The Soviet Secret Police

Title:                      The Soviet Secret Police

Author:                 Simon Wolin

Wolin, Simon (1957, 1964) and Robert M. Slusser, eds. The Soviet Secret Police. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press

LCCN:    56010294

HV8224 .W6


Date Updated:  March 21, 2017

This is a review by the Defense Intelligence School.[1]

One of the better works on the Soviet and security services and a “core” book essential to further study of the subject. Wolin and Slusser had intended that their work serve as a point of departure for encouraging more studies of the subject in greater depth and breadth. Writing in the December 1973 Slavic Review, Slusser laments “that this hope has not been realized.” To this day [1980], serious open study of the Soviet secret police is seldom encountered, with the exception of a few good works such as Barron’s KGB.[2]

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

The editors have put together in one volume nine separate essays on the development of state security in the USSR. Essays cover the period from Cheka—the first Soviet intelligence, counterintelligence, internal security, and secret police organization after the revolution in 1917—to the KGB of the post-Stalin 1956 era. The essays deal primarily with counterintelligence and internal security roles of state security, with only generalized treatment of external espionage roles. This is one of the few books to deal extensively with the border guards and armed units of the state security organization, and with the methods and doctrine bf state security. The nine essays by ex-Soviet citizens, however, are sparsely footnoted and of varying quality. Contains an excellent reading list of materials in Russian and western languages.

[1] Defense Intelligence School (1981). Bibliography of Intelligence Literature: A Critical And Annotated Bibliography of Open-Source Literature (7th ed, rev.). Washington, DC: Defense Intelligence School, p. 74

[2] See Barron, John (1983). KGB Today: The Hidden Hand. New York: Reader’s Digest Press

[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. 101


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One Response to The Soviet Secret Police

  1. Pingback: Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources, Chapter 9 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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