Top positive review
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A great read
on 1 December 1999
In this superb book, Vasili Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrew have written the definitive account of the Cold War. With the help of the KGB files exfiltrated by Mitrokihn, the authors show how the Soviet regime's paranoia over Western influences drove it to extaordinary lengths to safeguard its empire.
Although the revelations about Melita Norwood have made all the headlines, there is much else here to commend this book to the reader of modern history. My favourite piece concerned the influence of Pope John Paul II on the downfall of the Polish communist regime, although you could take your pick from the October Revolution, the Great Terror, or the demise of the Soviet Union in the late eighties; this book spans the entire seven decades of the Soviet behemoth.
Although this book is a heavy read (it is over seven hundred pages long), the patient reader will be rewarded with perspectives on the Cold War that no other book can offer. Thanks to the Mitrokhin archive, we can not only understand why the Soviet regime collapsed, but what preserved it for seventy years.