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H-Diplo Roundtable Review www.h-net.org/~diplo/roundtables Volume XI, No. 9 (2009) 14 December 2009 -------------------------------- Copyright © 2009 H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for non-profit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author(s), web location, date of publication, H-Diplo, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For other uses, contact the H-Diplo editorial staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. -------------------------------- Roundtable Editors: Thomas Maddux and Diane Labrosse Roundtable Web/Production Editor: George Fujii Assistant Web/Production Editor: John Vurpillat Introduction by Thomas Maddux Reviewers: John Ehrman, Benjamin B. Fischer, Richard Gid Powers, Ellen Schrecker -------------------------------- John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev. Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America. Yale University Press, 2009. 704 pp. ISBN: 978-0300123906 (cloth, $35.00). A fully-formatted version of this roundtable is available at http://www.h-net.org/~diplo/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-XI-9.pdf Contents Introduction by Thomas Maddux, California State University, Northridge Review by John Ehrman, Central Intelligence Agency Review by Benjamin B. Fischer, Center for the Study of Intelligence Review by Richard Gid Powers, College of Staten Island and Graduate School, CUNY Review by Ellen Schrecker, Yeshiva University Author’s Response by John Earl Haynes, Library of Congress, and Harvey Klehr, Emory University -------------------------------- Introduction by Thomas Maddux, California State University, Northridge John Early Haynes and Harvey Klehr have collaborated on a number of books that have focused on Soviet espionage and its efforts in the United States from the 1930s through the early Cold War in the 1940s with significant emphasis on the relationship of the American Communist Party and its members with Soviet agents. In Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (2009), Hayne and Klehr have been joined by Alexander Vassiliev, who provided the most important new source -- notebooks that Vassiliev made from documents in the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Archive. In recognition of the importance of Vassiliev’s notebooks, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) hosted a conference in May on the notebooks and in its summer issue the Journal of Cold War Studies (JCWS) offered most of the presentations from the conference which explored significant aspects of Vassilev’s notebooks and Spies overall contributions to the study of Soviet espionage.1 At the CWIHP conference and in the H-Diplo roundtable on the JCWS issue, most participants expressed a consensus on the importance of the Vassiliev notebooks. Despite reservations about the motives of the KGB in participating in the project with Vassiliev and the limitations on what documents Vassiliev had access to, participants agreed that Vassiliev’s 1,115 pages of notes and transcribed documents significantly enhanced not only the establishment of Americans who cooperated with Soviet intelligence but also provided valuable insights on the nature and results of KGB espionage during the period as well as counterintelligence by the FBI. Some debates persisted on the reliability of the KGB documents since KGB agents in the United States had to consider Moscow’s reactions to their reports and the likelihood of another deadly purge of agents at any time under Joseph Stalin. Questions were also raised about the involvement of specific individuals such as Harry Dexter White, assistant secretary of the treasury, and the journalist I.F. Stone with considerable debate on the relationship of Stone to KGB agents. In this roundtable on Spies, there is less disagreement on the role of specific individuals and more consideration of the authors’ overall assessment of KGB espionage, the relationship of the American Communist Party to Soviet espionage, and the impact of this espionage on both Stalin’s policies and the U.S. in the origins of the Cold War. In their preface and conclusions, Haynes, Klehr, and Vassiliev indicate that Spies will address two central questions. The first is summarized in Chapter Eight, “The KGB in America: Strength, Weaknesses, and Structural Problems,” and the second is addressed in the preface and conclusion, the issue of domestic communism in the U.S. and the much disputed issue of “was the hunt for Communists spies in fact a witch hunt, a search for fictional demons, that tells us more about the paranoia and madness of the inquisitors, or was it a rational, if sometimes excessively heated, response to a genuine threat posed by scores of otherwise normal Americans who had decided to assist the Soviet Union.” (xv) The reviewers and participants in the CWHIP conference and JCWS issue offer little disagreement on the authors’ assessment of the KGB and only qualified disagreement on the second point: 1) Spies presents the KGB as having significant successes in its espionage efforts in the U.S. despite major setbacks induced largely by Stalin’s purges; the first in 1938-1940, which wiped out much of carefully constructed Soviet espionage infrastructure and sent surviving agents or their replacements off on hunts for “fantasy Trotskyists and traitors.” (500) Lesser problems included competition with Russian military intelligence, the GRU, in the U.S. as well as reliance from 1941 until 1945 on the American Communist Party (CPUSA) to fill the void generated by the purge which brought major successes in obtaining important information on a wide range of subjects from the Manhattan atomic bomb project to military, scientific, and industrial technology.2 By relying on amateur spies, the KGB knew, as the authors note, that they ran risks of leaks and exposure but they took the risks and ended up incurring the losses in 1945 with the defection of Elizabeth Bentley. KGB agents were both lucky and resourceful and took full advantage of the preoccupation of the FBI with German and Japanese agents. The reviewers do not challenge this assessment of the KGB’s strengths and weaknesses and welcome obtaining a Soviet perspective on their espionage through Vassiliev’s notebooks. As John Ehrman emphasizes, Spies and the notebooks offer a unique Soviet “perspective on [KGB] operations in the United States. Not only is this a side of the story we have not had before but, because it is drawn from the files, it is authoritative and provides the reader with an education in how Soviet intelligence operated.” (2) 2) Spies does emphasize that one reason for the success of the KGB despite the purges and risks they took with the CPUSA was the ineffective response of counterintelligence by the FBI until the very end of WWII. The authors emphasize that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI devoted few resources to counterintelligence until the late 1930s and then focused on German and Japanese espionage. (484) The reaction of the reviewers and participants in the JCWS roundtable are mixed on this criticism. Steven T. Usdin in “The Rosenberg Ring Revealed: Industrial –Scale Conventional and Nuclear Espionage” considers the FBI response an “immense failure.” John Fox in “What the “Spiders Did: U.S. and Soviet Counterintelligence before the Cold War” notes significant improvement in U.S. counterintelligence practices, and Katherine A.S. Sibley in her review notes examples during the war of KGB agents such as Julius Rosenberg being shut down out of concern about FBI investigations. “If half of the industrial and technical spy groups were compromised, delayed or otherwise diverted from their goals,” Sibley suggests, “this was no small victory for American security in a porous period.”3 In his review Richard Powers advances a somewhat different perspective on the FBI’s effort, noting its focus on Nazis and Japanese agents as well as its efforts to undermine Nazi espionage networks in South America. Powers suggests that Hoover recognized FDR’s desire to avoid “any sort of Communist spy scare, or indeed, once the war started, any trouble at all with American Communists…. Hoover got the idea, and the idea was to relax surveillance on American Communists. There was even a move to let the KGB set up a legal office in the United States, although that proposal was scotched by Hoover.” (1-2) 3) What did it mean to be a spy for the KGB? Hayes, Klehr and Vassiliev and the reviewers raise this issue in different contexts. Vassiliev’s notebooks, the Venona intercepts, and other documents and memoirs confirm the espionage activity in the much contested cases of Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and also support the conclusion that the nuclear scientist Robert Oppenheimer rejected repeated KGB efforts to recruit him. So spies knowingly hands over important information that they know is gong to the KGB and recognize that it has to be done in a concealed manner. They may or may not receive financial payment for their efforts, and the KGB considers them an agent. At the CWIHP conference the most challenges on this question were raised concerning the journalist I.F. Stone. In Spies and Max Holland’s essay, Stone is depicted as a Soviet agent from 1936-1938 by aiding the KGB “on a number of tasks, ranging from doing some talent spotting, acting as a courier by relaying information to other agents, and providing private journalistic tidbits and data the KGB found interesting.”4 When the KGB recontacted Stone in 1944 to recruit him, the authors suggest that it is unclear if Stone resumed his involvement. John Ehrman contributes to this issue with a detailed analysis of the impact of the authors’ “decision to Anglicize and generalize Soviet intelligence terminology” which did not always have English equivalents and its effect on their assessment on Stone. Ehrman notes that Stone is described as a Doveritelnayha Svayz (DS), a trusted contact, rather than as an agent. A DS was not a spy in the sense of passing on secret information under the direction of a handler. Instead, according to Ehrman, a DS “sets his own limits on what he will do and maintains a degree of independence” which, he suggests, fits with the depiction of him in Spies. (4-5) In the authors’ response, they suggest that the DS term was not used until after the 1940s. (2) 4) The relationship between the KGB, the CPUSA, and espionage activity stimulated the most disagreement at the CWIHP conference and in questions raised by the reviewers. Benjamin Fischer and Powers accept the presentation in Spies of the critical role played by American communist party members in collaborating with the KGB and providing very important information to Moscow. As Fischer expresses this perspective, “not all communists were spies, but all the spies were communists—either covert party members whose names were recorded on secret lists or others who were kept off the party’s rolls to protect them from FBI scrutiny.” (3) Haynes, Klehr and Vassiliev do include examples of Americans who cooperated with the KGB for financial gain as opposed to communist sympathies as well as journalists who had varying degrees of involvement from being paid by the KGB to someone like Walter Lippmann whose secretary Mary Price spied on Lippmann. Lippmann himself met with Vladimir Pravdin, who used a cover as a TASS correspondent to probe Lippmann for inside information.5 Ellen Schrecker expresses the most reservations concerning the historical context and motivations of those who became involved with Soviet espionage. Schrecker suggests that the “authors are strangely uninterested in the reasons why their subjects became involved with espionage.” Schrecker points to the context of the wartime alliance with