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Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence

A uniquely comprehensive and rich account of the Soviet intelligence services, Jonathan Haslam's Near and Distant Neighbors charts the labyrinthine story of Soviet intelligence from the October Revolution to the end of the Cold War.

Date & Time

Nov. 18, 2015
1:00pm – 2:30pm

Location

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence

Image removed.Previous histories have focused on the KGB, leaving Military Intelligence and the special service--which focused on codes and ciphers--lurking in the shadows. Drawing on previously neglected Russian sources, Haslam reveals how both were in fact crucial to the survival of the Soviet state. This was especially true after Stalin's death in 1953, as the Cold War heated up and dedicated Communist agents the regime had relied upon--Klaus Fuchs, the Rosenbergs, Donald Maclean--were betrayed. In the wake of these failures, Nikita Khrushchev and his successors discarded ideological recruitment in favor of blackmail and bribery. The tactical turn was so successful that we can draw only one conclusion: the West ultimately triumphed despite, not because of, the espionage war.

In bringing to light the obscure inhabitants of an undercover intelligence world, Haslam offers a surprising and unprecedented portrayal of Soviet success that is not only fascinating but also essential to understanding Vladimir Putin's power today.

Jonathan Haslam is the George F. Kennan Professor at the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is also a fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and a professor emeritus of Cambridge University. His previous work includes Russia’s Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall; No Virtue Like Necessity: Realist Thought in International Relations Since Machiavelli; The Vices of Integrity: E. H. Carr, 1892–1982, and several histories of Soviet foreign policy in the 1930s.

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Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program uses history to improve understanding of important global dynamics, trends in international relations, and American foreign policy.  Read more

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