Examines how Oleg Penkovsky provided U.S. intelligence with data on Soviet nuclear capabilities
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While Oleg V. Penkovsky may not, literally, have saved the world, this tellingly detailed saga reconfirms that the turncoat GRU colonel provided the West with priceless intelligence during the early 1960's, when the cold war very nearly turned hot. Drawing on hitherto unavailable transcripts of Penkovsky's debriefings by the CIA and the UK's MI6, Schecter (coauthor, Back in the U.S.S.R., etc.) and former KGB officer Deriabin (The KGB, 1989, etc.) deliver a fascinating rundown on a defector in place who wreaked incalculable havoc on the Soviet regime. With his own military career stalled by dint of a White Russian father who had fought the Bolsheviks, Penkovsky offered himself to the West as a ``soldier of freedom.'' Eventually accepted as a genuine apostate, he proved an astonishingly fertile source of accurate data on the USSR's nuclear capabilities, geopolitical aspirations, industrial priorities, and allied matters. Under his cover as a trade official, the GRU operative often traveled to London, Paris, and other points beyond the Socialist Bloc to talk with his Western contacts; otherwise, the high-ranking mole was obliged to pass on his espionage material (including exposed microfilm) at dead drops or embassy receptions in Moscow. Penkovsky's information proved invaluable to JFK in his confrontations with Khrushchev prior to the Berlin Wall, as well as during the Cuban missile crisis. In the meantime, however, Penkovsky took one risk too many and was arrested by the KGB and, following a show trial, executed in 1965. Having evaluated the theories advanced to explain Penkovsky's apprehension, the authors conclude that the truth won't be known until Kremlin files are opened. They leave little doubt, though, that their philandering, money-minded subject would probably have remained a loyal apparatchik had not his patrimony precluded his promotion to general. A fascinating portrait of a double agent whose active disaffection with the communist system helped consign it to history's dustbin. (Eight pages of photos--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
During the Cold War the CIA's premier agent in the Soviet Union was a high-level intelligence officer named Oleg Penkovsky. For two years in the early 1960s he supplied the CIA with highly classified information on Soviet rocket strength and strategic planning, information that assisted President Kennedy in his handling of the world's first nuclear confrontation, the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. In the author's view, no spy in history has provided more useful material or had greater impact. Granted access to transcripts of Penkovsky's debriefings in Paris and London by U.S. and British intelligence, Schecter and Deriabin bring into focus for the first time Penkovsky's character and personality, his motivations for betraying his country, and the dimensions of the risks he took. The book concludes with a gripping account of how Penkovsky was caught by the KGB, his trial and 1963 execution. The authors call Penkovsky a fearless prophet whose heroism saved the world from nuclear war. A thoroughly good read, the book is rich in details of intelligence fieldcraft and specifics on how the CIA "ran" its operatives. Schecter is a former Time-Life bureau chief in Moscow; Deriabin, a former KGB official, defected to the West in 1954. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción U.S.A.: Scribner, 1992. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. 5893 Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng. Nº de ref. de la librería 1538
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Descripción Scribner, 1992. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0684190680