Efforts to use espionage for military advantage are well documented throughout history. Sun Tzua theorist in ancient China who influenced Asian military thinking, still has an audience in the 21st century for the Art of War. He advised, "One who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements.
In regard to the history of American communism the essay demonstrates a significant shift by two major left historians; but in regard to the history of American anticommunism, however, little has changed.
The two issues are inextricably mixed and as welcome as movement on the first matter is, the immobility on the second shows the still yawning gap between their perspective and mine. Isserman and Schrecker are leading figures of the revisionist view of American communism that has dominated academic history from the s to the late s.
To the extent the issue was even addressed, and often it was not, the CPUSA as an institution was judged as not involved in Soviet espionage and, at most, only a few individual Communists cooperated with Soviet intelligence. Revisionists treated most of those accused in the late s and s of participation in Soviet espionage as innocents maligned by wicked perjurers egged on by American security agencies eager to frame Communists for crimes they did not commit.
Schrecker and Isserman recognize that the evidence that has emerged since the collapse of the USSR has rendered this view untenable. This is to their credit in as much as too many historians, including leading figures in the profession and its chief journals, corrupted by a combination of ideological myopia and partisanship along with a measure of incompetence, have averted their eyes and pretended that the new evidence changes nothing.
For better and worse-- it was the vehicle through which hundreds of thousands of Americans sought to create a more democratic and egalitarian society.
Most party members lived in that public world of American communism. They had no connection with, or even knowledge of, another world. In her Many Are the Crimes: They insist that we "reduce the entire history of There still remain, however, issues both of fact and interpretation regarding the history of American communism that Schrecker and Isserman avoid confronting.
The factual issues that need to be directly addressed are several, of which only a partial listing includes the following. Confronting these facts also requires an assessment of what it says about the nature of the Communist party and of Communists themselves.
These matters of fact and what they say of the nature of the American Communist movement and of American Communists are serious matters. They write in all seriousness of Communists working to "create a more democratic and egalitarian society.
Democracy is a concept with varied meanings but at bottom it is a term for popular self-government and the procedures that allow a people to ensure that rulers are answerable to the ruled.
Democracy recognizes the only legitimate government as one that receives the freely given consent of the governed. This nation was founded as a democratic republic and much of our history revolves around the expansion of the democratic polity and democratic liberties to include excluded groups.
Most Americans regard the basic requirements of democracy, free elections, free press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion and conscience, as essential American characteristics. Such a profoundly antidemocratic movement was not a vehicle for making American more democratic but for making it less, indeed, for making it a tyranny.
I have held a variety of views on politics, from the social democratic left to the conservative right, but always regarding democracy as a fundamental value that was beyond current policy disagreements and partisanship. When on the left I felt more political kinship with right-wing democrats than with any left tyranny, and when on the right more solidarity with left democrats than any right-wing dictatorship.
In America at large this is not a lonely position: There is, of course, a minority that does not take this view.
And in the world of academic scholars who deal with 20th century history, the dominant view is similar: This is the basic divide. In MayThe New Republic carried a long letter-to-the-editor from James Loeb, head of the Union for Democratic Action, that in retrospect was the first shot in a nationwide civil war over the direction of liberalism.
Opposing the ADA was the Progressive Citizens of America, later to become the Progressive Party, that quietly welcome Communists into the organization, regarded them as an essential part of the New Deal coalition, and whose leadership vigorously discouraged criticism of either communism or the Soviet Union.
The victory was then consolidated with the expulsion of Communists from the CIO in and At one point Isserman and Schrecker seem to say that nobody got it all right or all wrong, writing that it "would be a simpler world to understand if the devils and the angels would all line up neatly on one side or the other of contested terrain Why did and what does it say of the mental world of American Communists and their Popular Front allies that they so thoroughly misunderstood Stalin and his regime?
The second point is whether Schrecker and Isserman really mean that we should recognize that there were devils and angels on both sides.Cold War espionage describes the intelligence gathering activities during the Cold War (circa ) between the Western allies (chief US, UK and NATO) and the Eastern Bloc (The Soviet Union and aligned countries of Warsaw Pact).
The Cold War was caused by the military expansionism of Stalin and his successors. The American response was basically a defensive reaction.
1. Espionage is the process of gathering intelligence and information about a rival or enemy, usually through secret operations. It was a significant feature of the Cold War.
2. All major Cold War powers had agencies that engaged in espionage. Spies and spying became part of the Cold War game. Both sides in the Cold War used spies as a way of acquiring knowledge of what the other was doing or to spread false knowledge of what one side was doing.
Spies could become double agents and the whole story has developed a rather romantic image as a result of Western film portrayals of spies. German General Reinhard Gehlen set up an anti-Soviet espionage ring in and used it to the grief of both sides during the Cold War.
by Peter Kross. By , many top generals in Adolf Hitler’s army understood the war was lost and that they had better make arrangements to ensure their safety. Sep 13, · As the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States intensified in the late s and early s, hysteria over the perceived threat posed by.