Synopses & Reviews
This memoir, published in 1939, sealed the fate of its author. After a dramatic flight from Europe, Walter G. Krivitsky reached the United States. But he was found shot in a hotel room in Washington in 1941. His death remains a mystery to this day but his story is very much alive.
Sam Tanenhaus is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and the author of the acclaimed biography Whittaker Chambers.
First memoir by a Soviet secret police defector to the West.
Terrifying insights into Stalin's rule in the 1930s.
About the Author
Walter G. Krivistky was the pseudonym of Samuel Ginsberg was born in the Western Ukraine and spoke 6 languages. He joined the Bolshevik party and became part of the Cheka and later the GPU and NKVD based in The Hague in the Netherlands. During the great purges of 1937 he defected and arrived in the United States in 1938 with his wife and child. He wrote a series of articles published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1939-1940 that became the material for this book. Krivitsky was extensively debriefed by MI5 in London where he nearly unmasked Kim Philby and Donald Maclean. In February 1941 he was found dead in a hotel in Washington DC.