VENONA: the Greatest Secret of the Cold War

The astonishing story of VENONA remains one of the last untold chapters in the history of the Cold War.
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Synopsis

This book is based on the only complete set of decrypts held in Britain outside Whitehall and is supplemented by interviews with most of the principal players in the VENONA drama (NSA, GCHQ, FBI and MI5 officers). In 1996 the White House authorised the release of the complete VENONA collection, which proves that the FBI and CIA had accumulated compelling evidence against the Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss, Klaus Fuchs, Donald Maclean and other Soviet spies. To protect the source, VENONA was never mentioned in any trial.
Study of the VENONA material reveals that there are nearly 300 unidentified Soviet agents in Britain and America, plus a smaller number of people (like the nuclear physicist Dr Theodore Hall) whose activities are described in compromising detail.

Ethel Rosenberg acted as a courier in her husband’s network and was shown by VENONA to be fully aware of the extent of his activities. Nevertheless, the FBI argued that her life should be spared.

Reviews

‘Controversially exposes two traitors at the heart of the British establishment’
Daily Express

‘An excellent read’
Daily Telegraph

‘(A) vast, investigative peek through the secret barriers of British Intelligence… bewitching magic’
Mark Middles, Manchester Evening News

‘ Nigel West gives the operation the detective-story treatment it deserves… an excellent book’
Michael Smith, Daily Telegraph