Free Book Report Sample
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Free Book Report Sample
The book that I’ve read is the Cardinal of the Kremlin by author Tom Clancy. Just to give you a basic overview of Tom Clancy, I will tell you a few brief lines about him. He was lectured at the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States or, CIA, was conferred with the White House staff and has even been consulted by international intelligence experts. However he is neither a former intelligence officer nor naval man! Going back to the book, the Cardinal of the Kremlin falls mainly into the espionage and fiction genre and is built up of a couple real facts. The book itself takes place during the arms race of the late 80’s and is a continuation of The Hunt for Red October, also written by Tom Clancy. The book was printed in 1988 by the Berkley Publishing Group. While reading this book you will find that author Tom Clancy has a very creative way of writing. He also elaborates topics with great precision throughout the book. The Cardinal of the Kremlin shows how the CIA works with their field agents in retrieving information. The main plot is the race between the two superpowers, Soviet Union, at the time, and the United States, in developing a ground based anti-missile weapon. Three predominant themes that you may encounter this book are Star Wars Missile Defense Systems, espionage, and treason.
I bet you are all wondering what Star Wars Missile Defense Systems are. Basically they are large facilities, located in remote regions of course, that are comprised of a couple of smaller buildings, around 4 or 5, excluding housing buildings and the headquarter. Four out of the five buildings contain large lasers that when activated concentrate their beams for a fraction of a second on one point in the sky. This probably sounds like something from a movie right? Here is where it might get a little confusing. The Soviet facility that is in development in the book is codenamed Project Bright Star. It is located in an area called Dushanbe which is a few miles away from the Soviet-Afghan border. Its US counterpart, codenamed Tea Clipper in the book is located in a discrete location not mentioned as most of the action takes place at Project Bright Star. Did you know that the Project Bright Star was based on an actual site at the same location that is mentioned in the book? It is a facility that has, according to the description of the Defense System, potential to be used for such purposes but is, according to the now Russian government, to be used for mainly astronomical purposes such as star gazing, etc. and not for the other purpose.
The second theme of this book is espionage. “The operation of spies, saboteurs and secret agents are generally regarded as outside the scope of national and international law. They are therefore anathema to all accepted standards of conduct. Nevertheless, history shows that no nation will shrink from such activities if they further its vital interests”. This was a quote by the Field Marshal Viscount, Montgomery of Alamein. As the book progresses you will see how both the United States and the Soviet Union operate in order to win government officials in high places from each others country over and, in the end, gain sources that could inform them of their country’s progress and submit information on either program; Tea Clipper and Project Bright Star. Cardinal is one such person. He is a decorated Soviet war hero that had obtained a relatively high position in the defense ministry in the Soviet government. For thirty years he had been sending vital information regarding various Soviet projects to the United States. He was not suspected to be sending such information since of his rank and past history; he was almost killed performing a heroic act for his country during the time of war.
This now leads me to the final predominant theme, treason. Both in my opinion and that of both governments, providing another country with vital defense data or information can be called treason. Ones loyalty should be with one’s country, should it not?
I will now provide you with a brief summary of the novel excluding a few elements as to not ruin the book for whomever of you wish to read it later on. When the Soviets develop a laser projector capable of destroying a satellite in orbit or an airplane anywhere in the world, the United States is alarmed. The Soviets seem to be far ahead of US efforts. In an attempt to determine the details of the Soviet achievement the CIA asks its top agent in Moscow, code name CARDINAL, to find out the specifics of the Soviet laser. CARDINAL has been the top US agent in Moscow for over 25 years and Soviet counterintelligence never even suspected his existence. Now, the KGB has gotten its first sniff that CARDINAL exists and won’t give up until they catch him. The American laser project has also come to the KGB’s attention and they begin an operation to discover how far the US has actually gotten. In the midst of nuclear missile reduction talks, both superpowers are developing technologies that could unravel the negotiations. This boot takes you from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of New Mexico, from the backrooms of Washington, DC to the halls of the Kremlin. World peace may rest in the hands of the Cardinal of the Kremlin.
The two characters that I’ve decided to talk about are Jack Ryan who is the main character in the book and Cardinal, the top agent that works for the CIA in Moscow. He is very idealistic; he provided the basis for a rescue operation of an American scientist working at the Tea Clipper project site and was kidnapped by a group of three Russians that infiltrated the Tea Clipper site. He was the one who realized what was going on and put together a plan on operations which in the end resulted in the safe retrieval of the Scientist and the death of two of the three Russians.
The second character, as I’ve mentioned before, is Cardinal. Cardinal is America’s top agent located in Moscow. His real name is Mikhail Filitov. Since he was a war hero he was regarded as someone with a very high status; people thought of him to have shown the most loyalty to his country through his actions during the Second World War. He received scars on half his body while performing a heroic act of destroying numerous enemy tanks while the interior of his was ablaze.
I myself have no criticism regarding this book since, I honestly enjoyed reading it. The book itself is a real page-turner, stimulating your curiosity into wanting to read on to find out more. I can only relate to the book through its espionage theme. I myself enjoy secrecy and the whole idea of gathering intelligence and have even thought about what it would be like to work for an agency such as the CIA. The only downside to all this is the fact that you do not get paid all that much and also that if you ever take part in a black op and are caught, you yourself, or your mission, do not exist and are virtually deserted without aid of any kind.
Before ending this presentation, I would like to ask you one thing: Have you ever asked yourself why we do such things, why must we instill fear in innocent people? One answer is M.A.D., or mutually assured destruction. Born in the 50’s, this is an odd evolutionary defense strategy based on the concept that neither the United States nor its enemies will ever start a nuclear was since they know that the other side will retaliate massively and with equal force. For example, if one country possessed a fully operational missile defense system when the other did not, wouldn’t that, in a way, tip the balance in that country’s favor?
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