The Venona Files are several intercepted communiques between the Soviet Union and American Communists following WWII. Some historians and journalists are starting to regard the Cold-War-era American Communist Party as nothing more than a quaint club of polite if misguided ideologues.
In The Venona Secrets, Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel intend to create a new impression of treacherous Americans "who willfully gave their primary allegiance to a foreign power, the USSR.... For Communists, true patriotism meant helping to make the world a better place by advancing the interests of the Soviet Union in any way possible." By using the now-celebrated Venona documents - top-secret Soviet cables sent between Moscow and Washington, D.C., in the 1940s - Romerstein and Breindel tell a frightening story of how deeply spies penetrated the U.S. government.
©2000 Herbert Romerstein (P)2012 Regnery Publishing
Complex, documented, chilling.
The murder of Trotsky.
The attempted murder of Trotsky--how can bullets be flying everywhere but Trotsky survives?
The truth is much stranger than fiction.
We all heard about McCarthyism and Alger Hiss and the Communist Spy Rings, but I always thought that stuff was all hype. With the fall of Soviet Union and access to Soviet archives we NOW know that the Soviets penetrated almost every tier of American government. To be honest, this revelation is almost TOO big to wrap my head around. In many ways, it changes my entire understanding of postwar American history....
Venona is a code name given to the NSA's Soviet code-breaking project. Once cracked, Americans could start translating secret spy cables between the Soviet Union and their agents in America. We only had half the story. With the REST of Venona....available only since the mid 1990's...we now have the other half.
The narrator is awful, but the content of the book is amazing. I am now reading other books on the topic just to be sure I understand the subject matter. There were high-level government officials, particularly in Treasury and State Departments who took ORDERS from their handlers in Moscow....who in turn took their orders from the brutal Joseph Stalin. Really?
Most Americans are ignorant to the extent of the Communist influences in our soviety today. This confirms that HUAC was spot on.
The book is a decent history of Soviet intelligence but not very illuminating of Venona. The authors used Venona as a scaffold on which to drape a lot of material not specific to Venona. If you are new to the study of Soviet history then you will learn much, but if not, then most of the book will be just a re-stating of previously known material. I was disappointed in the book as well as the sluggish performance.
This is all about Soviet espionage and disinformation during the Second World War but the methods are strikingly applicable to the tactics of the 21st century far right. The Free Staters, Oath Keepers, Pro Life, Libertarian, survivalists and other far right movements are attempting to use similar tactics with, thankfully, less success. It only works if the general population is trusting and naive and ignore the double speak, i.e.,the anti big government folks want government to control the reproductive rights of all women and their policies favor a government based on Christian values... not unlike the islamic goal of imposing the koran as the ultimate authority. They are all anti democratic and we should all be skeptical.
"Informative and quite enjoyable"
I listened to this after the excellent M Stanton Evans book on Senator McCarthy, which really opened my eyes to the media lies told about him.
It's a little dry in places, as there are lots of lists of names (necessarily when talking about spy rings), but well worth buying and downloading.
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