the Soviet Union against Hitler and the internationalist perspective of communists as shaping the willingness of American communists to work with the KGB without necessarily considering themselves spies. This contributes to what Schrecker considers a “one-sided and oversimplified portrayal of American communism” that suggests it became to some extent “an appendage of Soviet intelligence.” (4)6 What Schrecker suggests is missing is a recognition that the CPUSA was the “most dynamic organization of the American left during the 19340s and 1940s” with a hundred thousand members working to oppose fascism, organizing workers ignored by the major labor unions, and opposing racial inequality. (3-4) In their response, the authors emphasize that they have been focused on demonstrating that many Americans assisted Soviet intelligence against persistent rejections on individuals such as Alger Hiss. “Since we are, at long last, to the point where we can shift from arguing about who did what to why they did it,” the authors conclude, “Schrecker has a point that motivation is increasingly important to discuss.” (5) 5) Was Washington’s pursuit of communists after 1945 a “witch hunt” or a rational response to a security threat? Spies suggests that there was more of the latter in the response of the Truman administration and the FBI and more of the former in the charges and investigations of Senator Joseph McCarthy which “were wildly off the mark. Very few of the people he accused appeared in KGB documents (or the Venona decryptions), and by the time he made his charges, almost all Soviet agents had been forced out of the government and Soviet intelligence networks were largely defunct.” (195) The authors, however, view the effort by “American intelligence officials to investigate government employees and others with access to sensitive information for Communist ties after they became cognizant of the extent of Soviet espionage and the crucial role played in it by the CPUSA … as a rational response to the extent to which the Communist Party had become an appendage of Soviet intelligence.” (548) The reviewers either support—Fischer—or do not directly or indirectly challenge the authors’ conclusion, although the impact of anticommunism expands far beyond Senator McCarthy and his Republican allies in Washington and has a pervasive impact far beyond the pursuit of Soviet espionage agents from U.S. Cold War policies to anticommunist politics at the local level. 6) In some respects the most important policy issue raised by Spies and the reviewers is what impact the KGB espionage had on both Soviet and U.S. policy from diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union in 1933 to the outbreak of the Cold War. Neither Spies, the CWIHP conference, or the JCWS articles focused on this issue. Haynes, Klehr and Vassiliev do note that the notebooks contain significant details on what information the agents provided to the KGB and Moscow about U.S. policy from recognition of the Soviet Union in 1933 to confidential State Department documents in the 1930s and reports about U.S. policies in the 1940s. (xvii) Spies does make clear that the Soviet Union gained considerably from the atomic, technical, and scientific information that it acquired during WWII with respect to its Cold War military mobilization. (545) Considering the limited information available on Stalin’s diplomatic calculations, it is possible that the volume of information he received from the KGB on U.S. did influence his policies. The authors, for example, suggest that the “espionage-enabled rapid acquisition of the atomic bomb emboldened Stalin’s policies in the early Cold War and contributed to his decision to authorize North Korea’s invasion of South Korea” and that finding out about the ability of U.S. intelligence to read Soviet military communications “ensured that the Korean invasion was a surprise for which American forces were unprepared.” (545) Fischer and Schrecker suggest that this assessment on the Korean War may be accurate, but Powers has reservations about the impact on Stalin’s calculations on Korea. Less attention is given to the impact of Soviet espionage on Washington’s policy calculations, although more primary sources are available on this question. In The Atomic Bomb and the Origins of the Cold War, Campbell Craig and Sergey Radchenko suggest that evidence of Soviet espionage in September 1945 concerning the Manhattan Project, reinforced by J. Edgar Hoover’s information to Truman on the involvement of senior Democratic Party officials, prompted Truman to start to back away from international atomic control in cooperation with Moscow. Further reports on the Canadian spy ring and increasing publicity on Soviet espionage in February 1946 contributed to Truman’s increasing emphasis on safeguards and security before any agreement on atomic disclosures. In this case, Stalin’s successful atomic espionage backfired at the policy level and Washington moved under Bernard Baruch to emphasize safeguards before any sharing with the Soviet Union and no veto in the Security Council on alleged violations.7 Participants: John Earl Haynes is Modern Political Historian in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. He received his Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. from Florida State University in 1966. Dr. Haynes is the author of eleven books including Spies: the Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (coauthors Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev, Yale University Press, 2009); Early Cold War Spies: the Espionage Trials that Shaped American Politics (coauthor H. Klehr, Cambridge University Press, 2006); In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage (coauthor H. Klehr, Encounter Books, 2002); Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (coauthor H. Klehr, Yale University Press, 1999); Calvin Coolidge and the Coolidge Era: Essays on the History of the 1920s (editor, Library of Congress and the University Press of New England, 1998); The Soviet World of American Communism (coauthors H. Klehr and Kyrill Anderson, Yale University Press, 1998); Red Scare or Red Menace? American Communism and Anticommunism in the Cold War Era (Ivan Dee Pub., 1996); The Secret World of American Communism (coauthors H. Klehr and Fridrikh Firsov, Yale University Press, 1995); The American Communist Movement: Storming Heaven Itself (coauthor H. Klehr, Twayne Pub., 1992); Communism and Anti-Communism in the United States: An Annotated Guide to Historical Writings (Garland Pub., 1987, editor and compiler); Dubious Alliance: The Making of Minnesota’s DFL Party (University of Minnesota Press, 1984). He has also authored more than seventy-two published articles and essays. Harvey Klehr is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Politics and History at Emory University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Along with John Haynes and Alexander Vassiliev he is the author of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (Yale University Press, 2009). He and Haynes have also written The Secret World of American Communism (Yale University Press, 1998), Venona, Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (Yale University Press, 1999) and In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage (Encouter Books, 2002). John Ehrman holds a PhD in American history. He has served in the CIA since 1983, and is the author of numerous articles and reviews on counterintelligence issues. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of the Central Intelligence Agency or the U.S. Government. This article was reviewed by the Central Intelligence Agency to ensure that it does not contain classified information. Benjamin B. Fischer is the former Chief Historian of the Central Intelligence Agency. A graduate of Cornell University and Columbia University, he served in the CIA’s Directorates of Intelligence and Operations before joining the History Staff of the Center for the Study of Intelligence. He is the author of At Cold War’s End: US Intelligence on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1988-1991 (1999). Fischer has published articles and book reviews in the leading journals of intelligence history including “Deaf, Dumb, and Blind: The CIA and East Germany” in East German Foreign Intelligence: Myth, Reality and Controversy (Routledge, 2009). He is completing a study of U.S. National Intelligence Estimates of the Soviet Union and another on Anglo-American intelligence cooperation during the Cold War. Richard Gid Powers is Professor of History at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center, CUNY, and is the author of Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover (Free Press, 1988), Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism (Yale University Press, 1998), and Broken: The Troubled past and Uncertain Future of the FBI (Free Press, 2007). Ellen Schrecker (PhD Harvard) teaches at Yeshiva University and has written extensively on McCarthyism and academic freedom; among her publications are Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (Princeton University Press,1998) and No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities (Oxford University Press,1986). The former editor of Academe, the magazine of the American Association of University Professors, she is currently working on two books, one with the political scientist Corey Robin about political repression in America and the other about the academic community. Notes 1 See the Journal of Cold War Studies 11:3 (Summer 2009) and the H-Diplo roundtable at http://www.h-net.org/~diplo/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-X-24.pdf . Vassiliev turned over his notebooks to the Library of Congress where they are available for research. The CWIHP has available on its webpage PDF copies of the scanned original handwritten notebooks, transcriptions into word-processed Russian, and translations in English. 2 See Spies, Chapters Two “Enormous: The KGB Attack on the Anglo-American Atomic Project,” and Chapter Six “The XY Line: Technical, Scientific, and Industrial Espionage,” and Gregg Herken, “Target Enormoz: Soviet Nuclear Espionage on the West Coast of the United States, 1942-1950,” and Steven T. Usdin, “The Rosenberg Ring Revealed: Industrial-Scale Conventional and Nuclear Espionage,” Journal of Cold War Studies 11:3 (July, 2009): 68-143. 3 See Sibley’s comments in the H-Diplo roundtable on p. 21 at http://www.h-net.org/~diplo/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-X-24.pdf. 4 See Spies, 150, and Max Holland, “I.F. Stone: Encounters with Soviet Intelligence,” Journal of Cold War Studies 11:3 (July, 2009): 144-205. 5 See Spies, 196-198 on David Salmon, chief of the State Department’s Division of Communications and Records, and 173-178 on Lippmann. 6 Spies does qualify this conclusion on p. 548 noting that “most American Communists were not spies” but the “CPUSA’s leadership in the 1930s and 1940s willingly placed the party’s organizational resources and a significant number of its key cadres at the service of the espionage agencies of a foreign power.” 