The (Actual) Communist Agents Who Lurked Among Us

American Fears About Soviet Spycraft Never Seemed to Match Reality

Russian spies held a morbid fascination in the minds of Americans dating back to the Red Scare in 1919, following the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of the Communist International, of which the Communist Party of the USA became a constituent member, subject to extra-territorial discipline imposed from Moscow.

Global domination was indeed Moscow’s declared aim. The issue, however, was whether this goal was at all practicable.

The Red Scare blended neatly with popular hostility to mass immigration in America, particularly against a surge of Jews fleeing the anti-Semitic heartlands of …

More In: Soviet Union

The Man Who Explained the Soviets to America

How George F. Kennan's Passion for Russia Colored Our Cold War Strategy

The enduring irony of George F. Kennan’s life was just how much the architect of America’s Cold War “containment” strategy—aimed at stopping Soviet expansionism—loved Russia.

Kennan arguably played a …

Russia Has Been Many Things to Americans, Except an Ordinary Country

Love 'Em or Hate 'Em, My Feeling Was We Should Study Those Elusive Soviets

The United States and Russia have been at loggerheads for so long now that their rivalry might seem to be a permanent feature of the international firmament. But just as …

KGB Seeks to Hire Well-Connected Patrician WASPs, Apply Discreetly

Why Did a Young, Harvard-Educated State Department Employee Pledge His Allegiance to Josef Stalin?

How does an idealist turn into a willing participant in murder? How does such a person—neither poor, nor socially deprived—learn to crush those he loves for the sake of …