The U.S. and Russian Espionage Game from the Cold War to the 21st Century
by Sean N. Kalic
March 2019, 231pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4042-5
$85, £66, 74€, A117
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4043-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From 1945 to present day, the United States and Soviet Union have used spies, satellites, and other technological means to collect intelligence with the intent of gaining a strategic advantage.

In the post-World War II era, the Soviet Union and the United States wanted to gain the advantage in international security. Both engaged in intelligence gathering. This book provides a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of the espionage game.

For more than four decades after World War II, the quest for intelligence drove the Soviet Union and the United States to develop a high-stakes “game” of spying on one another throughout the Cold War. Each nation needed to be aware of and prepared to counter the capabilities of their primary nemesis. Therefore, as the Cold War period developed and technology advanced, the mutual goal to maintain up-to-date intelligence mandated that the process by which the “game” was played encompass an ever-wider range of intelligence gathering means. Covering far more than the United States and Soviet Union’s use of human spies, this book examines the advanced technological means by which the two nations’ intelligence agencies worked to ensure that they had an accurate understanding of the enemy.

The easily accessible narrative covers the Cold War period from 1945 to 1989 as well as the post-Cold War era, enabling readers to gain an understanding of how the spies and elaborate espionage operations fit within the greater context of the national security concerns of the United States and the Soviet Union. Well-known Cold War historian Sean N. Kalic explains the ideological tenets that fueled the distrust and “the need to know” between the two adversarial countries, supplies a complete history of the technological means used to collect intelligence throughout the Cold War and into the more recent post-Cold War years, and documents how a mutual desire to have the upper hand resulted in both sides employing diverse and creative espionage methods.


  • Details how and why the United States and the Soviet Union maintained and evolved their robust spying capabilities from the end of World War II to the present era
  • Highlights how the espionage and spying employed by the United States and Soviet Union involved far more than just people placed to obtain and transmit information
  • Provides a foundation of knowledge to understand the tension between United States and the Soviet Union over current issues such as Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine, as well as the expansion of NATO into Central and Eastern Europe
  • Includes compelling stories in espionage history, including the Manhattan Project, the convicted Rosenberg spy couple, the U-2 incident, and the discovery of Russian "sleeper" cells in the United States in 2010
Sean N. Kalic is professor of military history in the Department of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, where he has taught since 2004. He specializes in Cold War history and the history of terrorism. He has contributed to numerous major publications, including "Post Cold War Conflicts" in The Routledge Handbook of American Military and Diplomatic History, 1865 to the Present; "Eisenhower" in Generals of the Army: Marshall, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Arnold, Bradley; "Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century: A New Era of Warfare" in An International History of Terrorism: Western and Non-Western Experiences; and "Framing the Discourse: The Rhetoric on the War on Terrorism" in Legacies of the Cold War. Kalic authored US Presidents and the Militarization of Space, 1946–1967, which was recognized by CHOICE as a topic academic work of 2012; and was editor of Thinking about War: Past, Present and Future.

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