REVIEW: Stalin’s Secret War. Soviet Counterintelligence Against the Nazis, 1941–1945


By Robert W. Stephan. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2004. 349 pages, endnotes, bibliography, appendix, photos, index

The study of intelligence (espionage) systems demands a particular mindset from scholars undertaking this sort of research. Evidence is often contradictory, incomplete, and, worst of all, unreliable.

It is the kind of subject that challenges historians' patience and tests their training. Perhaps this is why Gerald K. Haines in a recent review article wrote that few historians have tackled a field that has, until recently, often been left to talented amateurs, memoirists, political theorists, and foreign affairs experts—with important exceptions of course (“An Emerging New Field of Study: U.S. Intelligence,” Diplomatic History 28: 3 [June 2004]: 441). This situation is changing.

Robert W. Stephan, in his significant new book, is in the forefront of that change. The author modestly claims that his research complements two important works that preceded his by quite a few years: David Kahn's Hitler's …

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