7 Campbell Craig and Sergey Radchenko, The Atomic Bomb and the Origins of the Cold War (New Haven, 2009), 113-124. -------------------------------- Review by John Ehrman, Central Intelligence Agency Few things are as predictable in American politics as the reactions to books on Soviet espionage in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. For decades, every time a new book has appeared on the Hiss and Rosenberg cases or revealed new details of the scope of Stalin’s spy programs, the Nation has complained that innocent progressives were being smeared with flimsy evidence, especially in the pages of its ideological rival, the New Republic. The New Republic, in return, has attacked the Nation for its blindness to the true nature of Communism. Meanwhile, on the right National Review usually questions the judgments and loyalties of liberals in general. So it is with Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, the new book on Soviet espionage by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev. The authors’ most attention-grabbing claim is that their evidence demonstrates that journalist I. F. Stone was a full-fledged agent for Soviet intelligence in the 1930s and, on cue, Stone’s biographer wrote in the Nation that the charge has been a “staple of far-right smear tactics since the early 1990s.” The New Republic three weeks later reminded its readers that long-time Nation editor and publisher Victor Navasky suffered from a “pathological inability to believe that there really were Soviet spies in America,” and National Review then thanked Haynes, Klehr, and Vassiliev for reminding the public “about the Soviet Union’s spies and their treachery.” As amusing as it is to watch these ritual responses, we should not allow them to obscure an essential point: Haynes, Klehr, and Vassiliev have produced an exceptionally important book, both for documenting Soviet espionage and also to help educate readers as to how intelligence services work.1 Before proceeding with a discussion of Spies, it is worth pausing to note a few points about the core subject of the book, which is espionage. Conceptually, espionage is a simple affair: intelligence services recruit spies to steal secret information from governments or other entities. In reality, however, espionage is a complex and difficult business. Recruiting and running spies revolves around relationships between people--spies, who usually are deeply troubled and venal individuals, and their handlers, who have to figure out how to keep them focused and productive under conditions of extreme stress. Histories of spy cases usually give the impression of events unfolding in a smooth, orderly way, but in reality espionage is a time- and labor-intensive business; intelligence officers pursue scores of contacts in the knowledge that only one will become a productive spy, and even successful operations often are derailed by random events or the personality quirks of agents. Unfortunately, few of the scholars who write on spies and espionage have any experience in recruiting or running agents, and so they often miss important points. Bruce Craig’s biography of Harry Dexter White, Treasonable Doubt (2004), for example, was badly flawed because Craig did not understand how White’s personality led him to commit espionage. A good reason to read Spies is just to see how difficult and messy espionage truly is, and what type of person becomes a spy. Scholars of intelligence and espionage would do well to absorb these lessons. Another reason to read Spies is that it rests on a unique documentary foundation. In the mid-1990s, Vassiliev, a former KGB officer, was allowed to read and take notes--he filled eight notebooks and some 1,100 pages--on American cases in the KGB archives. The book project for which Vassiliev was taking his notes fell through and, eventually, he passed the notebooks to Haynes and Klehr (in the meantime, Vassiliev and Allen Weinstein used some of the notebooks for their book, The Haunted Wood (1998). Haynes and Klehr, in turn, carefully researched and cross-checked Vassiliev’s notes and used them to fill in gaps in earlier accounts of Soviet espionage, to add to what was already known about individual cases, to identify previously unknown spies and, in the case of physicist Robert Oppenheimer, to exonerate a prominent figure long suspected of spying. The result is an encyclopedic guide to the Soviet spy apparatus in the United States, with detailed descriptions of the people involved, the networks, and Moscow’s goals for its efforts. Spies will be the standard reference on its subject, and anyone reading it in combination with Haynes’s and Klehr’s previous work on the Venona cables and postwar spy cases, as well as other authoritative books on Soviet intelligence operations by Christopher Andrew, Oleg Gordievsky, and Vasiliy Mitrokhin, will have as full an understanding of KGB operations as we are likely to have for many years.2 Much of the value of Spies lies in the unique perspective provided by the notebooks. Without access to KGB files, books on Soviet espionage in the United States have had to tell their stories with American source material. Whether the book is Kathryn Olmstead’s scholarly biography of Elizabeth Bentley, Red Spy Queen (2002), Marcia and Thomas Mitchell’s history of the Judith Coplon case, The Spy Who Seduced America (2002), or Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton’s The Rosenberg File (2nd ed., 1997), the result is that the history of Soviet espionage in the United States largely has been told from the American perspective and is understood mostly in the American context (Memoirs by former KGB officers also contribute to the literature but, like Victor Cherkashin’s Spy Handler (Basic Books, 2002), they often are self-serving and unreliable on certain details). But Spies is different. Vassiliev’s notebooks give us the Center’s--KGB headquarters--perspective on its operations in the United States. Not only is this a side of the story we have not had before but, because it is drawn from the files, it is authoritative and provides the reader with an education in how Soviet intelligence operated. Much of what we see in Spies is familiar to anyone who has worked in intelligence. Stalin’s regime had an insatiable appetite for intelligence and constantly pressed the KGB to recruit agents and collect more information. Much of the demand was for information that any government would seek--reporting on US foreign policy plans and intentions, which agents such as Alger Hiss helped to supply; counterintelligence reporting on the activities of US intelligence, which the Soviets obtained by penetrating the Office of Strategic Services; and any details, no matter how small, on the atomic bomb program. In other cases, however, the demand for intelligence was rooted in the peculiarities of the Soviet regime--Spies details Moscow’s extensive industrial espionage efforts, which reflected the USSR’s technological backwardness, and the Center’s demand for information on the activities of Trotskyites and other ideological enemies, both real and imagined, that was driven by Stalin’s paranoia and ruthlessness. Spies documents how the KGB, in seeking to fulfill the political leadership’s demands, ran into the same problems that every intelligence service faces. In espionage, promising leads often go nowhere and frustration is much more common than success. Spies is filled with dozens of cases showing how the KGB had to cope with this reality, even though its operations in the United States for a long period faced little scrutiny from the FBI and could draw on the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) for assistance. The best examples probably come from the chapter on the Soviet effort to penetrate the atomic bomb project, which the KGB codenamed “Enormous” (they have always had a sly sense of humor on codenames). Moscow learned definitively in March 1942 that the United States was working on the bomb, and immediately began pressing the KGB’s New York and San Francisco Residencies to recruit agents with access to the program. The KGB worked frantically, spotting and approaching numerous individuals in the belief that they would become valuable agents only to find, for one reason or another, they would not become spies. In July 1943, the Center, referring to penetration of the Manhattan Project, complained to New York that the “slow pace of agent cultivation in the USA is particularly intolerable.” (44) Then, as so often happens in espionage, the Soviets got lucky. In 1943, Julius Rosenberg met a Communist engineer, Russell McNutt, who worked in New York for Kellex, a contractor for the Manhattan Project. McNutt worked on the design of facilities for the gaseous diffusion plant at Oak Ridge, and in early 1944 Rosenberg recruited McNutt, giving an ecstatic KGB its first atomic bomb source (Klaus Fuchs, Theodore Hall, and David Greenglass soon followed). But again, as happens so often in espionage, a promising recruitment turned disappointing. Kellex asked McNutt to take a position at Oak Ridge, which would have put him in an ideal location to collect atomic bomb information for the Soviets. McNutt refused the transfer, however, because he did not want to give up his apartment or lose his investment in a summer vacation business he helped run. The Center pressed McNutt, but he stood firm and the KGB never got as much as it hoped from him. If McNutt’s case shows the difficulties the KGB faced, it also illustrates why Moscow’s espionage was so successful. Simply put, the Soviets worked hard. Agents varied widely in ability and performance--Julius Rosenberg was a great agent, but Elizabeth Bentley was a disaster--and the KGB suffered huge losses of talented officers during the purges and Terror, but it never stopped trying to improve its operations. The KGB was always looking for new agents, ways to expand its existing networks, and devoted whatever resources the effort required. In professional terms, it was a remarkable performance. Spies, finally, is important because it enables historians to begin evaluating the significance of Soviet espionage in the United States. Exactly what Moscow gained, or how central the KGB’s operations were to Soviet policymaking has long been a subject of vigorous debate. In some cases, such as atomic and industrial espionage, it is clear that espionage saved the Soviets years of work and expense. In the less concrete realm of political intelligence, however, it difficult to say what Moscow gained and some, such as historians Maurice Isserman and Ellen Schrecker, have suggested that the KGB’s efforts did not matter very much. “If there had been no Harry Dexter White, no Nathan Gregory Silvermaster, or no Alger Hiss, would the history of the world really have been all that different between the 1930s and 1950s?” they ask. “Would the Soviet Union have collapsed, or Stalin moderated his policies, or the United States have gained the upper hand in determining the postwar fate of Eastern Europe or China?”3 Isserman’s and Schrecker’s question is a good example of how scholars often misunderstand the ways governments use espionage information. It is extremely rare for a country’s political leadership to take major actions based solely on information coming from espionage--such information is but one factor in decisionmaking, and it does not always carry as much weight as information from other sources, domestic political considerations, the need to accommodate competing interests, discussions with foreign governments, and the leadership’s own biases. That said, however, it is clear that the KGB provided the Soviet leadership with valuable reports. For example, write Haynes and Klehr, “throughout 1945 [Harry Dexter] White kept Moscow fully informed about the internal discussions within the government about Soviet requests for financial aid and a massive dollar loan.” (260) This may not sound glamorous, but to the government of a country devastated by war and uncertain about how to allocate resources in the postwar world, such information would have been priceless. Similarly, even though Laurence Duggan’s production was disappointing, he still provided reports on US military planning during World War II, which would have helped the Soviets make their own military and diplomatic plans. On the counterintelligence side, William Weisband’s revelation to Moscow that the United States was breaking its codes was obviously of great importance--Moscow changed its codes as