OVERRIDE

Near and Distant Neighbors

A New History of Soviet Intelligence

Jonathan Haslam

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A uniquely comprehensive and rich account of the Soviet intelligence services, Jonathan Haslam's Near and Distant Neighbors charts the labyrinthine story of Soviet intelligence from the October Revolution to the end of the Cold War.

Previous histories have focused on the KGB, leaving military intelligence and the special service--which focused on codes and ciphers--lurking in the shadows. Drawing on previously neglected Russian sources, Haslam reveals how both were in fact crucial to the survival of the Soviet state. This was especially true after Stalin's death in 1953, as the Cold War heated up and dedicated Communist agents the regime had relied upon--Klaus Fuchs, the Rosenbergs, Donald Maclean--were betrayed. In the wake of these failures, Nikita Khrushchev and his successors discarded ideological recruitment in favor of blackmail and bribery. The tactical turn was so successful that we can draw only one conclusion: the West ultimately triumphed despite, not because of, the espionage war.

In bringing to light the obscure inhabitants of an undercover intelligence world, Haslam offers a surprising and unprecedented portrayal of Soviet success that is not only fascinating but also essential to understanding Vladimir Putin's power today.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION



The Secret Intelligence Service has existed for 150 years.* We, for 10. That is their advantage. But we have our advantages: a clear goal, our incorruptibility, sense of purpose; but above all, devotion to the......
READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

MEDIA

Watch

  • The extraordinary achievements of Yuri Totrov

    Author Jonathan Haslam talks about Yuri Totrov who devised an intricate system based on common sense on how to identify American and probably also British agents and officers.

  • Jonathan Haslam on the defection of Gouzenko in Ottawa

    Author Jonathan Haslam talks about the defection of cypher clerk Gouzenko in Ottawa, Canada.

  • The importance of codes and cyphers

    Author Jonathan Haslam talks about the simple codes and cyphers used after the communists came into power in and how they were unprepared to encipher mass communication. Relying on the system previously used proved ineffective as most of their predecessors now lived abroad helping other powers deciphering Russian codes.

BACK

REVIEWS

Praise for Near and Distant Neighbors

“Intelligence was central to Soviet security policy, and yet until now we have lacked a comprehensive history of it. This Jonathan Haslam has given us, with extensive research and penetrating analysis. From the internal intrigues to the foreign exploits, the story is as fascinating as it is important” —Robert Jervis, author of Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War

“A meticulous survey of Russian and Western sources makes for a lively account of the history of all the Soviet intelligence agencies--the first time anyone has succeeded with this.” —Robert Service, emeritus professor of Russian history, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, and author of Trotsky: A Biography

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jonathan Haslam

  • Jonathan Haslam is the George F. Kennan Professor at the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is also a fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and a professor emeritus of Cambridge University.
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

Near and Distant Neighbors

A New History of Soviet Intelligence

Jonathan Haslam

BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

BACK