A Memoir of the Missile Age

A Memoir of the Missile Age

One Man's Journey

Author: Vitaly Leonidovich Katayev
ISBN: 978-0-8179-1474-5
Publication Date: 6/1/2015

Behind the scenes during the nuclear arms race—a Soviet insider’s perspective

Vitaly Katayev witnessed the dawn of the age of nuclear-armed missiles as a designer. In the 1980s and early 1990s, he became deeply involved in government oversight of arms development and, later, disarmament.  In this extraordinary memoir he offers a firsthand look at Soviet decisions and calculations during the Cold War. From his inside perspective, he captures the drama of the Soviet system at first racing forward, then reversing course as Gorbachev comes to power and begins the process of negotiating arms control agreements with President Reagan.

Katayev reveals how misunderstandings of both sides were a symptom of the deepest chasm of the Cold War: Soviet leaders were often hobbled by a poor understanding of what was happening in the United States, and Americans had a weak grasp of what was happening in Moscow. He tells how the defense industry establishment, often at odds with the unformed military, drove the development of Soviet weapons, as he takes the reader on a journey through this most important and often-overlooked archipelago of launching pads, design bureaus, factories and policy-making offices.

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Vitaly Leonidovich Katayev

Vitaly Katayev joined the Defense Industry Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1975, after fifteen years as a designer in the defense industry, ultimately rising to deputy head of defense under Gorbachev and serving until the department was disbanded in 1993.



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Contents


Foreword by Kesnia Kostrova
Preface

Introduction by David E. Hoffman

PART I      SNAPSHOTS FROM A CAREER IN SOVIET ROCKET DESIGN
1     Omsk Civil Aviation Plant
2     Yuzhnoye Design Bureau
3     The Nedelin Disaster
4     Baikonur Test Range
5     The R-16, R-16, and Other Missile Projects
6     Two Profiles: Chief Designers Mikhail Yangel and viktor Petrovich Makayev

PART II      AN INSIDER'S VIEW OF SOVIET ARMS DEVELOPMENT AND LIMITATION
7     Military-Industrial Complex
8     Communist Party
9     Government Defense Agencies
10     Interdepartmental Working Group

Afterword

Appendix A: Alternative Names for Soviet Rockets and Missiles
Appendix B: Scientific, Political, and Military Figures in Vitaly Katayev's Account of the Soviet Missile Age

Notes
About
Index

Photo Section following page 194



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