THE PENKOVSKIY PAPERS by Frank- Intro. & Commentary Gibney


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Oleg Penkovskiy was a Soviet Army missile expert and intelligence officer, a ranking member of the Communist Party, and finally a traitor. His memoir, started in 1960, when his career as an espionage agent active against his own heritage, began. It ends in 1963, when he was executed for treason. If this will be used in America and England as a top level view of inside Soviet affairs, it is also a man's explanation of conditions within himself--how he arrived at a point where he would bite the hand that fed him. In this, he sounds like Wennerstrom, Davis and Maclean and all the others who changed sides. He shares the claim that not personal gain but an insight into world-wide destruction (being courted by Khrushchev for the meanest motives) drove him outside of a life pattern of allegiance. He details this while making his personal case. Mr. Gibney heads each chapter with notes that straighten out the record of some of the things that Penkovskiy witnessed from the Russian side. Penkovskiy's unemotional tone lends more authority than hysterical claims would and builds up the drama of his three year ordeal. Expect to hear a lot about this--some will undoubtedly seize on its propaganda potential while others will respond to the philosophical dilemma of the sort of man who decides to take matters into his own hands.

Publisher: Doubleday