Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History

December 02, 2002 // 11:00pm

Jerrold L. and Leona P. Schecter presented findings from their recently published book: Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History.

Comments were provided by Kai Bird (author of a forthcoming biography of Oppenheimer and former Wilson Center fellow), R. Bruce Craig (National Coalition for History), Ronald Radosh (co-editor of Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War) and Hayden Peake (National Defense University).

From The Front Cover Flap

Rewriting American History from Pearl Harbor to Star Wars

In the last decade of the twentieth century, the public release of previously classified records revealed numerous "sacred secrets" that Cold Warriors had carried to their graves. These revelations have challenged our understanding of significant historical events. In Sacred Secrets, Jerrold and Leona Schecter use information from recently acquired Russian archival material and original interviews to cast new light on such shadowy topics as the attack on Pearl Harbor, atomic espionage, Alger Hiss, McCarthyism, and the Rosenberg case. The Schecters also reveal details of their own exposure to the world of sacred secrets.

From Sacred Secrets, the reader emerges with a startling awareness of the profound influence that an aggressive Soviet intelligence service exerted on U.S. domestic and foreign policy prior to and throughout the Cold War. We now know, for example, that Harry Dexter White, the chief architect of the U.S. economic policy that proved so provocative to Japan and contributed to its decision to attack Pearl Harbor, was a Soviet intelligence asset committed to deflecting Japan's aggressive aims away from the Soviet Union. The Schecters provide the missing pieces of such historical puzzles, demonstrate the importance of long-forgotten memoirs, rehabilitate reputations, and condemn others, rewriting recent U.S. history.


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