From Publishers Weekly
In a groundbreaking analysis of one of the most famous Cold War espionage cases, Hamrick, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer, asserts that British intelligence had identified Donald Maclean as a Soviet agent earlier than the accepted date of spring 1951. He begins his reappraisal of the events of 1947–1951 by dismantling existing journalism on the subject. He goes on to explain his doubts about both Kim Philby's prowess as spy and the veracity of Philby's book, My Silent War.
Writing with a highly specialized knowledge of the intelligence institutions and their history, Hamrick painstakingly identifies anomalies in the NSA's Venona archive of decoded Soviet intelligence and examines complementary London and Moscow sources. Convinced that London still has much to hide about its past, Hamrick maintains that MI5 not only knew far earlier than 1952 about Maclean but argues forcefully that during 1949–1950 it ran a disinformation initiative in which Philby was used as an unwitting foil to hoodwink Moscow about Anglo-American military capability. Hamrick (author of The Consul's Wife
and other novels under the pseudonym W.T. Tyler) redeems the reputation of British intelligence with his assertions and casts aspersions on the past proficiency of the CIA. His subversive recasting of the Philby-Maclean-Burgess case will fascinate and challenge all those interested in Cold War history.
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“A remarkably well-crafted and thoroughly documented book.”—Library Journal