The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World

Christopher Andrew, Author, Vasili Mitrokhin, Author Basic Books $29.95 (676p) ISBN 978-0-465-00311-2
This second volume of the post-war history of the KGB-based on the ""Mitrokhin Archive"" of secret documents purloined by the late co-author, a KGB dissident-surveys the Soviet spy agency's skullduggery in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Historian Andrew portrays Russian policy toward the Third World as largely the creation of the KGB, which hoped that the spread of Soviet influence and revolutionary upheavals would make these regions the decisive Cold War battleground. The Cuban Revolution inspired these ambitions, and by 1980, after the American defeat in Vietnam and with leftist regimes installed in Nicaragua and Grenada, Cuban troops fighting in Africa and Russian forces occupying Afghanistan, both American and Soviet officials saw communism on the march. Still, in Andrew's account, Soviet initiatives-with a few exceptions, like the Afghanistan intervention-seem cautious, reactive and uncomfortably dependent on fickle client regimes; wary of confronting the United States, Russia often exerted a restraining influence on local allies. Andrew's engaging, occasionally gossipy narrative provides new evidence of Soviet sponsorship of Latin American insurgencies and Palestinian terrorists, along with details of KGB spycraft and dirty tricks. The world-wide communist conspiracy he depicts was far from a juggernaut, but he sheds new light on the hidden history of the Cold War. Photos.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
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