soon as it got Weisband’s information, making its intelligence traffic once again secure. We should note, too, that the Soviets could be confident in the quality of the information they collected. Vetting an agent is a critical problem in any espionage operation--how do the handlers know for certain that he has the access to information that he claims, or that he is providing valid reporting and not feed material as part of a deception operation? With so many penetrations, however, the KGB was in the enviable position of being able to use its agents to check on one another. Doubts about one agent could be addressed, for example, by asking a second agent in the same organization if he knew the first agent, what office he worked in, and what was his professional reputation; the answers to such questions would have been important for evaluating the reliability of the first agent. Similarly, Moscow could compare the reporting of one agent with that of another. That is, it could check Hiss’s against Duggan’s, or Greenglass’s with Hall’s, Fuchs’s, and McNutt’s, to look for any tell-tale discrepancies. Not only did this provide additional assurances about the bona fides of the agents, but it could also help fill in gaps in each spy’s reporting. By 1945, Moscow no doubt knew that it had many reliable and valuable intelligence sources in Washington to help its policy deliberations. For all its virtues, Spies has one unfortunate flaw, which is Haynes’s and Klehr’s decision to Anglicize and generalize Soviet intelligence terminology. The Soviets developed a much larger, specialized, and nuanced vocabulary for intelligence work than did the English-speaking services, and many of its concepts and terms have no English equivalents (Vassily Mitrokhin’s KGB Lexicon  is the authority for this). Consequently, it is important to translate and use Russian terms carefully, to avoid distorting their meanings. Haynes and Klehr err early on in their decision to refer to the Soviet civilian intelligence service as the KGB, which was not so designated until 1954. Although this avoids confusing readers with the many name changes Soviet intelligence went through, by not using the correct names the authors lose an opportunity to give a sense of the instability in Soviet intelligence during the Stalin period (and force reviewers to follow suit). Similarly, by changing Residency and Resident--the Soviet terms for intelligence offices abroad and their chiefs--to the Anglo-American terms of Station and Station Chief, Haynes and Klehr give an inaccurate impression of equivalency. These terminological points may seem small, but they take on greater significance when it comes to the discussion of I. F. Stone. Haynes and Klehr seem to build a compelling case that “Stone was a fully active agent” (p. 150). They start by citing former KGB General Oleg Kalugin’s statement in 1992 that Stone was an agent, and then move on to quote a 1936 cable from New York reporting that the Residency’s relationship with Stone “had entered ‘the channel of normal operational work’.” (148, 150) In addition, although Haynes and Klehr do not quote the reference directly, an entry in Vassiliev’s notebooks places Stone on a 1938 list of “agents” belonging to the New York Residency, a point that must have reinforced their conclusion.4 Haynes’s and Klehr’s descriptions of Stone’s activities and a closer look at Vassiliev’s notes, however, point in a slightly different direction. The KGB’s intelligence vocabulary recognized many different types of agents and assets, depending on their roles and relationships with the KGB, and Stone appears to fall in the category of a Doveritelnaya Svyaz (DS), usually translated at a trusted contact or trusted person, and a term for which there is no English equivalent. According to Mitrokhin’s dictionary, unlike an agent who “systematically and clandestinely carries out assignments from his handler,” a DS acts on the basis of “friendly or other relations” and has no obligations to his handler or the handler’s service. Thus, a DS sets his own limits on what he will do and maintains a degree of independence. Stone appears to have been willing during the 1930s to undertake low-level tasks and provide what Haynes and Klehr describe as “private journalistic tidbits and data the KGB found interesting,” but their description of his relationship with the Soviets suggests that he maintained a great deal of autonomy.5 Categorizing Stone as a DS is consistent with other evidence regarding his activities. The Soviets had many assets of this type, which explains the reference to Stone’s involvement in “normal operational work.” The DS categorization helps explain, too, Kalugin’s later description of Stone’s status--“KGB headquarters never said he had been an agent…but rather that he was a man with whom we had had regular contact.” Moreover, Vassiliev’s handwritten Russian notes show that the New York list is not of agents but, instead, of the Residency’s “agentura,” a comprehensive term that refers to all assets in a network and that would include anyone who was either an agent or a DS.6 Whether Stone was a DS or an agent may seem like a trivial point to an American--in either case, let us be clear, Stone still worked for the KGB--but would have mattered a lot to the Soviets. Agents can be instructed, but a DS may need to be asked or cajoled into carrying out a task and Moscow would not have been able to push Stone to cooperate beyond the limits he set. Even if that left Stone as a source of unofficial information about, say, his contacts with government officials or other journalists, however, it would not have diminished his importance. Any reporting Stone provided on such individuals would have been welcomed by the Soviets; intelligence services are always hungry for personal information that can inform their political leaders’ understandings of foreign counterparts, provide insights into the internal political dynamics of other governments, or that may be used to identify and recruit fresh agents. Finally, the question of Stone’s status points to other work to be done with Vassiliev’s notebooks. It is axiomatic in counterintelligence that answers only lead to more questions. In this case, the translation error of agentura raises the question of whether any additional subtle mistakes lie in the translations of the notebooks and whether correcting them might enhance further our understanding of Soviet operations. A good next step, therefore, might be to have someone with fluency in Soviet intelligence vocabulary review the notebooks and look for small discrepancies. This no doubt would be painstaking and time consuming work, but that is what espionage and counterintelligence analysis are all about. In the meantime, however, Spies still stands as an extraordinary book. Its small mistakes notwithstanding--and they are small--Spies is a model of intelligence and espionage history, and should be required reading for anyone with an interest in the subject. Notes 1 D. D. Guttenplan, “Red Harvest,” Nation, May 25, 2009, p. 28; Anne Applebaum, “Now We Know,” New Republic, June 17, 2009, p. 35; and John Miller, “The Redhunters,” National Review, July 6, 2009, p. 37. 2 See John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999); Haynes and Klehr, Early Cold War Spies (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB (New York: HarperCollins, 1990); and Christopher Andrew and Vasiliy Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive (New York: Basic Books, 1999). 3 Maurice Isserman and Ellen Schrecker, “‘Papers of a Dangerous Tendency’: From Major Andre’s Boot to the VENONA Files,” in Ellen Schrecker, ed., Cold War Triumphalism (New York: New Press, 2004), p. 161. For an account of the importance of espionage to Soviet industry, see Steven Usdin, Engineering Communism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005). 4 Vassiliev’s Black Notebook, p. 101, http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/docs/Black%20Notebook%20Translated1.pdf , accessed July 17, 2009. 5 Vasiliy Mitrokhin, KGB Lexicon (London: Frank Cass, 2002), pp. 34, 3. 6 Mitrokhin, KGB Lexicon, 8; Oleg Kalugin, The First Directorate (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), p. 74; http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/docs/Black%20Notebook%20Original.pdf , accessed July 17, 2009. -------------------------------- Review by Benjamin B. Fischer, Center for the Study of Intelligence Spies reveals as much as we will probably ever know about Soviet espionage in America from 1933 to the late 1940s. And that’s a lot. Among many other things addressed are three big issues: the scope and magnitude of KGB operations; the symbiotic relationship between the KGB and the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA); and what should, but probably won’t, be the last word on some of the major spy cases that continue to roil opinions on both the left and the right. John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr have collaborated on three previous volumes that cover some of the same ground; Spies can be read both as a summation and an extension of their previous publications.1 Spies draws heavily, though not exclusively, on new evidence in the form of eight notebooks totaling 1,115 pages that co-author Alexander Vassilev transcribed from still classified KGB records. Critics will charge that the notebooks are suspect, that the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (the SVR, successor to the KGB) selected the records Vassilev could see and then censored his notes, that the transcriptions are sometimes incomplete and cannot be checked against original documents, and so on. Yet, Haynes and Klehr went to considerable lengths to confirm the authenticity of the notebooks and the bona fides of their compiler.2 The result is a reliable and unique insight into KGB operations during a period before the US and USSR became Cold War adversaries and when they were still wartime allies. As Haynes and Klehr noted in a previous book, Soviet espionage was “of the type a nation directs at an enemy state that is temporarily an ally and with which it anticipates future hostility.”3 International relations theorists argue that the Cold War was unique because of the bipolar international system that emerged after 1945 and because of the advent of nuclear weapons. But, as the late Russian historian Martin Malia noted, bipolarity and the balance of terror were less important in explaining the East-West conflict than was the Soviet view of a fundamental incompatibility between “socialism” and “capitalism.” Spies offers abundant evidence that Malia was right. In their first collaborative effort, Haynes and Klehr played down the connection between the KGB and the CPUSA. Not so in Spies, in which they conclude that the “CPUSA as an organized entity was an auxiliary service to Soviet intelligence.” (548) In their previous book, they put the number of Americans who collaborated with Soviet intelligence at 349. Their new estimate rises to 500 persons, most of whom have not and probably never will be identified. But numbers tell only part of the story. More important, Spies indicates that that KGB’s spying was more extensive and damaging to US national security interests (and beneficial to Stalin) than was previously known. Spies draws an indelible line under several of the causes célèbres of suspected Soviet collaborators. It begins with a summary judgment on the decades-long controversy over New Deal bureaucrat Alger Hiss: “case closed.” Hiss was guilty of espionage and not simply the perjury for which he was convicted and imprisoned. He appears both in true name and pseudonym in the notebooks over many years. The fact that the KGB assigned Hiss three cover names—“Jurist,” “Ales,” and “Leonard”—and that he surfaces in