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How a pair of American spies created the Soviet Silicon Valley
The Register (UK) ^
| Tuesday 15th April 2008 12:54 GMT
| Ashlee Vance in Mountain View
Posted on 04/15/2008 8:45:06 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Radio Reg Few stories in computing history come close to matching the tale of Zelenograd the Soviet Union's attempt at creating something along the lines of Silicon Valley.
Episode 15 of Semi-Coherent Computing recounts the tale of Zelenograd's founding along with the stories of the two US-born Russian spies behind the city. No one knows this history better than Steven Usdin, the author of Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley, who was kind enough to appear on the show. (You'll find Usdin's web site here and can buy the book on Amazon or from Yale Press here.)
I first saw Usdin talk about Zelenograd at a Computer History Museum event and was beyond enthralled by the story. It involves two US communist engineers who worked on top secret projects for US military contractors during World War II and funneled their technology secrets over to the Soviets. Eventually, these lads made their way to the Soviet Union where they started work on, among other things, the first Soviet made PC and even a desktop fab for producing chips.
Along the way, the spies tear apart families and then reunite them. They enjoy Khrushchev's blessing and then struggle to deal with Brezhnev's fury. They make a mockery of the FBI and parts of the Soviet way of life.
(Excerpt) Read more at theregister.co.uk ...
TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: coldwar; russia; soviet; wwii
To: NormsRevenge; blam; Marine_Uncle; SunkenCiv; ShadowAce
Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley (Hardcover)
Francis Fukuyama :
"Engineering Communism provides a fascinating look at a virtually unknown facet of Cold War spy lorethe story of two Americans who worked with the Rosenbergs to transfer American military technology to Russia and went on to help found the Soviet computer industry. Highly recommended reading for anyone interested in an age we have quickly
forgotten, in which Americans could become committed Communists and risk everything for the sake of ideology."Francis Fukuyama (Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Author of "State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century, and "The End of History and the Last Man")
: [An] outstanding book. . . . A valuable addition to the literature on the Soviet spy efforts in the U.S. . . . . Highly recommended."
More on the Book:
Engineering Communism is the fascinating story of Joel Barr and Alfred Sarant, dedicated Communists and members of the Rosenberg spy ring, who stole information from the United States during World War II that proved crucial to building the first advanced weapons systems in the USSR. On the brink of arrest, they escaped with KGBs help and eluded American intelligence for decades.
Drawing on extensive interviews with Barr and new archival evidence, Steve Usdin explains why Barr and Sarant became spies, how they obtained military secrets, and how FBI blunders led to their escape. He chronicles their pioneering role in the Soviet computer industry, including their success in convincing Nikita Khrushchev to build a secret Silicon Valley.
The book is rich with details of Barrs and Sarants intriguing andexciting personal lives, their families, as well as their integration into Russian society. Engineering Communism follows the two spies through Sarants death and Barrs unbelievable return to the United States.
To: struwwelpeter; jdm; xzins
... and members of the Rosenberg spy ring
But the Rosenbergs were innocent, you evil McCarthyite! /Alger Hiss
To: 2Fro; all_mighty_dollar; Arkat Kingtroll; Battle Hymn of the Republic; Betis70; billycat95130; ...
NOW ISS SVIMVEAAR. VERRRY NIIICE! NOW ISS EVENINKVEAR.
soviet laptops ? cool.
Windowski 1917 .. probably came with Red screens of death instead of blue.
posted on 04/15/2008 9:27:38 AM PDT
(Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICEs toll-free tip hotline 1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
You aren't supposed to notice that.
On one hand we can celebrate how two Americans worked to promote a system that killed millions of innocent people. We can talk about how they stole military technology to help a country dedicated to our destruction. We can mention their involvement with the Rosenbergs who helped that system obtain nuclear weapons technology.
But then we have the standard line the Rosenbergs who obtained the technology were innocent victims of American oppression.
Gee, one seems to disprove the other.
posted on 04/15/2008 9:43:11 AM PDT
(No local communist or socialist party chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing.)
ROFL....Red screens of Death...LOL....
To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Fred Nerks; george76; ...
posted on 04/15/2008 10:06:28 AM PDT
(https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_____________________Profile updated Saturday, March 29, 2008)
Ernest, while we're poring through the KGB's real files, as opposed to their fictitious files, their imaginary files, and their fantasy files, why don't we see if you can find the real story of Bill Clinton's sojourn behind the Iron Curtain in 1968 ...Strobe Talbot...Trick Dick Holbrooke ... and the countless others floating about DC who spent large portions of their careless youth in the Soviet Union ... not to mention the straight story on Lee Harvey Oswald ... or that fake defector sent over to convince us the Soviets knew nothing about Lee Harvey Oswald?
BTW, buying this book.
posted on 04/15/2008 11:06:37 AM PDT
by Kenny Bunk
(GOP Plank: Double Domestic Crude Production. Increase refining capacity 50 percent)
Thanks for reminding me of that thread.
Interesting to say the least. Many things have been written over the years regarding what type of technologies where transfered to the Russians via. their satellite states and other sources that blackmailed some, and obviously used some Americans with leanings of socialism to commit treason.
I am sure we have not heard the last of those that did these things. The lists are long on what things one could mention. First Russian AWACS, Integrated Circuit fabrication and design, just to name two areas I was aware of via. of talks with engineers and scientist while at Westinghouse AeroSpace/Defense. Same goes for spies between competing US companies. Lots of people on the take for the greed of money for the most part.
posted on 04/15/2008 5:16:39 PM PDT
(Duncan Hunter was our best choice...)
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