Murray Seeger, a journalist who formerly wrote for the Los Angeles Times, has reviewed Thomas Sakmyster‘s book about J. Peters, entitled Red Conspirator for Washington Decoded.
Mr. Seeger writes:
Sakmyster… tells the story of Peters in copious detail. His narrative relies on sources in Hungarian, a language almost impenetrable to non-native speakers. Sakmyster’s knowledge of Hungarian history (both there and among the émigré community in the United States) also allows him to put Peters’s movements in a broader context not often found it books about spies.
Dr. Thomas Sakmyster discusses and signs copies of his new book, Red Conspirator: J. Peters and the American Communist Underground.
Cold War scholar Dr. Harvey Klehr has reviewed Red Conspirator in The Weekly Standard.
Dr. Klehr calls the book a “fascinating account of the remarkable life of Sandor Goldberger, better known in the United States as József (or J.) Peters…”
He states further:
Based on careful and extensive digging in American and foreign archives, particularly in Hungary, Red Conspirator is both a lively and well-written book, and the best life story yet published in English of a particular Communist type: the professional revolutionary who lived virtually his entire life in the shadowy netherworld where legality shaded into illegality and loyalty to Moscow…
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Dr. Thomas Sakmyster, author of the newly published book Red Conspirator: J. Peters and the American Communist Underground, shares his experience in researching the “man of mystery” J. Peters:
I knew that I would face a formidable challenge in finding relevant sources… I was not able to find a single personal letter written by Peters during his 25 year sojourn in the United States., and only a few scattered documents dealing with his conspiratorial work… Almost nothing of value to a historian remained…
The FBI had never really discovered anything about Peters’s espionage activity… In the end they could prove only one crime against him: the use of a forged passport. This was the charge that led to J. Peters’s deportation in 1949.
(» full article)
The American Mercury published a review of Dr. Thomas Sakmyster‘s forthcoming book, Red Conspirator: J. Peters and the American Communist Underground, in “Head of the Whole Business”:
…Most tantalizing in Red Conspirator is the thwarting of one Federal agency by another. In the 1940s, HUAC and the FBI were working to flush out Peters’s role in the Soviet underground. Meantime, the INS was trying to deport him. (Peters chose to leave of his own free will prior to deportation.) Rounding out the book are scrapbook-like anecdotes about Peters in Hungary, from his return in 1949 to his death four decades later…
Red Conspirator represents a major contribution to scholarship in 20th Century American and International Communism. The approach and tone are scholarly. The findings are electrifying.
(» full article)
(» hyperlinked version on “Whittaker Chambers in Books”)