KGB records even though he spied for the GRU (Soviet military intelligence) suggests that he was a valuable source for both spy services, which went to some lengths to protect his identity. Spies exculpates J. Robert Oppenheimer, the chief scientist of the Manhattan Project, whom several other authors accused of passing information to Moscow while building the atomic bomb. The KGB pursued the American genius from many different angles, attempting to use what intelligence professionals call “access agents” from the communist milieu in which Oppenheimer lived at Berkley. The Soviets ultimately failed but not for want of trying. Spies rebuts unwarranted allegations made in several books that Oppenheimer passed information to the KGB and sheds light on the Atomic Energy Commission’s 1954 decision to revoke his security clearance. Oppenheimer was innocent of the charges made against him, but he also lied about his secret CPUSA membership in the 1930s. The third case, that of “progressive” journalist I.F. Stone, has generated the most controversy to date. A darling of the Old Left during the early Cold War and of the New Left during the Vietnam War, Stone still commands respect—and defenders—from mainstream liberals and those further to the left. The former assert that the case is still open and that Spies rushed to judgment in part because of Stone’s well-known admiration for the Soviet Union. On the matter of whether Stone was ever a paid agent, Spies is quite clear. He was on the KGB payroll from 1936 to 1938 as a source, a courier, and a talent spotter. Thereafter and until his demise, Stone appears to have had an on-again, off-again contact with the KGB, which for some raises suspicions and for others represents simply a mutually useful exchange of information. Whether paid or not, Stone took the same view as did Soviet propaganda in a book that blamed the Korean War on South Korea, allegedly acting with US complicity, when in fact North Korea invaded South Korea after getting a green light from Stalin. Stone’s defenders might argue that he was bad historian, but his critics can make a case for his aiding and abetting a Soviet proxy that was killing American soldiers. Stone has been hailed as an ethical and independent journalist who told truth to power, but he lied about his KGB past and concealed his Soviet connections while attacking the US government for lying and deceiving. The first “Year of the Spy” was not 1985; it was 1945, when a GRU cipher clerk in Canada and a KGB courier and agent-handler in New York defected.4 Igor Gouzenko revealed KGB and GRU networks in Canada and the United States, as well as the first evidence of Soviet nuclear espionage. Elizabeth Bentley exposed dozens of agents operating inside US government agencies. Their testimony moved investigators to take a second look at information first provided a decade earlier by Whittaker Chambers, another apostate communist and ex-GRU agent.5 And within a year, Venona the joint US-UK program to decrypt Soviet intelligence cables began to yield results, exposing more spies. These exposés led to new US security measures such as loyalty oaths, Congressional investigations, the arrest and imprisonment of several CPUSA leaders, and positive vetting of government employees working in sensitive areas of national security, as well as counterintelligence initiatives directed against the official Soviet presence in the United States and the CPUSA. Critics often conflate these measures with “red-baiting” and “spy mania,” thereby confusing legitimate steps to protect classified information with what, in retrospect, were regrettable but probably inevitable excesses. True, not all communists were spies, but all the spies were communists—either covert party members whose names were recorded on secret lists or others who were kept off the party’s rolls to protect them from FBI scrutiny. Spies concludes, correctly in my view, that US security measures were “a rational, if sometimes excessively heated, response to a genuine threat.” (xv) The New Yorker, one of the few mainstream journals that saw fit to review Spies, claimed that KGB operations played at best “a small part of the history of Soviet-American relations.”6 How small is small? Haynes and company argue that a deadly combination of having the bomb and of crippling US intelligence efforts to decrypt the Red Army’s cable traffic gave Stalin confidence to initiate the Korean War.7 Chapter 6 (“The XY Line: Technical, Scientific, and Industrial Espionage”) is an eye-opener that reveals the extent of KGB acquisition of US scientific, engineering, and industrial secrets. The “hard” data acquired by the KGB’s XY Line was far more important to Stalin—and far more damaging to US national security—than the “soft” information provided by political, economic, and journalistic sources. American spies provided a trove of information on advances in chemistry, physics, biology, and especially aviation. Even more serious was Soviet penetration of the US defense-industrial complex. The KGB chalked up impressive results, which, in addition to the all-important atom bomb, included information on jet planes, radar, sonar, artillery proximity fuses, and many other advances in military technology. The artillery proximity fuse was one of America’s most important and closely guarded secrets. A later version was used on Soviet missiles that shot down the American U-2 spy plane in 1960—an incident that led to the cancellation of a Soviet-American summit meeting. Among other vital secrets, the KGB acquired details of the first US jet engine and plans for the P80 Shooting Star, the first jet fighter, as well as a fire-control radar for anti-aircraft artillery. Chapter 6 also shows that Julius Rosenberg’s ring, which was responsible for much of this information, was larger than previously known. The security measures taken after 1945 to stem the tide of KGB spying almost certainly prevented the Soviets from stealing military secrets on a wholesale basis during the Cold War. Spies lifts the veil of Soviet espionage by revealing Stalin’s covert aggression well before the United States and the Soviet Union became adversaries and even while they were allies during World War II. One reviewer called Spies “a quiet triumph of scholarship,” which it is. 8 Critics will attack it as an updated and refined version of red-baiting and witch-hunting, as a political statement that “supports a conservative view” of American history and politics.9 But as Spies demonstrates, espionage is too important to be written off as a political issue; it was and remains a matter of national security. This conclusion is precisely what diehard critics refuse to accept by treating the book as a political statement—an updated and refined version of red-baiting—rather than as objective history. They will never be convinced otherwise, but for readers with an interest in historical truth who believe that espionage is a serious business Spies is highly recommended. Notes 1 Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, and Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov, The Soviet World of American Communism (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995); Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, and Kyrill M. Anderson, The Secret World of American Communism (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998); and John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999). 2 See “Preface,” Spies, pp. ix-xx, passim, and “Introduction,” pp. xxvii-liii. For further discussion of the vetting of the notebooks and of the compiler, see Mark Kramer, “Editor’s Note,” and John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, “Alexander Vassilev’s Notebooks and Documentation of Soviet Intelligence Activities in the United States during the Stalin Era,” Journal of Cold War Studies (Special Issue: Soviet Espionage During the Stalin Era) 11:3 (Summer 2009), pp. 1-5 and 6-25, respectively. 3 Haynes and Klehr, Venona, p. 337. 4 The FBI arrested 11 spies in 1985 and dozens more through the decade of the 1980s, most of whom were spying for Soviet or East European intelligence services. 5 On the synergistic effect of the Gouzenko-Bentley-Chambers testimony on US counterintelligence, see Benjamin B. Fischer, “The Gouzenko Affair, the Beginning of the Cold War, and American Counterintelligence,” in J.L. Black and Martin Rudner, eds., The Gouzenko Affair: Canada and the beginnings of Cold War Counter-Espionage (Manotick, Ontario: Penumbra Press, 2006), pp. 82-84. 6 Nicholas Lemann, “Spy Wars,” The New Yorker, July 27, 2009, p. 75. 7 In one of the worst early Cold War counterintelligence disasters, the US armed services signals intelligence agency, Arlington Hall, hired a Russian linguist who was a KGB agent. In 1948, the ability to read Soviet military communications “went dark” and with it an opportunity to monitor Soviet logistical support for North Korea’s invasion of South Korea in June 1950. 8 Tim Tzouliadis, “Reds under the Beds,” Literary Review, n.d. <http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/tzouliadis_07_09.html> 9 Lemann, “Spy Wars,” p. 75. -------------------------------- Review by Richard Gid Powers, College of Staten Island and Graduate School, CUNY Klehr, Haynes, and Vassiliev have given an incredibly detailed x-ray, MRI even, of Soviet espionage in America, and have surrounded it with analysis that shows their lifetimes spent studying the records of the American Communist Party, espionage, and tradecraft. What is most newsworthy is the conclusive confirmation of what had been conjectured, although without too much doubt, about the identities of the spies exposed by the Venona documents: Hiss, White, and others. But since this was never really in doubt except by those, for whom as Vassiliev complains, doubt is an act of religious faith, most knowledgeable readers will be more impressed by other aspects of this most remarkable book. Perhaps the most fascinating of these revelations is how much exposure of the Soviet spy networks, despite the defections of so many couriers and spies who alerted the State Department and the FBI as to the magnitude of the Soviet underground operations, depended on the revelations of Elizabeth Bentley (“Clever Girl” to the Russians, “Gregory” to the FBI). And what a close thing that was: Vassiliev’s notes reveal that, shortly before Bentley spilled the beans to the FBI, her handlers, fearing what was in fact going to happen, seriously considered silencing her permanently, and her assassination was all the way up the chain of command to Beria, who ruled against the it. Had she been killed before her deposition to the FBI, there would have been no rapid unraveling of the Golos network, and since it was that that led to almost all rest of Russian spy networks, without Bentley, the networks might never have unraveled at all. Another of this book’s surprises is the repetitive cycles of self-demolition of the Soviet control apparatus over the American network during the paranoid purges of the Stalin era. What is still more amazing was how the entire Soviet apparatus quickly adopted Moscow center’s evaluation of each purged subordinate or superior as a spy for the British, the Americans, the Nazis, or the international Trotskyite conspiracy. Time and again the Soviets had to rebuild their control over their American spies, and yet each time they were able to reconnect with their spies again. How did they do it? Was the FBI asleep on the job? It does look that way, but a closer look tells a different story. The authors point out that during the neutrality period and during the war, the FBI had its hands full guarding what the Bureau liked to call the “FBI Front,” that is, the home front. And it was looking for Nazi and Japanese spies, primarily. Moreover, during the