The Conspirators

Title:                      The Conspirators

Author:                  Geoffrey Bailey [pseudonym]

Bailey, Geoffrey (1960). The Conspirators. New York: Harper and Bros.

LCCN:    60010397


Date Updated:  January 31, 2017

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

Bailey is a pseudonym; some people believe there may have been more than one author of this story of Soviet intelligence operations. The book covers two famous cases, connected by a section entitled “Interlude” on the kidnapping of Aleksandr Kutyepov. The first part, on the Trust, is by and large a useful presentation of facts and interpretation. The point of view is that of the promilitary émigrés. Experts believe this is one of the best treatments of that Soviet operation, even though it is not the whole or definitive story and it includes some errors, such as the equating of Boris Savinkov with the precise Soviet effort against the Trust and some uncertainty about which Western powers were targets. The bibliography on the Trust is considered one of the best available.

The segment on the Tukhachevsky affair is not of the same quality. Specialists consider it quite unreliable. Blackstock wrote in his bibliography[2] that the book was “sensational and journalistic” and that the author used spurious sources such as the Litvinov diary. Although Blackstock had his own preferences for sources on the Trust, his criticism of the book was apparently meant mainly for the Tukhachovskv treatment, which represents its major flaw.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[3]

Geoffrey Bailey is reportedly the pseudonym of a former Russian-language interpreter at the United Nations. His work is a sensational journalistic account of Soviet covert operations in Western Europe in the period between World War I and II. It deals with the so-called Trust, the kidnappings of Generals Kutyepov and Miller in Paris in the 1930s, and finally with the Tukhachevsky affair. His thesis is that Marshal Tukhachevsky was guilty of a plot to overthrow Stalin in collaboration with certain German generals. The author uses such spurious sources as the well-known forgery attributed to former Soviet foreign minister M. Litvinov, Notes For A Diary (New York: Morrow, 1955). As a result, The Conspirators should be used with extreme caution, since it is basically a political warfare product of the Cold War period rather than a historical source.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, p. 69

[2] Blackstock, Paul W.(1978) and Schaf, Frank L., Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co.,

[3] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 193


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One Response to The Conspirators

  1. Pingback: Handbook of Intelligence And Guerrilla Warfare | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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