“Next Stop Execution” The autobiography of Oleg Gordievsky a book review by Endre Barath, Jr.
This book was published in 1995 and interestingly most historians have considered that the Cold War has ended around 1991. Then may I ask, why was there an attempt to poison this former KGB colonel in 2007? I recall hearing and reading about it in the news around 2008. The word was, that rogue elements of Russia attempted to poison Oleg Gordievsky with Thallium, but somehow, he managed to survive the attempt after being in a 34 hour-coma.
This event piqued my interest, hence I decided to find out more about Oleg Antonovich Gordievsky and discovered he has written four books. I was intrigued by his autobiography and wanted to read it.
Finally, I managed to do it and wanted to give you a review. Although it is a Non-Fiction Book it reads like a Novel. It is fast paced and if you are into Cold War Spy History this book is a must read.
Oleg Antonovich Gordievsky was a British Spy who worked as a KGB Colonel and a Resident in London. He was in the British Secret Intelligence Service from 1974-1985. Just on a side note, I was stationed in Germany from 1979-1983 and it made my reading more interesting and I was able to connect some of the dots…
Gordievsky gave such great insight to the inner workings of the KGB to all the Western Intelligence Agencies, that it would be difficult to put a price on its value. Interestingly, he did not do it for money like most spies. He was disillusioned with the communist way of conducting business and their methods of holding on to their power base and how they were mistreating their core workforce. He was so amazed with all the freedom that existed in the West without having to fear retribution for expressing opinions, that he decided it would be better to live in the West than behind the Iron Curtain.
I had to smile when I got to the part in the book, that April 21st was Lenin’s Birthday and the KGB in conjunction with the Communists Leadership decided that it should be a day of working for free and improving the environment.
Then to boot that the KGB was giving financial and propaganda support to Environmental Groups in the West. Their intent was to weaken the Western Powers by dissent and discord. Ironic at best, that Earth Day was started on April 21st, 1970😊! It turned out the environmentalists did not hurt the economy just improved the beaches and the streets by doing clean ups for starters. I wonder what he thinks of today’s political environment in the US, where expressing views can have consequences?
Clearly if you are not into Spy stories and Spy History, this book is not for you.
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