-ambassador himself in participating in the Nixon's "coup climate". It would have been more logical to use information from the National Security Archive and books by authors of this institution, that probably holds the largest record of unclassified documents of the role of the CIA in Latin America, or he could have used declassified records found in the history website of the United States Government. His poor and biased sources, his tendency to ignore information that contradicts Mitrokhin's notes, and his neglect to include material from the Latin American perspective make his information biased, inaccurate and ethnocentric.As a result, this book did not have the same impact in Latin America that it did in the Anglo-Saxon world. Except, for a small and short-lived coverage in the mainstream media and some sketchy websites, and except for the high enthusiasm in a few blogs, specially those of some ageing fascists that get a bigger erection reading the book than with Viagra while they lift their glasses to cheer shamelessly with blood rather than with wine the death and misery they inflicted upon their own people in the past, because now they finally have a justification for their criminal actions thanks to the SIS and Christopher Andrew that brought them "unprecedented" information, so "unprecedented" that it can't be found or confirmed anywhere else. Obviously, this book was not directed towards the Latin American audience because the people cannot be lied about events that they were able to witness or experience themselves. The right-wing elites that are still in power in many of these countries and that are responsible or complicit for so much misery, tortures, disappearances and deaths would have loved to use this book to clean their names and justify their criminal actions. However, the book is so out of touch with reality and the intrigues, scandals, and description of characters is so fantastical that make the book laughable for the countries south of the United States. That is why, unlike the documents retrieved by the National Security Archive through the FOIA, the Mitrokhin "archives" have not been present in the courts of the Latin American countries that have and are investigating human rights violations by the dictatorships supported by the United States Government during the Cold War era. While the courts of countries like Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil have requested the testimony of authors of books that work for the National Security Archive, the testimony of Christopher Andrew has not seen a court, and no parliamentary or governmental investigation has been opened after the publication of the Mitrokhin archives.I tried to keep reading the book, but due to the fact that I kept finding dubious information and because I found the book tedious I was unable to finish reading it.In 1985 Christopher Andrew himself said: "There is no field of modern history in which the historian needs to thread more carefully than in deciding the authenticity of secret documents. An impressive list of distinguished historians...have made notable errors of judgment in these matters." This statement makes me wonder why didn't he bother to verify the accuracy of what he calls "unprecedented" information with the historical record. If he had done so, he would have learnt that the information brought by the archivist is indeed questionable. You should know that after writing the first Mitrokhin book based on the handwritten notes of Mitrokhin, the alleged archivist of the KGB, he landed a deal with MI5 to become their official historian. So, he was already enrolled in the security service before publishing this book. Several scholars and serious academic historians have voiced their concerns about this book and about other works by this author.In addition, after the first book was written a parliamentary inquiry was opened in the UK because the book was published without the authorization of the proper authorities. During the inquiry, Mitrokhin was interviewed and he said that he was not happy with the book and that he wished "he had had full control over the handling of his material". By the time this second book was published Mitrokhin had died, so I wonder how much contribution did Mitrokhin and his material had in this book considering that he was not happy with the first one?It is hard to explain why a sector in the audience of the United States and in the UK are so fascinated by stories of spies and the KGB. KGB propaganda and disinformation campaigns are fascinating topics for a sector of these audiences, yet when a book written by the official historian of the MI5 under the supervision of the SIS and with information "obtained" by this agency in handwritten notes that are assumed to be from the official documents of the KGB, they react as if the truth has finally seen the light. Apparently, unlike the CIA and the KGB, the honorable British "intelligence" services don't engage in propaganda or disinformation campaigns. While the fascination with a ethnocentric book that treats developing countries and its people as if they were only puppets and not actors in the main stage manipulated by the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War is curious, what surprises is to see some western intellectuals swallow the book as if it was a bible of intelligence services. Maybe the west was so full of itself at the time, that they overlooked the fact that the Cold War was never cold in the third world, where the wars were quite hot and revolutions were plaguing the regions.By the way, the author seems to be a favorite of the CIA since in the official website of this organization, Christopher Andrew's book "For the President's Eyes Only-Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush" is the first in the list of recommendations about the history of the CIA recommended by the agency itself. This book and the first one also make the top of the list of recommendations of literature about espionage in the official website of the CIA. It is worth mentioning that other books recommended by the CIA are written by ex-directors or other people close to the agency. Should we believe that books recommended by the CIA are reliable? After all, isn't this agency known to spread disinformation and propaganda?

  • By Jeffrey J. Ward on March 14, 2014

    My first recommendation to readers is to watch the superb Youtube video presentation at the International Spy Museum by Christopher Andrew in 2005 when this book was published. This is the best introduction. This is part of the Mitrokhin series and Vasili Mitrokhin should be credited as a co-author as is done on the title page. The book is dedicated to the late Mitrokhin and his late wife. Mitrohkin was the archivist of the KGB secret files and risked his life and probably that of his wife in smuggling his extensive notes out of Moscow to the newly free Baltic states. The first book in the series "The Sword and the Shield" published in 1999 should be read first and covers the entire history of Soviet intelligence. This book focuses on Soviet activities in the third world and will be of special interest to present and former residents of third world countries and scholars of modern third world history. I am passing this book on to a colleague born in Pakistan who will have a hard time putting down the parts describing KGB activities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. In this series, Cambridge historian Christopher Andrew points out that many previous works that claim to be based upon the release of previously secret KGB were actually accounts that were hand fed to authors by the current Russian Intelligence Service and are sanitized versions of KGB history. This is the real unsanitized history and is probably the most complete picture of any intelligence agency the world will ever see. It is must reading for anyone wanting to understand the cold war, the era of decolonization and the failure of the Soviet Union. Ronald Reagan had it exactly right--this was indeed the "Evil Empire."

  • By Mike Dillemuth on December 25, 2016

    Mr. Andrew does a great job of condensing a massive amount of information into a readable narrative. The material in Mr. Mitrokhin’s archive provides an inside look at Soviet espionage and how it shaped the 20th Century. The book is broken into four geographic sections covering Latin America, The Middle East, Asia, and Africa.How Soviet leadership viewed third world leaders is definitely an interesting part of this book. For example, although Indira Gandhi is often held in high regard, she was apparently a very corrupt politician. Fidel Castro was far more aggressive at spreading the communist revolution than his Soviet partners. Castro’s actions clearly generated tension with his Russian allies. The KGB’s view of their own leaders is also fascinating. In his later years, Leonid Brezhnev was a decrepit and senile leader who needed extreme care.The book has a wide collection of historically significant photos. Also included are copies of news articles from a Soviet disinformation campaign.At times, the narrative moves slowly. Nevertheless, the authors should be given credit for compiling so much history into a single book. The reader will get a truly comprehensive look at how the KGB influenced or otherwise tried to alter world events. Despite their best efforts, even the KGB could not compensate for the flawed Soviet system that eventually collapsed on its own.

  • By Brent on June 6, 2010

    This book was a very good history lesson of the Thirld World and showed how the Soviet Union's meddling shaped it. Despite its length and sometimes monotonous feeling, you walk away with a lot of information and a nice history lesson.

  • By Mary Ann Leake on March 22, 2016

    Everyone in the US should be aware of the behind the scenes operations of the USSR and how the truth was twisted to push the mindset of the general public against the motivations of our own CIA, who in my estimation, although not perfect, were operating in America's best interest.

  • By Avid Reader on March 12, 2013

    Excellent book if you are interested in the cold war. Particularly from the perspective of the Soviet KGB. Hearing the unfilitered facts of thier operations was very interesting for one who lived through this period. Not a book that was a real page turner but one where you would read and go "never knew that".

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