In This Review

The Cheka: Lenin's Political Police
The Cheka: Lenin's Political Police
By George Leggett
Oxford University Press, 1981, 514 pp

As guardian of the security of the new Bolshevik regime after 1917, the Cheka dispensed revolutionary justice, combatted rival parties, and brought official terror, espionage and counter-espionage to a new level of proficiency. Using recently published Soviet material and other sources, Leggett comes as close as a Westerner can get, given still existing handicaps, to a definitive history of this institution and its sinister chief, Feliks Dzerzhinsky.