How the Cold War Began

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August 2007



On September 5, 1945, Soviet cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko severed ties with his embassy in Ottawa, Canada, reporting allegations to authorities of a Soviet espionage network in North America. His defection -- the first following the end of WWII, occurring less than a month after atomic bombs exploded over Japan -- sent shockwaves through Washington, London, and Ottawa. The three allies, who until weeks earlier had been aligned with the Soviets, feared that key atomic secrets had been given to Russian agents, affecting the balance of postwar power. In her riveting narrative, Amy Knight documents how Gouzenko's defection, and the events that followed it, triggered Cold War fears and altered the course of modern history.
Knight sheds new light on the Gouzenko Affair, showing how J. Edgar Hoover hoped to discredit the Truman administration by incriminating U.S. government insiders Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White. She also probes Gouzenko's motives for defecting and brilliantly connects these events to the strained relations between the Soviet Union and the West that marked the beginning of the Cold War.


Amy Knight has a PhD in Russian politics from the London School of Economics. She has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. She has written frequently for the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Her previous books include Beria: Stalin's First Lieutenant, Spies Without Cloaks: The KGB's Successors, and Who Killed Kirov? The Kremlin's Greatest Mystery. She divides her time between Ottawa and Switzerland.


"Amy Knight brings her extensive knowledge of Soviet history to bear on one of the key episodes at the start of the Cold War and on Igor Gouzenko, the man at the heart of it. She has a wonderful cast of characters, from the difficult and mysterious Gouzenko himself to the eclectic array of Soviet spies and sympathizers whom his revelations uncovered. Her book reads like a good thriller but, at the same time, raises issues that matter to us today. How do democracies deal with those who want to use their very openness to destroy them? How much must we give up of our own liberty in the name of security? A book that entertains and stimulates: What could be better?"
--Margaret MacMillan, author of Paris 1919
"Amy Knight is one of the most meticulous and groundbreaking scholars of Soviet history, and this latest work is her best yet. How the Cold War Began, based on new archival sources, is a gripping spy thriller, a fascinating human story, and a magisterial history of how the victors of WWII moved from four years of Grand Alliance to forty years of Cold War."
-- Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Stalin: Court of the Red Tsar and Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner
EAN: 9780786719389
ISBN: 0786719389
Untertitel: black & white illustrations. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Carroll & Graf Publishers Inc
Erscheinungsdatum: August 2007
Seitenanzahl: 376 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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