Burgess And Maclean

Title:                      Burgess And Maclean

Author:                 John Fisher

Fisher, John (1977). Burgess And Maclean: A New Look At The Foreign Office Spies. London: Robert Hale

LCCN:    78310570

DA585.A1 F57 1977


Date Updated:  October 5, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

Boyle’s The Climate of Treason[2], with its revelations of new names and material, provides us with a measuring rod for Fisher’s book, which was virtually contemporary. Fisher’s fails the test not only in missing Anthony Blunt but in never speculating on the “fourth man” or on who may have been the Soviet talent scout and recruiter at Cambridge. He massages old facts and theories and devotes much attention to details that are not central to the case and its significance. He is more successful in chronicling the record “of human weakness, of evasions on the part of friends, relatives, officials and politicians-above all politicians.” The manner in which these Soviet agents were tolerated and even accepted and their blatant weaknesses and behavior defended, rationalized, or ignored is well brought out. So is the way clues and even evidence were ignored or not passed to the proper authority and the way past official and personal conduct was rationalized once Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean were revealed as Soviet agents. Fisher discusses some important new counterespionage details that explain how Klaus Fuchs and Maclean were initially identified as possible Soviet agents. Pincher’s Their Trade Is Treachery[3] has facts and makes allegations that are not even hinted at in this book.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, p. 187

[2] Boyle, Andrew (1979). The Climate of Treason:Five Who Spied for Russia. London: Hutchinson

[3] Pincher, Chapman (1981). Their Trade is Treachery. London: Sidgwick & Jackson

This entry was posted in Cambridge Spies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Burgess And Maclean

  1. Pingback: Guy Burgess | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s