Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America

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Yale University Press, Aug 1, 2000 - History - 487 pages
5 Reviews
Only in 1995 did the United States government officially reveal the existence of the super-secret Venona Project. For nearly fifty years American intelligence agents had been decoding thousands of Soviet messages, uncovering an enormous range of espionage activities carried out against the United States during World War II by its own allies. So sensitive was the project in its early years that even President Truman was not informed of its existence. This extraordinary book is the first to examine the Venona messages - documents of unparalleled importance for our understanding of the history and politics of the Stalin era and the early Cold War years. Hidden away in a former girls' school in the late 1940s, Venona Project cryptanalysts, linguists, and mathematicians attempted to decode more than twenty-five thousand intercepted Soviet intelligence telegrams. When they cracked the unbreakable Soviet code, a breakthrough leading eventually to the decryption of nearly three thousand of the messages, analysts uncovered information of powerful significance. Drawing not only on the Venona papers but also on newly opened Russian and U. S. archives, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr provide in this book the clearest, most rigorously documented analysis ever written on Soviet espionage and the Americans who abetted it in the early Cold War years.

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Review: Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America

User Review  - Eric - Goodreads

Just re-read this book. It's a little dry in some sections however overall I found it fascinating enough to read it twice. Read full review

Review: Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America

User Review  - John - Goodreads

Dry, but interesting nonetheless. The extent of Soviet espionage within the US Government in the 30s and 40s is at first quite shocking. It really hammers home the reality of the focus on Nazi Germany ... Read full review

Selected pages


Venona and the Cold War
Breaking the Code
The American Communist Party Underground
The GolosBentley Network
Friends in High Places
Military Espionage
Spies in the US Government
Soviet Espionage and American History
Source Venona Americans and US Residents Who Had Covert Relationships with Soviet Intelligence Agencies
Americans and US Residents Who Had Covert Relationships with Soviet Intelligence Agencies but Were Not Identifi
Foreigners Temporarily in the United States Who Had Covert Relationships with Soviet Intelligence Agencies
Americans and US Residents Targeted as Potential Sources by Soviet Intelligence Agencies
Biographical Sketches of Leading KGB Officers Involved in Soviet Espionage in the United States

Hunting Stalins Enemies on American Soil
Industrial and Atomic Espionage

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About the author (2000)

John Earl Haynes is a 20th Century Political Historian in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is the author or editor of four books: Calvin Coolidge and the Coolidge Era: Essays on the History of the 1920s (editor, 1998); Red Scare or Red Menace? American Communism and Anticommunism in the Cold War Era (1996); Communism and Anti-Communism in the United States: An Annotated Guide to Historical Writings (1987); and Dubious Alliance: The Making of Minnesota's DFL Party (1984).

Harvey Klehr is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Politics and History at Emory University. He is the author of numerous articles and books most recently Early Cold War Spies: The Espionage Trials that Shaped American Politics; Communism, Espionage and The Cold War: A Curriculum Unit of Study for Grades 9-12; and In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage.

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