The Surreal Diary of an Unwilling Spy: From KGB to FBI, CIA, MI5, and Mossad
Alexander V. Avakov
Сюрреалистический дневник шпиона поневоле: От КГБ к ФБР, ЦРУ, МИ-5 и Моссаду
Александр В. Аваков
This book is a fictionalized diary. This four-volume edition of the book has parallel texts both in English and in Russian; English text is in black, and Russian text is in red.
- Volume1 is devoted to: A DISSIDENT’S BACKGROUND IN THE SOVIET UNION AND EARLY YEARS IN THE U.S.; THE ETHICAL THEORY.
- Volume 2 is devoted to SURVEILLANCE IN THE U.S. AND IN THE WEST.
- Volume 3 is devoted to: THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SURVEILLANCE IN THE U.S. AND THE THEORY OF RIGHTS; A PHILOSOPHICAL AND POLITICAL DISCUSSION.
- Volume 4 is devoted to THE LATEST IN THE PHILOSOPHICAL AND POLITICAL DISCUSSION and to SUMMARY; also, this Volume provides REFERENCES for all four volumes.
The book covers the life of immigrants from the U.S.S.R. in the U.S., remembers life in Russia, describes the experience of a dissident in the Soviet Union and then, after emigration from the Soviet Union, with the Western intelligence and counter-intelligence organizations. It gradually concentrates on the modus operandi of the Committee for State Security (KGB), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), New York Police Department (NYPD), National Security Agency (NSA), ECHELON, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), Department of Homeland Security, MI5 (British counterintelligence), Mossad, Saudi Intelligence, and ISI (Pakistani military intelligence); also intelligence footprint of France, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, Greece, Spain, Austria, Finland, and some other countries. It covers the frontiers of the legal theory of surveillance and how modern surveillance can lead to electronic totalitarianism.
What distinguishes this book is the intensely personal account of the events and issues.
The book is written in a very unconventional way and describes an unconventional experience. It is about the collision of cultures, which any new immigrant may experience. But it is also about the life of a particular kind of newcomer — a highly ideological, even idealistic, political refugee from a country that is the main geopolitical adversary of America. The narrative is a mixture brewed from the high-minded expectations of a former Soviet dissident contrasted with the world of “folklore” where insinuation is reality and with the daily prejudices and outright spy mania found in the various strata of American society.
At the same time, this book has an aspect of a folklore study. Elements of folklore — folklore units — are analyzed both from the point of view of an immediate meaning and from the point of view of a broader meaning. The immediate and broader meaning is uncovered through interpretation in contexts. In the process of this interpretation, the book navigates in contexts on two levels: (immediate) Contexts and (broader) Metacontexts. These Contexts and Metacontexts are built with the use of citations, which exemplify folklore in the world of ideas (hence the title of this work, Metafolklore). Books used as sources for these citations are primarily those of literature, philosophy, and law, but also of other areas of human knowledge. The Metacontexts are presented in three distinct perspectives: anthropological, psychological, and humanistic. Plus, there are Metacontexts representing a dialogue of the author with his daughters who give the perspective of second-generation immigrants.
Because of its coverage of surveillance in America this book has run into certain resistance from some part of the public in the United States. An archetypically hostile reaction to one of the contributing sources to this book was expressed in LATimes by William Askins, ex-CIA Clandestine Service Senior Operations Officer: "This book is chock full of secrets. The public doesn't need to know this stuff and it should be suppressed!" Here is another piece of reality: today, in America you cannot outright forbid such a book, but you can suppress it.