A Spy In The Archives: A Memoir Of Cold War Russia
A Spy in the Archives: A Memoir of Cold War Russia
Moscow in the 1960s was the other side of the Iron Curtain: mysterious, exotic, even dangerous. In 1966 the historian Sheila Fitzpatrick traveled to Moscow to research in the Soviet archives. This was the era of Brezhnev, of a possible “thaw” in the Cold War, when the Soviets couldn’t decide either to thaw out properly or re-freeze. Moscow, the world capital of socialism, was renowned for its drabness. The buses were overcrowded; there were endemic shortages and endless queues. This was also the age of regular spying scandals and tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions, and it was no surprise that visiting students were subject to intense scrutiny by the KGB. Many of Fitzpatrick’s friends were involved in espionage activities–and indeed others were accused of being spies or kept under close surveillance. In this book, Sheila Fitzpatrick provides a unique insight into everyday life in Soviet Moscow. Full of drama and colorful characters, her remarkable memoir highlights the dangers and drudgery faced by Westerners living under communism.
'absorbing... an exceptionally lucid and purposive account... this is a book about self-discovery, and about the shy, self-doubting but unusually astute...