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June 22 , 2009

Engineering Communism

How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley


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 KGB’s 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 Barr’s and Sarant’s intriguing andexciting personal lives, their families, as well as their integration into Russian society. Engineering Communism follows the two spies through Sarant’s death and Barr’s unbelievable return to the United States.

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