war it had taken on the additional task of dismantling Nazi espionage networks in South America and helping Nelson Rockefeller wrest control of South American airlines and radio networks from the Germans. But what about keeping an eye on Russian spies and their American accomplices? It falls into the category of the Pope’s Catholicism to point out that J. Edgar Hoover was an anticommunist. Indeed, he had pride of precedence among all the government’s anticommunists, going back to the Red Scare years of 1919 and 1920. But he was also a president’s man, even more than an anticommunist, providing he could trust the president and the president supported him. And Hoover did trust FDR, and FDR on many occasions supported Hoover when on rare occasions Hoover got himself into trouble. And there were signals a fool could not have missed (and Hoover was no fool) that the Roosevelt administration was not interested in any sort of Communist spy scare, or indeed, once the war started, any trouble at all with American Communists. Whether it was Adolph Berle’s lack of interest in Whittaker Chambers’ revelations, the release of Earl Browder from jail, or the wholesale recruitment of Communists into the OSS and later the armed forces' officer corps, Hoover got the idea, and the idea was to relax surveillance on American Communists. There was even a move to let the KGB set up a legal office in the United States, although that proposal was scotched by Hoover. And so not until the end of the war, when Hoover was faced with a president he did not trust, a Harry Truman who made his distaste for Hoover and the FBI no secret (an “American Gestapo,” he called it), and with a resurgent Republican party biting onto the spy issue like dogs with a bone, did Hoover once again turn the Bureau loose on American Communists and their Soviet handlers. Their spy network’s fatal flaw, as the Russians had feared and foreseen, was the KGB’s reliance on American Communists as spies and couriers. As the authors point out and thoroughly document, the Russians did not trust the Americans’ tradecraft, and knew that there were so many contacts between American Communists that if Hoover got his hands on one loose thread the entire network could (as it did) unravel. And that loose thread was Elizabeth Bentley, and as mentioned before, one of the truly sensational revelations of this book is that the Russians seriously considered killing her before she could tell the FBI all she knew, and, in retrospect, that would have been the Russians sole hope of saving their incredibly successful spy network in America. The authors document the Russians’ fear and foreboding every time they tapped into the pool of willing, able, and even enthusiastic volunteer spies within the American Communist party. Indeed, one rarely finds in these records American Communists who displayed any reluctance, let alone refusal, to answer the bell when called upon by the KGB. Some, particularly later on when the FBI had turned on the heat, did not want to endanger their jobs, and others willfully decided to believe that they were spying for the CPUSA and not the Russians, but all in all, one could hardly argue with Hoover that the entire CPUSA constituted an almost inexhaustible bullpen of potential spy recruits for Soviet espionage. This book is filled with answers to nagging questions about Soviet espionage and American communism, some of them definitive, some of them more conjectural. For me at least the book does help explain J. Edgar Hoover’s focus to the point of obsession on the American Communist party even when the Smith Act prosecution of its leaders, HUAC ‘s exposures of rank and file Communists, Khrushchev’s revelations of Stalin’s crimes, and the Bureau’s COINTELPRO harassment of the party had reduced it to a pitiful remnant by the end of the fifties. Hoover was on record as believing that the importance of the American party was its connection to the world wide Communist movement, that is, as far as he was concerned, as a potential appendage to Soviet espionage. When the international movement was strong, Hoover would say, the American Communist party was strong, and when the movement was weak, so was the American party. Hoover had lived through this cycle before: he had all but destroyed the party in the early twenties only to see it rebound in the thirties. That meant that no matter how inconsequential the party might seem, he had to keep it thoroughly infiltrated to be prepared for the next swing of the cycle. This book is such a rich source of information and is so well organized and astutely analyzed by the authors that one has to use a gimlet eye to find anything to criticize. But if I must, the author’s confident belief that a clear chain of causation leads from the successes of the Los Alamos spies to the North Koreans’ invasion of South Korea strikes me as a bit too pat. Despite the new information on Stalin’s “go signal” to the North Koreans, there is still no consensus as to what actually happened, and not all the dissenters here are those willful deniers of the importance of the KGB’s spy operations in America so richly described by Klehr, Haynes, and Vassiliev in this exciting book. -------------------------------- Review by Ellen Schrecker, Yeshiva University At one point in the mid-1990s, when the VENONA decrypts were just being released, I went to a conference at the National Defense University in Washington where it became very clear that the study of the Soviet Union’s espionage is a rather esoteric brand of historical investigation and one with its own very special type of audience and expertise. There were several hundred people there, by no means all (or even a majority) of whom were academics. Yet, they were amazingly well-informed about what seemed to be an arcane and highly specialized branch of knowledge. What was particularly striking was their persistence in tracking down information about the Soviet intelligence services and their Western collaborators. Over the years, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr have dedicated themselves to the task of serving as intermediaries between that esoteric world of the espionage groupies and the much staider community of professional historians. Despite their critical and limited depiction of the American Communist party, their scholarship seems above reproach. They are diligent, prolific, and, above all, generous about sharing their materials with the rest of the historical community. From the microfilming of the American Communist party (CPUSA) and Comintern records to the current internet posting of the Vassiliev notebooks, their dissemination of the documentary record has been exemplary. In the book under review here, they are offering an overview of the so-called Golden Age of Soviet espionage, based on materials copied by hand from the archives of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) by Alexander Vassiliev, a journalist and former KGB agent, who during the early 1990s was given access to some of the organization’s files as part of a deal with an American publisher. When Vassiliev moved to Great Britain in 1996, he left his notes behind, taking only some SVR-vetted draft chapters that he then turned over to his co-author Allen Weinstein to be published as The Haunted Wood.1 Haynes and Klehr entered the picture in 2005 after discovering that Vassiliev had recovered his notes and was willing to share them. Those notes, transcribed into eight notebooks, contain Vassiliev’s handwritten transcriptions of internal KGB files. They are, the authors claim, “the most complete look at Soviet espionage in America we have yet had or will obtain until the likely far off day when Russian authorities open the KGB’s archives for independent research.”(xi) To their credit, both Haynes and Klehr are well aware that the materials those notebooks contain are no replacement for unfettered access to the actual archives of the KGB. After all, Vassiliev had less than three years to look at the documents that the guardians of the records selected for his perusal; and we simply don’t know what those guardians withheld or what Vassiliev felt might not have been worth copying. Even so, I am inclined to agree with the assessment of Haynes and Klehr that “the Vassiliev notebooks offer the most complete look at Soviet espionage in America we have yet had or will obtain until the likely far off day when Russian authorities open the KGB’s archives for independent research.”(xi) In many respects – and for obvious reasons – the Haynes and Klehr volume offers much of the same information as The Haunted Wood and often in the same format. It does, however, provide some new names and adds details about the activities of many previously identified Soviet agents. There seems no reason to doubt the authenticity of this material, especially since so much of it can be corroborated by other sources like the VENONA decrypts, the Comintern archives, the FBI files, and the memoirs and confessions of everyone from Whittaker Chambers to Morton Sobell. Any other explanation for all the documented information about Soviet espionage simply doesn’t make sense or else requires a belief in the most elaborate archival conspiracy that ever existed. So, what have we learned from the Vassiliev materials? Not all that much, unless one is an espionage buff. During the 1930s and 1940s dozens, probably hundreds, of U.S. citizens were, as we already know, involved in one way or another with spying for the Soviet Union. According to Haynes and Klehr, the VENONA decrypts listed 349 individuals, but only identified 171 of them by name. Vassiliev’s notebooks give 65 more names – including two more people who had penetrated the Manhattan project and, what for me was quite a surprise, a physicist named Byron Darling whom I had discussed in my book on McCarthyism in academe. Though Haynes and his co-authors took my treatment of Darling completely out of context, I am prepared to accept their finding that he had been working with the KGB during WWII – even if we don’t know exactly how the Russians made use of his reports from the U.S. Rubber Company in Detroit.2 One problem with all this material is to define exactly what the authors (or the KGB) mean by a spy. The men and women mentioned in the notebooks engage in a broad range of activities. Obviously, there’s no question about someone like Klaus Fuchs or Theodore Hall who knowingly handed over top secret information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. But there are a lot of gray areas into which a number of these “sources” fall: people who may have been sympathetic with the Soviet project and who may have tried to offer advice or do something to help the cause. And it’s often not completely clear exactly how witting such a person was, nor how much the KGB authors of the documents Vassiliev saw may have been embroidering their reports in order to gain favor with their superiors in Moscow. Thus for example, was it really such a terrible betrayal on the part of the journalist I.F. Stone in 1936 to help William Dodd, Jr., the son of the American ambassador to Germany, make connections to the antifascist underground in Berlin? Actually, if we are to trust the narrative in Spies, Dodd seems like such a doofus that it may have been an error on Stone’s part to deliver such sensitive information to him. It is important, here, to place all this activity in its historical context. That most of the Soviet Union’s espionage successes occurred at the height of World War II, when the US and the USSR were allies against the Third Reich, is not, as they say, an accident. The war created both the opportunity as well as the motivation for some American Communists to spy for the Soviet Union. The rapid mobilization of the early 1940s brought many of these people into