Events

Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley

October 26, 2005 // 4:00pm5:30pm

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5th Floor Conference Room
Woodrow Wilson Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Speaker: Steve Usdin, Senior Editor, BioCentury Publications
Comments by: John Haynes Library of Congress

Discover the Cold War story of Joel Barr and Alfred Sarant, comrades who spied for the Soviet Union during World War II as members of Julius Rosenberg's espionage operation and later fled behind the Iron Curtain, where they were among the founders of the Soviet microelectronics and computer industries. Through his personal access to Barr and newly declassified documents, Steven Usdin sheds new light on the motives and tradecraft of American espionage agents, and the significance of the technology that the Rosenberg group gave to the Soviet Union. He will describe failed FBI counter-intelligence blunders that could have halted the flow of intelligence to the Soviets and describe the previously unknown American origins of the Soviet Silicon Valley.


Co-sponsored by the International Spy Museum.

About the speakers

Steve Usdin is a senior editor at BioCentury Publications, where he is responsible for covering issues at the intersection of public policy, science and politics, ranging from stem cells and cloning to drug safety. He has written hundreds of articles on biomedical policy, nuclear non-proliferation, national security and other topics for science and technology publications, including New Scientist, Datamation, Far Eastern Economic Review, Energy Daily and New Technology Week. Usdin has lived in Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, and the U.K., and has traveled and reported extensively from Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe. His book, Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley, was published by Yale University Press in 2005.


John Earl Haynes is 20th Century Political Historian in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress. He received his Ph.D. (1978) from U. of Minnesota. He is the author of In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage (2002); Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (1999); The Soviet World of American Communism (1998); Red Scare or Red Menace? American Communism and Anticommunism in the Cold War Era (1996); The Secret World of American Communism (1995); The American Communist Movement: Storming Heaven Itself (1992); Communism and Anti-Communism in the United States: An Annotated Guide to Historical Writings (1987); and Dubious Alliance: The Making of Minnesota's DFL Party (1984).



Upcoming Events

Art Exhibit: "From War to Victory: Poland 1939-1989"

October 01, 2014 // 4:00pmOctober 10, 2014 // 5:00pm

The Kennan Diaries

October 03, 2014 // 3:00pm5:00pm

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Unless otherwise noted:

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To confirm time and place, contact Maria-Stella Gatzoulis on the day of the event: tel. (202) 691-4188. Check this page for the latest updates and notices.

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project