Almost from the moment in 1940 that Otto Frisch and Rudofl Peierls suggested, from their small office in the University of Birmingham, that an atomic weapon could be miniaturized and delivered to its target by aircraft, the concept of atomic espionage can be said to have existed. No sooner had the famous Frisch-Peierls Memorandum been received by the British War Cabinet than a Soviet mole, John Cairncross, passed the details on to his Soviet contact. And 70 years later with the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) estimating that up to 40 countries now have the capability of building nuclear weapons, the need to monitor this activity remains crucial.
The Historical Dictionary of Atomic Espionage relates the history of atomic espionage through a chronology, an introductory essay, and cross-referenced dictionary entries on the agencies, agents, and operations. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about atomic espionage.
Glenmore S Trenear-Harvey —
Glenmore S. Trenear-Harvey heads Intel Research based in London and lectures across the globe. He is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Air Intelligence (Scarecrow, 2009). His involvement with the intelligence subject dates back to his days as a pilot with the Royal Air Force.
Trenear-Harvey, Glenmore S. Historical dictionary of atomic espionage. Scarecrow, 2011. 243p bibl afp; ISBN 9780810871809; ISBN 9780810873834 e-book. Reviewed in 2012feb CHOICE.
Soon after the 1940 conception of using the atom as a weapon, espionage became a factor. From the early days of Soviet spying to the present, numerous nations and groups have longed to possess nuclear weapons. Though intelligence gathering has existed ever since one group decided to fight another, the potential devastation atomic weapons could cause has made the fruits of spying potentially more valuable. As this book indicates, the competition has expanded to include the United States, France, Great Britain, China, Germany, Israel, North Korea, and Iran. Historian and intelligence researcher Trenear-Harvey offers an easy-to-use work arranged in an alphabetical format. It features a foreword by the editor of the "Historical Dictionaries of Intelligence and Counterintelligence" series, of which this book is a part. A good list of acronyms and abbreviations is provided, along with a chronology. Appendixes are titled "Soviet Espionage Personnel Engaged in ENORMOZ" and "Manhattan Project Espionage Suspects in the VENONA Traffic." Entries range in length from a few sentences to a few pages and feature very helpful cross-references. Among the many entries are those for John H. Chapin, Libya, NKVD, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Pakistan, Valerie Plame, Julius Rosenberg, and Nikolai Zabotin.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general readers. -- S. R. DiMarco, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania