Lost in Vampire Knight by perseverance-n reviews I just wanted to immerse myself in a different world but I should be careful what I wish for. Vampire Knight - Rated: T - English - Suspense - Chapters:
Nov 29, Michael rated it really liked it A very interesting read for those interested in Russian or Cold War history or espionage. This book is very thorough, so be prepared for a long read.
The writing style is consistent, so my flagging interest at the midway point in the book was a result of my general lack of interest of the post-Stalin Cold War period. The notes secreted away from the archives and published in the West reveal some very important historical facts.
In a broad context, it is clear that the Soviet system was never abl A very interesting read for those interested in Russian or Cold War history or espionage.
In a broad context, it is clear that the Soviet system was never able to become a sustainable reality, terror and deception allowed the system to propagate itself.
That is not to say that there weren't some great achievements in the USSR. But inhumanity, impracticality, and the inefficiencies of the system are obvious to anyone who can objectively observe historical facts.
Only utopians and revisionists believe that it was not the Soviet system and ideology that were flawed, but rather the practical policies of the USSR and particularly the horrors of Stalinism. Yet to dismiss the KGB in any of its incarnations as propagandists of a dying state would be too simplistic.
These among other operations fuel the conspiracy theory thinking so sutterlin writing a cover with many people today and propagate mistrust in our government and our fellow citizens. But these actions are the natural consequence of an agency born of suspicion, by men who lived the shadowy lives of underground revolutionaries.
I believe the paranoia endemic of the Soviet regime, though partially a natural result of the Russian character, was primarily a result of the revolutionary character. That years of clandestine meetings, arrests, informing on friends, exile, and criminal conspiracy created the impetus to use the secret services Cheka, KGB, ect.
The numerous examples of the great resources that went into discrediting expatriate Soviet artists and writers, who were critical of the USSR, are a perfect example of how diseased the Soviet system was. Plotting to maim a defected ballerina is not a sign of strong state or a successful culture.
Finally, I think this book is a great companion to our present conflict with Russia. I think a review of this book and the history of KGB operations in it provide a valuable insight into how Russia operates today.
Before I read this book, I thought reports that the FSB bombed a Russian apartment complex to create a casus belli were the stuff of conspiracy. After reading this book, and getting a unique insight into the KGB culture this book provides, I now believe it entirely possible that the FSB was responsible for bombing civilians as a pretext for the Chechen war in an effort to reestablish the greatness of the Russian state by disaffected members of Russia's security services.
If so, that conspiracy would be entirely in accord with the actions taken by the KGB so often in Soviet history, using cynical and manipulative means to suppress the human spirit. The trove most assuredly has been of incalculable value to historians and western intelligence agencies.
Because I've always been a fan of the espionage genre - both historical and fictional - I expected to binge-read this book, growing drunk on previously unavailable levels of detail and acc First of all, I'm filled with respect for the dedication it took for Vasili Mitrokhin to painstakingly copy thousands upon thousands of documents, as a KGB archivist, and secretly store them under his home.
Because I've always been a fan of the espionage genre - both historical and fictional - I expected to binge-read this book, growing drunk on previously unavailable levels of detail and accuracy in real-life spy drama. Well, I don't "binge-read" anything, considering how methodically I read and how quickly I fall asleep when I finally make my way to bed, but getting through this book was an arduous slog.
More than its daunting page length, it was the awkward pacing that continually tripped me up. Because of the organization traversing the period of history detailed in Mitrokhin's archive not chronologically, but rather by adversary country or espionage method I was constantly bouncing from decade to decade, and had difficulty in applying a timeline to what I was reading.
You'll find this criticism shallow, I suspect, but I was particularly off-put by the rendering in brackets of the multiple code names assigned to every character described in the book. Undoubtedly this was done to underscore the credibility of the information, and to position the book as a reference source, but it quickly started to aggravate me, and made the sentences clumsy to read and digest.
By the time I had gotten halfway through the book, I was really sick of it, and found myself wishing, on every page, that I had a digest version of the thing, half the length, and arranged more chronologically.
Still, I doggedly slogged on, more at the prospect of picking up fascinating little espionage stories which I frequently did than out of some stubborn insistence on finishing what I'd started.
I really believe that the way this book is edited and arranged, combined with its vast length, would cause perhaps a fourth of well-intentioned readers to abandon it before they complete it.
I now despair of what to do with the sequel, "The World Was Going Our Way," which now mocks me from my to-be-read shelf.Legal Disclaimer. The content and information provided within this site is for informational and educational purposes only.
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