BATTLEGROUND BERLIN by David E. Murphy

BATTLEGROUND BERLIN

CIA vs. KGB in the Cold War
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A troika of erstwhile adversaries team up to deliver an absorbing and authoritative inside view of how American and Soviet- bloc intelligence agencies plied their offbeat trade in divided Berlin during the first 15 years of the Cold War. Drawing on newly available archival material and their own experiences, Murphy (a sometime chief of the CIA's Berlin station), Kondrashev (who headed the KGB's German Section), and Bailey (a former director of Radio Liberty) offer an essentially chronological account of who was spying on whom in Berlin and to what avail, from V-E Day through the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Before getting down to business, however, they provide brief rundowns on the major services, including the fledgling CIA, the thoroughly professional KGB, and East Germany's Stasi. Having set the scene, the authors recount the facts behind convulsive events that produced headlines throughout the world. Cases in point range from the 1953 uprisings in the German Democratic Republic, the tunnel the CIA dug to eavesdrop on supposedly secure phone conversations originating in the Eastern Sector, the cover- organization games played by both sides, counterintelligence as well as disinformation efforts and propaganda campaigns (e.g., Nikita Khrushchev's threat to sign a separate peace agreement with the GDR), and, of course, the Wall. Covered as well are the stories of high-profile defectors (Pyotr Popov, Otto John, et al.), interservice rivalries (notably, between the KGB and the Stasi). Both Moscow and Washington, the authors point out, ignored some crucial, first-rate intelligence gathered by their operatives in the field. Eye-opening detail on cloak-and-dagger operations in a conquered capital city that once threatened to alter the balance of world power and breach the world's hard-won peace. (illustrations, not seen) (Author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1997
ISBN: 0-300-07233-3
Page count: 535pp
Publisher: Yale Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1997




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