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.