THE KGB: Masters of the Soviet Union by Peter & T.H. Bagley Deriabin

THE KGB: Masters of the Soviet Union

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The pervasive influence of the secret police in Soviet society and foreign policy, according to a former KGB operative (Deriabin) who defected to the US in 1954, and political scientist Bagley. The thesis is simple: the Committee on State Security is and always has been omnipotent in the Soviet Union, and at this very moment is eagerly hatching plans to suppress the results of perestroika and glasnost. Since the KGB controls all personnel appointments to sensitive positions in the Soviet hierarchy, it makes no sense, according to the authors, to try to conceive of different interests among the various Soviet bureaucracies. Nor is it necessary to compare the status of the secret police today with what is enjoyed in the 1930's and 1940's. Thus, Stalinist terror and Gorbachev's perestroika are lumped together here as if they proceeded from the same political logic and power calculations. Descriptions of the KGB's subdivisions are provided, but the authors don't explain how these relate to one another, except to aver that the ""eventual crackdown"" is being prepared by the ""real manager of its operational activity,"" KGB first deputy chairman Filipp Bobkin. Despite the lurid subject matter, most information here is tediously familiar, and presented in a tediously polemical and clumsy manner.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1989
Publisher: Hippocrene