Special Tasks, by Anatoli Sudoplatov, Pavel Sudoplatov, Leona P. Schecter, Jerrold L. Schecter

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Special Tasks, by Anatoli Sudoplatov, Pavel Sudoplatov, Leona P. Schecter, Jerrold L. Schecter

Special Tasks, by Anatoli Sudoplatov, Pavel Sudoplatov, Leona P. Schecter, Jerrold L. Schecter

Special Tasks, by Anatoli Sudoplatov, Pavel Sudoplatov, Leona P. Schecter, Jerrold L. Schecter

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Special Tasks, by Anatoli Sudoplatov, Pavel Sudoplatov, Leona P. Schecter, Jerrold L. Schecter

According to KGB archives, Pavel Sudoplatov directed the secretive Administration for Special Tasks. This department was responsible for kidnapping, assassination, sabotage, and guerrilla warfare during World War II, it also set up illegal networks in the United States and Western Europe, and, most crucially, carried out atomic espionage in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. Sudoplatov served the KGB for over fifty years, at one point controlling more than twenty thousand guerrillas, moles, and spies.

But his involvement with the most nefarious Soviet activities– and the rulers who ordered them– made Sudoplatov an unwanted witness, and he was arrested in 1953 after Beria’s fall. Despite torture and solitary confinement he refused to “confess”, disavowing any criminal actions. He spent fifteen years in prison, then struggled two decades more for rehabilitation.

“Special Tasks” is an astonishing memoir and a singular historical document of a man who knew and did too much for the Soviet empire.

  • Sales Rank: #541245 in Books
  • Color: Yellow
  • Published on: 1995-06-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.02″ h x 1.27″ w x 5.98″ l, 1.88 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 576 pages

Features

  • ISBN13: 9780316821155
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!

From Publishers Weekly
Sudoplatov, a former intelligence official during the Stalin era, presents an updated version of his controversial memoir.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist
This secret policeman’s memoir contains explosive material. The atomic bomb secrets were betrayed not by the Rosenbergs but by none other than Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi. The motivations of octogenarian Sudoplatov, who managed the Soviet nuclear intelligence effort, in choosing to divulge this information now are less important than the news about the services he performed for Stalin and the damage he inflicted on the West. A skilled operative and admitted murderer–whose assassination in 1938 of a Ukrainian nationalist was rewarded by Stalin with his personal summons and then his direct order to liquidate Trotsky–Sudoplatov coldly records killing as a method of rule. The Kremlin intrigues he details will inspire major historical revision, damning, particularly, Khrushchev (here fingered on a few homicides) and, yet again, Beria. Sudoplatov’s insights into the Kremlin’s intrigues of the 1940s and 1950s, combined with the inevitable reappraisal of the Oppenheimer cause c{‚}el{Š}ebre (when the physicist was branded a security risk), are astonishing evidence of secret influences in the domestic politics of both the U.S. and the USSR. Espionage buffs and historians mulling recent NKVD/KGB disclosures (e.g., Tsarev and Costello’s Deadly Illusions ) here have their most sensational allegations to date. Gilbert Taylor

From the Back Cover
According to KGB archives, Pavel Sudoplatov directed the secretive Administration for Special Tasks. This department was responsible for kidnapping, assassination, sabotage, and guerrilla warfare during World War II, it also set up illegal networks in the United States and Western Europe, and, most crucially, carried out atomic espionage in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. Sudoplatov served the KGB for over fifty years, at one point controlling more than twenty thousand guerrillas, moles, and spies.

But his involvement with the most nefarious Soviet activities– and the rulers who ordered them– made Sudoplatov an unwanted witness, and he was arrested in 1953 after Beria’s fall. Despite torture and solitary confinement he refused to “confess”, disavowing any criminal actions. He spent fifteen years in prison, then struggled two decades more for rehabilitation.

“Special Tasks” is an astonishing memoir and a singular historical document of a man who knew and did too much for the Soviet empire.

Most helpful customer reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful.
The face of idealistic evil.
By Stephen M. St Onge
4/28/99 Pavel Sudoplatov joined the secret police as a boy, and rose to be one of Beria’s most trusted assistants, in charge of sabotage, assassinations, and atomic bomb espionage. Though Sudoplatov sometimes gets things wrong (not suprising when working from memory fifty years later), he has a wealth of information on how Stalin’s secret police worked, and presents a chilling picture of the kind of people who thought they were building a better world through mass murder. After reading this, you’ll have better understanding of how so many Westerners could betray their countries to the USSR, and why so many are still trying to pretend it didn’t happen. This new edition has some interesting material that answers criticisms made of the first edition, especially his claim that Los Alamos director J. Robert Oppenheimer passed on information about the atomic bomb (I seem to be the only serious student of the Oppenheimer case who believes Sudoplatov on this). Recommended.

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful.
A chilling first-person account of Stalinism
By A Customer
I read the first edition and bought the second edition just to read the reactions which are printed in the book. Predictably, many still cling to their version of sugar-coated history. Fortunately, historians like Robert Conquest know the real truth. And Conquest said “This is the most sensational, the most devastating, and in many ways the most informative autobiography ever to emerge from the Stalinist milieu”. In the updated foreword he again defends the overall veracity of this document. He has good reason to do this.
You won’t believe the documentation in the back of the book. Atomic espionage documents, Katyn Forest Massacre, and more.

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful.
Essential
By A Customer
This book is ESSENTIAL to understand Power in the former Soviet Union. It’s almost the history of the first decades of the soviet intelligence services written in a reasonably detailled manner. It’s revealing on the nature of Power under Stalin rule. I also recommend the Portuguese translation (if you happen to speak Portuguese) since it was very carefully done. If you study this subject in particular get every translation you are able to read! Great book!

See all 28 customer reviews…

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