defense industries and into the government. Neither before, nor afterward, would they be in a position to transmit secrets to the KGB, nor, perhaps, would they have wanted to. The authors are strangely uninterested in the reasons why their subjects became involved with espionage. But, those motivations are an important part of the story and explain, as much as anything, the historical significance of what these people did. Whether it was to protect the socialist motherland, defeat Hitler, or somehow, as Fuchs and Hall seemed to have believed, to ensure that the U.S. government would not be able to exploit its nuclear monopoly to the detriment of world peace, it is important to realize that for the most part these espionage agents did not think that they were betraying their government. Moreover, as Communists, they were internationalists, not bound by loyalty to any one nation state, but to a world-wide movement that they believed would ultimately improve the lot of all humanity. That they were wrong, -- tragically misguided to say the least – and even, may have done something that contributed to the onset of the Korean War, as the authors insist, is, I think, an accurate assessment of the damage they inflicted. But – and here I think we need to withhold judgment – we don’t really know enough about how the information many of these people transmitted was utilized. This is especially the case with the political intelligence that got passed on. Vassiliev’s notebooks may not, therefore, tell us everything we might want to know about the Soviet spying. Do they, for example, tell us anything more about the role of FAECT – the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians – many of whose members, like Julius Rosenberg, were active in the Soviet apparatus? Rarely have I seen the FBI redacter’s pen so heavily used as when a mention of that particular organization crops up in its records. It would be useful, therefore, to learn a lot more about what its relationship was, if any, with the KGB. Another subject that the authors only hint at is the fact that not everybody connected to the Communist party accepted the invitation to spy. The notebooks finally put to rest the allegations about J. Robert Oppenheimer and they do offer some evidence about other men and women who refused to cooperate with the KGB. But evidence about other unsuccessful approaches may well be lacking, since it would probably be unrealistic to expect Soviet operatives during the Stalin years to have sent in detailed reports about the folks who rebuffed their advances. Such information would be helpful, not only in placing the KGB’s efforts into perspective, but also in offering a more realistic picture of the American communist movement. For the main problem with the work of Haynes and Klehr is with their one-sided and oversimplified portrayal of American communism as, they claim, “an appendage of Soviet intelligence.” (548) But the American Communist party was a much more complicated organization than that. Yes, it served as a recruiting ground for Soviet espionage agents. Yes, many of its leaders and rank-and-file activists followed as best they could the directives coming out of Moscow. And, yes, many Communists willfully closed their eyes to the horrors of Stalinism. But – and this is the real tragedy of American communism – the party was also, and in part because of its Soviet connection, the most dynamic organization on the American left during the 1930s and 1940s. As dozens of memoirs and monographs have revealed, about a hundred thousand people – including the men and women whose names grace the pages of Vassiliev’s notebooks – joined the party because it seemed to them at the time to be the most effective vehicle for combating fascism in the U.S., for organizing unions in industries the mainstream labor movement had ignored, for struggling against racial inequality, and for opening up to them dozens of ways in which they as individuals could participate in a broad array of cultural and political organizations dedicated to the pursuit of peace and social justice.3 These are not illegitimate goals. Unfortunately, the people who sought to achieve those goals by joining the CP were mistaken. The party’s connection to the Soviet Union poisoned everything. But, as historians, we need to understand, not condemn, them. Notes 1 Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America—The Stalin Era (New York: Random House, 1999). 2 I cited his abrupt dismissal from Ohio State University without a hearing as an “egregious” violation of academic freedom, which I still believe, even if he was a spy. Ellen Schrecker, No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 207. 3 This is a massive literature on American communism. Much of it needs to be updated to take advantage of the new materials that have come out of Moscow and some needs to be taken with more than a pinch of skepticism, but much also remains valuable for giving a more rounded portrayal of the CPUSA than Haynes and Klehr admit. Among some of the more useful of these studies are Robin D. G. Kelley, Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists during the Great Depression (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990); Paul Lyons, Philadelphia Communists 1936-1956 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982); James R. Barrett, William Z. Foster and the Tragedy of American Radicalism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999); Maurice Isserman, Which Side Were You On? The American Communist Party During the Second World War (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1982); Robbie Lieberman, "My Song Is My Weapon": People's Songs, American Communism and the Politics of Culture 1930-1950 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989); and Kate Weigand, Red Feminism: American Communism and the Making of Women’s Liberation (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001); and Dorothy Healey and Maurice Isserman, Dorothy Healey Remembers: A Life in the American Communist Party (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). -------------------------------- Author’s Response by John Earl Haynes, Library of Congress, and Harvey Klehr, Emory University We thank John Erhman, Benjamin Fischer, Richard Gid Powers, and Ellen Schrecker for their careful reading of Spies and their generous comments. The strength of our book is that it makes use of the most detailed and richest source on Soviet espionage activity in the U.S. that has appeared to date. In some ways, we felt writing Spies called to mind the cliché ‘shooting fish in a barrel.’ With material this good, we couldn’t miss! Alexander Vassiliev’s 1,115 pages of transcribed and summarized KGB archival documents, when combined with the deciphered KGB cables of the Venona project, FBI investigative files opened by FOIA, congressional and trial testimony, and the accumulation of memoir literature allows a look at the broad contours of Soviet espionage in the 1930s and 1940s as well as a detailed examination of some of the key incidents and cases such as the KGB’s penetration of the American and British atomic bomb project, the remarkable scientific-technical intelligence activities of the apparatus created by Julius Rosenberg, and the extensive networks of U.S. government officials recruited via the Communist Party of the USA by Jacob Golos and Elizabeth Bentley. That said, there still remain incidents about which Vassiliev’s material provides only part of the story and it may be worthwhile to mention a few. The notebooks confirm the long-standing suspicion that the KGB infiltrated Robert Harte, a young American Communist, into the American Trotskyist movement. Harte was one of the volunteers whom American Trotskyists sent to Mexico to guard their exiled leader. But Vassiliev did not have access to KGB Mexican files, and there is no information about Harte’s role in an unsuccessful armed attack on Trotsky’s villa. Harte escaped with the attackers but was later found mysteriously murdered. There are also newly identified Soviet sources in the notebooks about whose activities we know only a little, such as Earl Florsdorf, a leading medical chemist who did research on germ warfare for the U.S. Army. And, there are still many Soviet sources known only by a cover name, whose real identities remain a mystery, such as “S-2,” a secretary in the Aviation Division of the Department of the Navy who provided copious amounts of information from the early 1930s through WWII, including technical data on Robert Goddard’s rocket experiments, financed by the Navy. There is still only limited information on the work of GRU, Soviet military intelligence, in the United States. While much less active than the KGB, GRU did run a number of operations. Only where KGB and GRU networks stumbled over each other, as they did in regard to Alger Hiss, do Vassiliev’s notebooks provide information on GRU activities. John Ehrman would have preferred that we not follow the practice, laid out in the “Conventions for Nomenclature” in Spies’ front matter, of using the acronym “KGB” for the chief Soviet intelligence agency rather than the particular title that applied at a particular time. The Soviet foreign intelligence agency was under the successive jurisdiction of the Cheka, GPU, OGPU, GUGB, NKVD, NKGB, MGB, MVD, and KI and eventually became the First Chief Directorate of the KGB. Despite the title changes, however, it was the same agency with an unbroken organizational history. We wanted our text to be accessible to non-specialists and judged that use of multiple acronyms would produce confusion. Indeed, on many pages where events or documents in different years are cited, we would have been using two, three or even four acronyms on the same page, or even in the same paragraph, for the same agency, a result sure to confuse many readers. Intelligence professionals and specialists in espionage history would not have been confused by use of these multiple acronyms; they know them all. Neither, however, are specialists confused by our simply using KGB, being well aware of the name changes in the KGB’s institutional history. So, for us it was an easy choice, to use KGB and confuse no one. We also chose to use the term “station” for the KGB’s organization units operating in the U.S. rather than the KGB’s term “residentura” or “residency” to reduce confusion but also for another reason. There is an extensive popular espionage literature in which many authors overdramatize and impart a mysterious air to their prose by needlessly sprinkling their text with Russian terms and arcane espionage jargon. We find such spy-buff practices off-putting and inappropriate for scholarly writing. Our preference is for undramatic prose, and referring to a KGB “station” seemed to us to be plainer and less ‘inside baseball’ than “residentura” or “residency.” Nor do we think it advisable to take as gospel the definitions set out in Vassili Mitrokhin’s KGB Lexicon in making fine distinctions between the different sorts of agents such as the “doveritelnaya svyaz.” Mitrokhin’s lexicon reflects KGB terminology and tradecraft of the final decades of the Cold War, and applying it to the 1930s and 1940s is anachronistic. Terminology and jargon change over time. We asked our co-author Alexander Vassiliev about “doveritelnaya svyaz,” and he emailed: “The category of a Doveritelnaya Svyaz (DS) seems to have been created much later. I don’t think I have ever met this term in the 1930-40s files.” As for the question of the meaning of the term “agentura,” Vassiliev wrote, “the list of ‘agentura’ means exactly what it says - agents.” (By the way, Mitrokhin’s lexicon says the same, defining “agentura” as “a collective term for agents.”) As to whether there are subtle errors in our translation, it is