Canadian sources often claim that Gouzenko case was a wake up call to the beginning of the Cold War. Whether it is true or not so much is to the analysts to decide. But running a spy network in your ally territory can’t be considered a friendly gesture.
The book provides very detailed description of the life of Fred Rose (born Fishel Rosenberg in Poland), Soviet intelligence operative and Canadian Member of Parliament. First part of the book focuses on the pre-WW2 labour movement in Montreal and Fred’s dynamic rise as a figure in the game. It mentions successful PR-campaign run by the Soviet Russia, built on victory over Germany but on keeping the skeletons in the closet, or rather burying them in Siberia. As a result of the campaign the Soviet State had grown the army of sympathizers in the West in form of the Communist and Labour Parties, Unions, etc. Quite naturally the next move was to turn the Communists into the spies. And that was another success. So the story of Fred Rose was just one of many. But it stands out for Canada.
The second part of the book is the one I found most interesting. It contains in my opinion the most detailed story of the defection of Igor Gouzenko, at least in regards to uncovering Fred Rose secret relationship with the USSR. Surprisingly, the Soviet intelligence tried to prevent Gouzenko defection, but after the fact they washed their hands and let their operative to sink.
The book tells us about the awkwardness of Canadian political machine, the Prime Minister Mackenzie King trying not to offence Generalissimo Stalin, about clever RCMP game, visibly putting things off, but working hard surreptitiously.
I was somewhat hesitant to write about the 2013 season of The Americans. I prefer writing about things I adore. But again – figured you might benefit from being warned.
Following is the plot unless you’d seen it:
Soviet undercover agents posing as a happily married couple reside in the US Capitol suburbs. Ever suspicious FBI executive lives across the street. The Soviets are in business of kidnapping prominent Soviet defector and passing him on to the Homeland. Something goes wrong and they have to sneak out from their family meal to the attached garage to check on the victim hidden gagged inside their Buick trunk.
Unfortunately to us all – poor execution kills explosive potential. The first two parts of the series are flat boring. If Philip can pass for a neurasthenic Russian, his partner’s Anglo-Saxon chin fails the authenticity test. The scene of the “couple” arriving to the states and getting excited about the air conditioner is cute, but the way they drink vodka in bed gives them away to the attentive viewer.
The scenes inside Soviet Embassy were supposed to be funny. That’s my guess judging by decor and costumes. They were not.
I don’t see where it is going from here, but by the end of the second part I have a feeling that their sickles are dull.
And just for kicks – the Russian language version of the series cover (unknown author).
History is unpredictable indeed. As our knowledge about the events grows, as our views on the relationships between the nations develop, we tend to adjust or to change altogether our understanding of the events and personalities in the distant or not so distant history.
The Churchill, Hitler, and “The Unnecessary War”: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World by Patrick J. Buchanan very much turns currently acceptable image of Sir Winston Churchill inside out, and puts the role of the British Empire in both First and then Second World Wars into a very different prospective. The author who is a former senior adviser to three US Presidents himself, after assessing new facts, letters and protocols, and re-assessing some historian cliches, paints very different picture of the role of the British Government and personally Sir Winston Churchill in the course of both wars.
He points out that Germany has not been an aggressive nation the years preceding the WWI. He makes a point of the whole mess having been in large part a consequence of the UK foreign doctrine assuming that no single country on the continent should be more capable that the Britain herself. This and Sir Winston Churchill’s personal deeds, in author’s opinion, caused entire European catastrophe resulted in the Europe losing it’s role in geopolitics and making itself dependable on American good (or otherwise) will.