Book Review — “Enemies Within: Communists, the Cambridge Spies and the Making of Modern Britain”

“The old easy-going confidence [of the Foreign Office] will be destroyed and henceforth everybody will begin to distrust everybody else. I do hate that. It is the loss of one more element of civilization.”

UK Diplomat Harold Nicolson  (1951)

Enemies Within is a new history of the influence of Moscow on Britain told through the stories of those who chose to spy for the Soviet Union. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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With access to recently released papers and other neglected documents, this sharp analysis of the intelligence world examines how and why these men and others betrayed their country and what this cost Britain and its allies.

“The new book challenges entrenched assumptions about abused trust, corruption and Establishment cover-ups that began with the Cambridge Five and the disappearance of Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean on the night boat to Saint-Malo in 1951.

In a book that is as intellectually thrilling as it is entertaining and illuminating, Richard Davenport-Hines traces the bonds between individuals, networks and organisations over generations to offer a study of character, both individual and institutional. At its core lie the operative traits of boarding schools, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the Intelligence Division, Foreign Office, MI5, MI6 and Moscow Centre.

Davenport-Hines tells many stories of espionage, counter-espionage and treachery. With its vast cope, ambition and scholarship, Enemies Within charts how the undermining of authority, the rejection of expertise and the suspicion of educational advantages began, and how these have transformed the social and political temper of modern Britain.”

About Richard Davenport-Hines

Davenport-Hines was educated at St Paul’s School, London, and Selwyn College, Cambridge (which he entered as Corfield Exhibitioner in 1972 and left in 1977 after completing a PhD thesis on the history of British armaments companies during 1918–36).

He was a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics, 1982–86, where he headed a research project on the globalisation of pharmaceutical companies. He was a joint winner of the Wolfson Prize for History and Biography in 1985 and winner of the Wadsworth Prize for Business History in 1986.

He now writes and reviews in a number of literary journals, including the Literary Review and The Times Literary Supplement. [Wikipedia]

Secrets Of War — The Cambridge Five


Enemies Within review – Richard Davenport-Hines offers a strange new study of the Cambridge spies — The Guardian (January 28 2018)


Book Review — “Enemies Within: Communists, the Cambridge Spies and the Making of Modern Britain”

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