The Venona Secrets

  • by Herbert Romerstein, Eric Breindel
  • Narrated by Jim McCance
  • 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Venona Files are several intercepted communiques between the Soviet Union and American Communists following WWII. Some historians and journalists are starting to regard the Cold-War-era American Communist Party as nothing more than a quaint club of polite if misguided ideologues.
In The Venona Secrets, Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel intend to create a new impression of treacherous Americans "who willfully gave their primary allegiance to a foreign power, the USSR.... For Communists, true patriotism meant helping to make the world a better place by advancing the interests of the Soviet Union in any way possible." By using the now-celebrated Venona documents - top-secret Soviet cables sent between Moscow and Washington, D.C., in the 1940s - Romerstein and Breindel tell a frightening story of how deeply spies penetrated the U.S. government.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Americans as Soviet Spies? Surprising & Chilling

If you could sum up The Venona Secrets in three words, what would they be?

Complex, documented, chilling.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Venona Secrets?

The murder of Trotsky.


Which scene was your favorite?

The attempted murder of Trotsky--how can bullets be flying everywhere but Trotsky survives?


If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The truth is much stranger than fiction.


Any additional comments?

Great narration.

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- Joan

The Stalin Burreau in America

We all heard about McCarthyism and Alger Hiss and the Communist Spy Rings, but I always thought that stuff was all hype. With the fall of Soviet Union and access to Soviet archives we NOW know that the Soviets penetrated almost every tier of American government. To be honest, this revelation is almost TOO big to wrap my head around. In many ways, it changes my entire understanding of postwar American history....

Venona is a code name given to the NSA's Soviet code-breaking project. Once cracked, Americans could start translating secret spy cables between the Soviet Union and their agents in America. We only had half the story. With the REST of Venona....available only since the mid 1990's...we now have the other half.

The narrator is awful, but the content of the book is amazing. I am now reading other books on the topic just to be sure I understand the subject matter. There were high-level government officials, particularly in Treasury and State Departments who took ORDERS from their handlers in Moscow....who in turn took their orders from the brutal Joseph Stalin. Really?

Yuck.
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- Doug

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-16-2012
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing