BETRAYED by Nicholas Bethell


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An exhaustively-researched investigative effort, recounting the little-known combined British-American attempt to topple the Stalinist Enver Hoxha regime in Albania between 1949 and 1952. Lord Bethell, author of The Last Secret and The Palestine Triangle, tells a gripping tale here of a precursor to the Bay of Pigs fiasco which is sure to give heart to the William Appleman Williams school of historians--those who assign equal (or usually greater) blame to the US for the Cold War. What makes this story interesting (who, after all, cares much about Albania?) is the presence of arch-double agent Kim Philby, who turns out to be the villain of the piece. Philby, it appears, was privy to most of the planning of the coup front its earliest stages, both in London and in Washington. And it was Philby's relaying of these plans to Soviet agents that enabled Albanian military forces to ""uncannily"" always be exactly where the commandos landed at any given point in time. Bethell has done an admirable job in getting dozens of the participants to recite their versions of events, despite intensive CIA secrecy shields over the entire episode. Thirty-six years later, neither government will officially admit of the attempt. But Bethell's narrative leaves little doubt in the reader's mind.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1985
Publisher: Times Books