Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders, and Cover-ups : Six Decades of Espionage Against America and Great Britain

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Random House, 2009 - History - 679 pages
3 Reviews
From noted intelligence authority and author Chapman Pincher comes an utterly riveting book that reveals in startling detail sixty years of Soviet spying against Great Britain and the United States. Using a huge cache of recently released documents and exclusive interviews, Pincher makes a compelling new case that–as he has long believed–the head of Britain’s own counterintelligence and security agency was himself a double agent, acting to undermine and imperil the U.K. and America. Written with the power of a heart-pounding thriller, Treachery pulls the mask from intelligence leader Roger Hollis. As a result, years of traitorous action and inaction on his watch come tumbling down.

Pincher reveals Hollis’s early years, when he was schooled at Oxford, which “educated” many agents, and worked in 1930s Shanghai, a hotbed of soon-to-be spies and Soviet recruiters. Hired by MI5–at a time when there was virtually no vetting of employees–he was a gray presence who rose in the ranks over twenty-seven years while, Pincher suspects, he was allowing the most notorious Soviet spies of the century to flourish.

Myriad fascinating case histories are portrayed here, including that of Lt. Igor Gouzenko, a Red Army cipher clerk who said cryptically in 1945 that there was a mole in MI5 with access to important files. Pincher also provides exciting new perspectives on the most infamous operatives of our time, including Kim Philby and Klaus Fuchs. Perhaps most explosively, Pincher posits that long after Hollis stepped down, a cover-up was perpetrated at the highest levels, and that Margaret Thatcher was induced to mislead Parliament to prevent the truth from coming out.

An essential volume for a world potentially facing a new cold war as Russia dangerously flexes its military and espionage muscles once again, Treachery warns us to protect our society and institutions from enemy infiltration in the future. This is a revelatory work that puts twentieth-century politics and war into stunning new relief.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PDCRead - LibraryThing

Massive 620 page book! Pincher has compiled a slamming indictment against the head of MI5 Hollis and MI5 itself. The only think to add is that there is so much smoke and mirrors in the spy game that I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - FSkornia - LibraryThing

I think my initial reaction to finishing this book is, "Ugh, it's finally done." That isn't to say that it was a bad book, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to most people. The subject matter was ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

Chapman Pincher is the most experienced and perhaps the best-known British espionage writer. Born in India in 1914, he was educated at King’s College London and the Royal Military College of Science. His bookTheir Trade Is Treachery,which first charged Sir Roger Hollis with being a Soviet agent, was a sensation. For decades he has been the most effective critic of the British security system, and over the years he has broken scores of stories that have created headlines.

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