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Spymaster: Startling Cold War Revelations of a Soviet KGB Chief
 
 

Spymaster: Startling Cold War Revelations of a Soviet KGB Chief [Kindle Edition]

Tennent H. Bagley
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Review

Bagley skillfully condenses the bulk of Kondrashev s interviews and stories. . . The author portrays in riveting detail the spy s considerable ascent from managing successful counterintelligence decoding operations to dexterously handling traitorous high-level moles. . . A respectful, introspective expose of a great emissary who became a friend. --Kirkus Reviews

Book Description

The memoirs of a high-ranking espionage chief as revealed to his ex-CIA agent friend.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1908 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (1 Nov 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E25IZBA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,762 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is my first foray into Kindle Unlimited and Amazon’s Whipsersync audiobook integration service, and I was not disappointed.

One thing the book opens the reader’s eyes to is that for the intelligence community, the Cold War was only another phase in a clandestine battle that had been in full swing for decades. Unlike many other books on the subject, Spymaster provides a startling account of life and politics inside the Soviet apparatus, as well as a host of previously unknown information about many of the specific events that defined much of the era of Soviet dominance. The author’s personal association prior to his death of one of the longest surviving members of the KGB opens a cornucopia of interesting facts that would surely have remained buried had it not been for this unlikely friendship.

No doubt a boon to scholars of the era, Spymaster is also a great read for anyone with an interest in the field as it is well written and provides ample and clear explanations.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 28 Nov 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
very little new information and not astounding.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 23 Dec 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COLD WAR SPIES REMEMBER 1 Nov 2013
By Paul Gelman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is another important addition to what was called in the past "the missing dimension" of Cold War history, namely the history of intelligence during the that era. Mr. Bagley has written a book about one of the most famous-perhaps the most famous -spymasters who ran espionage operations for his Kremlin masters. This was Sergey Kondrashev, who was the handler of another famous British spy, George Blake. In fact, this slim volume is about the revelations dictated to Bagley by the Russian superspy, and since he could not write about his past in Putin's Russia, he had to find another way of doing so. Some years ago, Kondrashev died and now Mr. Bagley could publish his adversary's memoirs without any hindrance.
Kondrashev headed two of the most important KGB stations abroad, in London and Vienna, and he was chief of the KGB'S German-Austrian Department, overseeing its penetrations of the West German government and other clandestine actions in that area of prime Soviet concern.
He also commended the secret intelligence operations of Soviet border troops along their vast frontiers in northern Europe, Central Asia, China and the northern Pacific.His forces contributed to Moscow's effortd to desatbilize China. Small units would clandestinely enter western Chinese territory to plant tower-like transmitters to broadcast calls for autonomy from Beijing's rule. He also adds some surprising information regarding the Nosenko case and I will not spoil it for you. There are some revelations about the fate Hitler's body and his part in this affair.
Another important chapter reveals how and to what extent the Soviets conducted disinformation operations aimed against the West.
If you want to understand how the great game was played out in different countries and locations during the Cold War, this book is a "must". It also helps clarify some more controversial issues about various angles in the annals of the Cold War history, starting with the revelations of an American traitor who helped ignite the Korean war.
This book proves again and again to what extent the importance of intelligence was in those times and no serious historian writing about the Cold War would ignore this dimension. Highly recommended for history professionals and espionage buffs alike.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of new information in a great format 25 Dec 2013
By Drew David - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This no mere “memoir” but a collection of true spy stories. Almost every chapter surprised me. I found I could start anywhere. With its short, independent chapters, this is the ideal bedside book -- except that it gets your mind racing instead of sleepy, and each chapter draws you on to the next.
I know a lot of the things the Soviets did during the Cold War, but this book still brought news. For example, an American traitor giving up our secret ciphers and triggering the Korean War; the KGB protecting and hiding the most bloody Nazi war criminal – the Gestapo chief himself – as a Cold War tool against their wartime allies; big Cold War spy cases through top-level Soviet eyes. America’s best spy of the Cold War was handed to CIA by the KGB? The KGB’s plot backfiring? Now there’s something new and different.
Better than other true spy books, this one gave me the feel of being inside the enemy camp. In other works the KGB’s spy center seemed to me distant and mysterious, but here it becomes familiar ground. You almost feel like you’re walking the corridors of the Lubyanka.
Even for those well versed in Cold War history, this book has lots of surprises . Highly recommended.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of names of KGB officials from the 1960-1990s for researchers to ponder 3 Feb 2014
By a serious reader in - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book has been rated highly by early reviewers. This is a book like no other: it has lots of names of Cold War era KGB officials which will please those readers seeking more information about KGB spycraft methods and personnel.

Essentially, ex-CIA official Tennent H. Bagley has written a biography of Sergey (also may be spelled Sergei on Google) A. Kondrashev based upon conversations with him in Europe. Kondrashev supposedly couldn't get KGB approval for publication of his memoirs, so after his death, Mr. Bagley has written an informative history of this KGB Major General's espionage exploits against Western intelligence agencies.

A word of caution: the KGB was notorious for creating deceptions and false defectors to mislead the CIA's counter intelligence efforts, and readers have to be aware of the "Maze of Mirrors" effectiveness of the KGB to sow distrust and confusion directed at the CIA.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hero of the Other Side 10 Dec 2013
By David B. O'Connor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Bagley writes, with an economy of words, a portrayal of Soviet penetration programs of the cold war. Even, with his economy of words, he brings a Russian hero to life.
I am constantly reading and studying this topic, and rarely have I seen it so well portrayed.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does Not Deliver the Promised "Revelations" 6 Aug 2014
By John H. Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very disappointing book - more hype and promise than delivered history. While Sergey Kondrashev was an interesting player and prime mover in the duplicitous East-West spy games of the Cold War, there are few "revelations" in this book. Give it a pass.
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