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February 24, 2017

Journey to Colonus: A Novel of Race, ESPIONAGE and Redemption

 

My novel, which awaits the judgment of the reader, is about much more than espionage, but let me speak now of the spy story part of the book. In a realistic novel a realistic background is critical. Along with the imagination of the author there is the human experience anchored in the depths of what is recognizable, grounded in what has been lived and confirmed by readily accessible historical evidence. In this regard I was helped tremendously by an event unprecedented in the history of the rise and fall of empires. The peaceful fall of the Soviet Union in 1989-90, unprecedented in itself but rarely talked about, its collapse from within by the sheer impossibility of its socialist premise, made for something equally unprecedented: the recovery of previously super secret files from the KGB and other governmental entities going back as early as the Bolshevik Revolution.

Scholars from around the world poring over these documents, which were never intended to be seen except internally at some distant future, published them in scholarly presses. The preeminent one is the Yale University Communist series, some dozen books that appeared over the final decade of the last century. They revealed in clear detail the many uses of ‘useful idiots’, life both in the Soviet Union and its satellites but also in the West among ‘friends’ of the Soviet Union, spies, ‘agents of influence’, Western traitors and their Russian handlers, written while it was all happening and lived by the act-ers – not actors – themselves.

PHOTO ATTRIBUTION: By Минеева Ю. (Julmin) (retouched by Surendil) – Own work, CC BY-SA 1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3332136
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