Cover image for The sword and the shield : the Mitrokhin Archive and the secret history of the KGB
The sword and the shield : the Mitrokhin Archive and the secret history of the KGB
Andrew, Christopher M.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
700 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Reading Level:
1700 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
UB251.S65 A63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
UB251.S65 A63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
UB251.S65 A63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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The Sword and the Shield is based on one of the most extraordinary intelligence coups of recent times: a secret archive of top-level KGB documents smuggled out of the Soviet Union which the FBI has described, after close examination, as the "most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source." Its presence in the West represents a catastrophic hemorrhage of the KGB's secrets and reveals for the first time the full extent of its worldwide network.Vasili Mitrokhin, a secret dissident who worked in the KGB archive, smuggled out copies of its most highly classified files every day for twelve years. In 1992, a U.S. ally succeeded in exfiltrating the KGB officer and his entire archive out of Moscow. The archive covers the entire period from the Bolshevik Revolution to the 1980s and includes revelations concerning almost every country in the world. But the KGB's main target, of course, was the United States.Though there is top-secret material on almost every country in the world, the United States is at the top of the list. As well as containing many fascinating revelations, this is a major contribution to the secret history of the twentieth century.Among the topics and revelations explored are: The KGB's covert operations in the United States and throughout the West, some of which remain dangerous today. KGB files on Oswald and the JFK assassination that Boris Yeltsin almost certainly has no intention of showing President Clinton. The KGB's attempts to discredit civil rights leader in the 1960s, including its infiltration of the inner circle of a key leader. The KGB's use of radio intercept posts in New York and Washington, D.C., in the 1970s to intercept high-level U.S. government communications. The KGB's attempts to steal technological secrets from major U.S. aerospace and technology corporations. KGB covert operations against former President Ronald Reagan, which began five years before he became president. KGB spies who successfully posed as U.S. citizens under a series of ingenious disguises, including several who attained access to the upper echelons of New York society.

Author Notes

Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History and Chair of the History Department at Cambridge University, a former Visiting Professor of National Security at Harvard, a frequent guest lecturer at other U.S. universities and a regular host of BBC radio and TV programs.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Andrew (Cambridge Univ.) and Mitrokhin, a former KGB archivist who defected to England in 1992, have written a fascinating history of KGB activities over the past 50 years. Based on archival material that Mitrokhin spirited out of Russia, the book shows that the KGB extensively infiltrated the Roosevelt administration, the British government, and the circle of advisors around Pope John Paul II. It also successfully stole secrets from an array of American companies, organized eavesdropping operations against Henry Kissinger, and supplied countless terrorist and "revolutionary" groups, from the IRA to the Sandinistas. The study reveals the determination of the KGB to wipe out religious groups and its fear of the disrupting influence on its East European empire of the election of a Polish bishop as pope. Although the authors produced no archival evidence linking the KBG to the assassination attempt against John Paul II, they do provide circumstantial evidence that the Soviet government had a cogent motive. The book is an important portal into the recesses of the Soviet government and it should be in every major library. All levels. D. J. Dunn; Southwest Texas State University

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Acronymsp. xi
The Evolution of the KGB, 1917-1991p. xv
The Transliteration of Russian Namesp. xvii
Forewordp. xix
1 The Mitrokhin Archivep. 1
2 From Lenin's Cheka to Stalin's OGPUp. 23
3 The Great Illegalsp. 42
4 The Magnificent Fivep. 56
5 Terrorp. 68
6 Warp. 89
7 The Grand Alliancep. 104
8 Victoryp. 122
9 From War to Cold Warp. 137
10 The Main Adversary
Part 1 North American Illegals in the 1950'sp. 162
11 The Main Adversary
Part 2 Walk-ins and Legal Residencies in the Early Cold Warp. 176
12 The Main Adversary
Part 3 Illegals after "Abel"p. 190
13 The Main Adversary
Part 4 Walk-ins and Legal Residencies in the Later Cold Warp. 203
14 Political Warfare: Active Measures and the Main Adversaryp. 224
15 Progress Operations
Part 1 Crushing the Prague Springp. 247
16 Progress Operations
Part 2 Spying on the Soviet Blocp. 262
17 The KGB and Western Communist Partiesp. 276
18 Eurocommunismp. 294
19 Ideological Subversion
Part 1 The War Against the Dissidentsp. 307
20 Ideological Subversion
Part 2 The Victory of the Dissidentsp. 322
21 SIGINT in the Cold Warp. 337
22 Special Tasks
Part 1 From Marshal Tito to Rudolf Nureyevp. 356
23 Special Tasks
Part 2 The Andropov Era and Beyondp. 374
24 Cold War Operations Against Britain
Part 1 After the "Magnificent Five"p. 397
25 Cold War Operations Against Britain
Part 2 After Operation FOOTp. 417
26 The Federal Republic of Germanyp. 437
27 France and Italy during the Cold War: Agent Penetration and Active Measuresp. 460
28 The Penetration and Persecution of the Soviet Churchesp. 486
29 The Polish Pope and the Rise of Solidarityp. 508
30 The Polish Crisis and the Crumbling of the Soviet Blocp. 517
31 Conclusion: From the One-Party State to the Yeltsin Presidencyp. 544
A KGB Chairmen, 1917-26p. 566
B Heads of Foreign Intelligence, 1920-99p. 567
C The Organization of the KGBp. 568
D The Organization of the KGB First Chief Directoratep. 569
E The Organization of a KGB Residencyp. 570
Notesp. 571
Bibliographyp. 669
Indexp. 683