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

In This Review

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

By Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin
Basic Books, 2005
678 pp. $29.95
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From 1972 to 1984, Mitrokhin, a KGB archivist, smuggled out notes and excerpted materials from KGB files, which, when he fled to the United Kingdom in 1992, filled "six large containers." Andrew, a Cambridge University historian and specialist on intelligence, worked with Mitrokhin to weave these materials into a skillful and comprehensive account of KGB "active measures," "dirty tricks," and signal and human intelligence gathering everywhere from Latin America and Africa to Afghanistan, China, India, Pakistan, and "unofficial Islam" inside the Soviet Union itself. Andrew adds to this continually fascinating tale half again as much material drawn from memoirs and secondary sources. Although the KGB had its successes in penetrating leadership circles (such as in Salvador Allende's Chile and Ahmed Sékou Touré's Guinea), in reinforcing the paranoia of leaders suspicious of the CIA (India's Indira Ghandi, Algeria's Ahmed Ben Bella), in breaking diplomatic codes, and in spreading disinformation, what is most remarkable in the end is how secondary this record was in shaping the fate of Soviet policy in the Third World.