A Spy in the Archives

A Spy in the Archives : A Memoir of Cold War Russia

By (author) Sheila Fitzpatrick

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Moscow in the 1960s was the other side of the Iron Curtain: mysterious, exotic, even dangerous. In 1966 the historian Sheila Fitzpatrick travelled 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.

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  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 146 x 220 x 38mm | 579.99g
  • 05 Dec 2013
  • I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
  • I.B.Tauris
  • London
  • English
  • 25 bw in 16pp plates
  • 1780767803
  • 9781780767802
  • 362,041

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Author Information

Sheila Fitzpatrick is Honorary Professor of History at the University of Sydney and Emerita Professor of History at the University of Chicago. One of the most acclaimed historians of twentieth-century Russia, she is the author of several books, including The Russian Revolution; Stalin's Peasants; Everyday Stalinism; and Tear off the Masks!

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Review quote

A Spy in the Archives is the insanely redable crowning achievement of a distinguished career, a book every historian should dream of writing. Through the autobiographic report of her visit to the Soviet Union, she tells a story of bureaucratic hassles but also of deep and lasting personal friendships. Slavoj Zizek The vanished world of Brezhnev's Russia brought to life with unususal erve, a disarming candour and a shrewd eye for telling detail. Robert Dessaix

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