KGB : masters of the Soviet Union /
Peter Deriabin and T.H. Bagley.
New York : Hippocrene Books, [1990]
xxiv, 466 p. ; 24 cm.
0870528041 :
More Details
New York : Hippocrene Books, [1990]
0870528041 :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 443-457) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1990-01-01:
Deriabin came to the West after working in the KGB during the 1940s and 1950s. Since the book is written in the first person, political scientist Bagley's coauthorship contribution is unclear. Deriabin doubts that Gorbachev represents a break with the Soviet past and thinks the KGB continues to be the key to Soviet power. He is best at describing the KGB's inner workings, although he doesn't seem to recognize any of its failings. Important recent Western literature on the KGB, such as Amy W. Knight's The KGB: Police and Politics in the Soviet Union (Unwin Hyman, 1988) and Jeffrey T. Richelson's Sword and Shield: Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus (Ballinger, 1985) , is omitted, and Deriabin seems to pull back from a more pluralistic view of Soviet politics, offering instead a more mono-institutional assessment in which the KGB is all that matters. For larger Soviet collections.-- Daniel N. Nelson, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1990-11:
At this point in history the one thing one can be sure of in the Soviet Union is change. The problem is that one cannot tell its direction. Will the Soviet Union move forward toward freedom and openness, or will history roll backward toward totalitarianism and authoritarian one-party rule? Deriabin has provided a useful institutional guide in his examination of the role of the state security apparatus in Soviet internal affairs. Unlike Amy Knight's The KGB: the Police and Politics in the Soviet Union (CH, Jun'89) Deriabin, a former KGB official, sees the institution through the eyes of history and personal insight via experience. Knight, an outsider, relies on academic sources, secondary analysis, and macro-analysis of primary data. As a defector Deriabin's view is that such organs as the KGB change slowly, are creatures of long-term trends and objectives, and will yield power slowly and reluctantly. Thus, he is not optimistic about the Soviet Union's likely future. The book provides an insider's perspective on how the KGB conducts "internal warfare" in the Soviet Union and how this affects foreign relations and interactions. As such, along with Knight's work, it provides a useful reference for examining the KGB, its actions and role, as the Soviet Union totters toward uncertainty. -P. A. Lupsha, University of New Mexico
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1989-12-15:
The belief that the Soviet Communist Party exercises control over the KGB, an idea popular in the West, is a fallacy, charge the authors. Deriabin, a Russian agent who defected to the West in 1954, here teams with political scientist Bagley in a chilling expose that lifts a veil off the inner workings of Soviet power. The KGB, they claim, dominates the highest echelons of party and bureaucracy; it monitors the armed forces, influencing key appointments; it directs the 300,000-man ``Internal Troops'' who crush workers' protests, food riots, political dissension and nationalist uprisings. The authors take us inside KGB headquarters in Moscow to show how the agency spreads its tentacles into the courts and police, into offices, farms and factories, and overseas. Dense with material from Soviet and Western sources, this report is compelling, whether one favors a hard-line or conciliationist U.S. policy toward the Soviets. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, December 1989
Booklist, January 1990
Library Journal, January 1990
Reference & Research Book News, June 1990
Choice, November 1990
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