precisely for that reason that when Spies appeared we placed on the web all 1,115 pages of Vassiliev’s notebooks in three formats: (1) scans of the original handwritten Russian, (2) transcriptions into word-processed Russian, and (3) translations into English. The latter two versions are paginated and formatted to match the original in order to facilitate anyone wishing to move from the English translation back to the Russian transcription or the handwritten original. The notebooks are in PDF files and can be downloaded, and researchers have already transferred thousands of copies from the website at the Cold War International History Project (cwihp.org). Also downloadable at this site is a concordance we constructed that lists and cross references real names and cover names. In the case of cover names, the Russian is also given. The concordance will assist researchers by providing a ready reference for identifying the real names behind the hundreds of cover names in the notebooks. Anyone wishing to see the full context of anything we quote or cite from the Vassiliev notebooks or to verify a translation can do so readily as our citations list the notebook page number where the information is found. In addition to the notebooks being on the web, the second most cited source used in Spies are the deciphered cables of the Venona project. Those, too, are available on the web (www.nsa.gov/public_info/declass/venona/), and any researcher can read the full text of any Venona message we quote or cite. We believe that as time and technology march on, it will become standard for scholarly works to do as we did, place their key original archival documents on the web or provide citations to on-line documentary collections. There is another point to the easy availability of all 1,115 pages of Vassiliev’s notebooks to any researcher. If one has a question about what is meant by this or that sentence or phrase that we quote, it is a mistake to look only at that particular sentence or phrase. To fully comprehend the meaning of a passage requires reading not just that passage but reading extensive portions of the notebooks. As one reads more of the documents one gains an understanding of the reporting practices, turns of phrase, and terminology habits of the Soviet intelligence officers writing the material. Extensive reading in the notebooks gives one confidence in evaluating the meaning of any particular passage and will eliminate many of the jejune explanations to which some people unfamiliar with the underlying documentary material leap. We agree with Benjamin Fischer that the information in the notebooks about the impressively wide extent of KGB scientific and technical intelligence was “an eye-opener” and share his view that likely this “hard” technical intelligence “was far more important to Stalin – and far more damaging to US national security” than the “soft” information provided on diplomatic and political topics by the KGB’s sources in wartime Washington. We call attention, in particular, to the large quantity of advance military technology provided to the Soviets by the Rosenberg apparatus that we discuss in Spies but is also detailed in Steven Usdin’s “The Rosenberg Ring Revealed: Industrial-Scale Conventional and Nuclear Espionage” (Journal of Cold War Studies, Summer 2009). In addition, we wish to note our appreciation and satisfaction that Ehrman and Fischer, who combine careers as practicing intelligence professionals with historical writing, find relatively little to quarrel with in Spies. We appreciate and largely share Richard Powers’ thoughtful observations about the context for evaluating the FBI’s success, or, until latter half of the 1940s, lack of success against Soviet espionage. We also agree with his point about the “self-demolition of the Soviet control apparatus” due to Stalin’s purges. There were hints and suggestions of this before. Chambers’ 1938 decision to drop out of Soviet espionage was prompted in part by his fear of being drawn into the purges. But Vassiliev’s notebooks bring home vividly the extent to which ‘friendly-fire’ devastated Soviet intelligence in the 1938-1941 period. We have had sharp differences of views on the history of American communism and anticommunism over the years with Ellen Schrecker and more than one harsh exchange. It was, then, with some surprise that her comments, while still maintaining a different interpretive stand, none-the-less contain generous remarks about our work. We thank her. Schrecker raises the question of motivation and comments that we appear to have little interest in what motivated many American to assist Soviet intelligence. Motivation is an important question, but it does not arise until after one has established that this or that person assisted the KGB. Much of our work has focused on this first question of who did what. If you don’t believe that Julius Rosenberg, Alger Hiss, or Harry White assisted Soviet espionage, then the question of motive is irrelevant. And there remains the simple fact that large numbers of people have bitterly disputed the guilt of such key figures over many decades. Some H-Diplo readers with long memories may recall 1997 exchanges about the Rosenberg case where a number of academics insisted that despite the then recently released Venona decryptions guilt was still an open question. H-Diplo readers were even treated to posts by convicted Soviet spy Morton Sobell insisting that he and the Rosenbergs were innocent and damning Venona as unreliable. Earlier this year Sobell confessed that he had lied for decades and confirmed that both he and Rosenberg had been engaged in spying. So certainly with Rosenberg, Sobell, and the rest of the large Rosenberg espionage apparatus, we can, at long last, move from the question of guilt to the question of motive and importance. The Alger Hiss case ought also to be moving from questions of guilt to motivation. G. Edward White’s 2004 Alger Hiss’s Looking-Glass Wars accepted his guilt and moved on to address his motives and defense strategy. Given the overwhelming evidence on the matter, we entitled our chapter in Spies about the Hiss case as “Case Closed” and think it is time to turn to motivation and other questions about the case. But defenders of Hiss’s innocence remain both inside and outside the scholarly world. In 2007 Kai Bird and Svetlana Chervonnaya, in “The Mystery of Ales” published in the American Scholar an article arguing that the Soviet spy with the cover name “Ales” in Venona was not Alger Hiss but the senior State Department (and later United Nations) official Wilder Foote (a conclusion we totally reject, see also Eduard Mark, “In Re Alger Hiss: A Final Verdict from the Archives of the KGB,” Journal of Cold War Studies. Summer 2009). Bird and Chervonnaya’s paper was the featured presentation at a New York University conference on the Hiss case. And NYU continues to this day to host a website dedicated to the proposition that he was framed. Dr. Amy Knight in the Times Literary Supplement (26 June 2009) attacked our book, reaffirming her conviction that Alger Hiss (and even Harry Dexter White) were innocent of covert cooperation with Soviet espionage. As long as guilt is contested, it will be difficult to focus on motive. Nevertheless, the scholarly consensus of the 1970s and 1980s that there had not been much Soviet espionage in the U.S. in the 1930s and 1940s and that Rosenberg, Hiss, et. al., were innocent has shifted. Most people now acknowledge that there had been extensive spying and that most of those accused were, indeed, guilty. Since we are, at long last, to the point where we can shift from arguing about who did what to why they did it, Schrecker has a point that motivation is increasingly important to discuss. Although Schrecker is right that it has never been a major concern, we have addressed motive in several of our works. In Spies we specify that some of the KGB’s 1930s and early 1940s technical/industrial sources were motivated by greed; they were paid, and paid well. The vast majority of Soviet agents, however, were ideologically motivated; they were either Communists or close sympathizers. We didn’t devote a great deal of space in Spies or in our earlier works to dissecting the reasons Communists assisted Soviet intelligence. To us, that Communists would readily assist Soviet espionage requires no elaborate explanation; they looked on the USSR as their spiritual homeland and wanted to do all in their power to assist it. While some people have suggested that their motivation was “anti-Fascist” rather than pro-Communist, we are unpersuaded. Communists did not have a monopoly on antifascism: liberals and leftists of all varieties were anti-Fascist. And in the period from September 1939 to June 1941, the American Communists and their allies ardently supported the USSR’s alliance with Nazi Germany; those who were “real” anti-Fascists lost their illusions about the reliability of Communists in the anti-Fascist fight. And, of course, a number of those who assisted Soviet intelligence continued to do so after WWII when there was no Fascist menace (except to Communists who saw the United States as Fascist). We agree with Schrecker that we have come to a turning point and motivation deserves more attention than it has received. But we wonder if she recognizes the consequences of her assertion that many Communist “espionage agents did not think that they were betraying their government. Moreover, as Communists, they were internationalists, not bound by loyalty to any one nation state” and her agreement that they caused serious harm. Doesn’t recognition of the scale of Soviet spying using American Communists suggest that the federal loyalty-security program -- however flawed its execution -- was a rational response to a serious threat of espionage? Most anti-Communists, and most American security officials, assumed that Communists were ideologically predisposed to assist Soviet espionage, that membership in the CPUSA or close association with it was a red flag (no pun intended) for a security risk in the context of the Cold War. More focus on the motivation of those who did assist Soviet espionage will provide context for evaluating this particular pillar of postwar anticommunism and challenge prior arguments that all opposition to communism was a form of McCarthyism and that those fired from or debarred from government jobs were victims. Byron Darling, for example, was not a victim of McCarthyism; he was a Soviet spy who lied and dissembled about his prior activities, activities that included providing the Soviets with information on synthetic rubber, a militarily important and highly valuable American technical secret, as well as being tasked to try to contact scientists he knew who were working on the Manhattan Project. We close by noting that while we have made extensive use of Vassiliev’s notebooks, there is plenty of material in the notebooks that we did not use. For example, the Odd Pages notebook includes twenty-seven pages of KGB intelligence reports regarding the United States sent to Stalin, Molotov, and Beria, 1945-1948. We made only minor use of these reports because their largely diplomatic emphases didn’t bear on the chief themes of our book, but scholars of the early Cold War are likely to find these reports of what Soviet intelligence was telling the Kremlin’s leadership of interest. Other researchers will find in the notebooks much to write about that we did not deal with and may recognize matters of importance that missed us entirely. We are confident that a number of dissertations and books and many journal articles will use of Vassiliev’s notebooks. Copyright © 2009 H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, H-Diplo, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the H-Diplo Editors at email@example.com.