M

Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster

Author: Henry Hemming

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409052524

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 416

View: 8495

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*** The Sunday Times bestseller *** 'Vividly imagined and prodigiously researched' Helen Davies, Sunday Times, Books of the Year 'Such a rewarding read' John Preston, Daily Mail, Books of the Year 'This odd, secretive man is brought to life', Robbie Millen, The Times, Books of the Year Maxwell Knight was a paradox. A jazz obsessive and nature enthusiast (he is the author of the definitive work on how to look after a gorilla), he is seen today as one of MI5's greatest spymasters, a man who did more than any other to break up British fascism during the Second World War – in spite of having once belonged to the British Fascisti himself. He was known to his agents and colleagues simply as M, and was rumoured to be part of the inspiration for the character M in the James Bond series. Knight became a legendary spymaster despite an almost total lack of qualifications. What set him apart from his peers was a mercurial ability to transform almost anyone into a fearless secret agent. He was the first in MI5 to grasp the potential of training female agents. M is about more than just one man however. In its pages, Hemming reveals for the first time in print the names and stories of seven men and women recruited by Knight, on behalf of MI5, and then asked to infiltrate the most dangerous political organizations in Britain at that time. Until now, their identities have been kept secret outside MI5. Drawn from every walk of life, they led double lives—often at great personal cost—in order to protect the country they loved. With the publication of this book, it will be possible at last to celebrate the lives of these courageous, selfless individuals. Drawing on declassified documents, private family archives and interviews with retired MI5 officers as well as the families of MI5 agents, M reveals not just the shadowy world of espionage but a brilliant, enigmatic man at its centre.
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Agent M

The Lives and Spies of MI5's Maxwell Knight

Author: Henry Hemming

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1610396855

Category: True Crime

Page: 384

View: 9884

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The fascinating, improbable true story of Maxwell Knight--the great MI5 spymaster and inspiration for the James Bond character M. Maxwell Knight was perhaps the greatest spymaster in history. He did more than anyone in his era to combat the rising threat of fascism in Britain during World War II, in spite of his own history inside this movement. He was also truly eccentric--a thrice-married jazz aficionado who kept a menagerie of exotic pets--and almost totally unqualified for espionage. Yet he had a gift for turning practically anyone into a fearless secret agent. Knight's work revolutionized British intelligence, pioneering the use of female agents, among other accomplishments. In telling Knight's remarkable story, Agent M also reveals for the first time in print the names and stories of some of the men and women recruited by Knight, on behalf of MI5, who were asked to infiltrate the country's most dangerous political organizations. Drawing on a vast array of original sources, Agent M reveals not only the story of one of the world's greatest intelligence operators, but the sacrifices and courage required to confront fascism during a nation's darkest time.
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Churchill's Iceman

The True Story of Geoffrey Pyke: Genius, Fugitive, Spy

Author: Henry Hemming

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409052370

Category: History

Page: 560

View: 7666

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From the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, M: Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster In the World War II era, Geoffrey Pyke was described as one of the world's great minds. An inventor, adventurer and polymath, he was an unlikely hero of both world wars. He earned a fortune on the stock market, founded an influential pre-school, and is seen as the father of the U.S. Special Forces. In 1942, he convinced Winston Churchill to build an aircraft carrier out of reinforced ice. He escaped from a German WWI prison camp, wrote a bestseller, and aided Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. He even launched a private attempt to avert the outbreak of the Second World War by sending into Nazi Germany a group of pollsters disguised as golfers. And he may have been a Russian spy. 70 years after his death, Henry Hemming reveals Pyke's astonishing story in full: his brilliance, his flaws, and his life of adventures, ideas, and secrets.
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The Secret Twenties

British Intelligence, the Russians and the Jazz Age

Author: Timothy Phillips

Publisher: Granta Books

ISBN: 1847088848

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 5110

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In the 1920s, many in the British establishment became convinced that their way of life was being threatened by the new Soviet state. The British government launched vast spying operations in response, carrying out surveillance on not only suspect Russians, but British aristocrats, Bloomsbury artists, ordinary workers and even MPs. What they discovered had profound ramifications for the whole of British society, dividing the nation and laying the foundations for the later Cold War. Drawing on a wealth of recently declassified archives, The Secret Twenties tells the story of the first Soviet spies and the double agents in their midst, all of it set against the sparkling backdrop of cocktail-era London.
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The Beautiful Spy

The Life and Crimes of Vera Eriksen

Author: David Tremain

Publisher: The History Press

ISBN: 0750991070

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 2029

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In September 1940 a beautiful young woman arrived by seaplane and rubber dinghy on the shores of Scotland accompanied by two men – one of Germany’s many attempt to penetrate British defences and infiltrate spies into the UK. This seems to be one of the few established facts in the otherwise mysterious tale of Vera Eriksen. Even the origins of the woman described as ‘the most beautiful spy’ remain hazy, as does her ultimate fate. David Tremain delves into the archives, and in doing so begins to reveal glimpses of her fascinating life story: her career as a dancer in Paris; a tumultuous and violent dalliance with a White Russian officer of uncertain identity; her time in England with the Duchesse de Château-Thierry, an Abwehr agent; the suspicious and untimely death of her husband, and a rumoured pregnancy. The Beautiful Spy also grapples with perhaps the biggest mystery of all: what happened to Vera after she was released by the British?
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Russia and the British Left

From the 1848 Revolutions to the General Strike

Author: David Burke

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 1786723247

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 399

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The study of native `Marxisms’ in Britain throws light on what many historians have referred to as `the enemy within’. In this book, David Burke looks at the activities of the Russian political émigré community in Britain, and in particular the role of one Russian-Jewish political family: the Rothsteins. Theodore Rothstein and his son Andrew, along with his sister-in-law Zelda Kahan and her husband, WRussia and the British Left. P. Coates, together played an important part in the formative years of the Communist Party of Great Britain and were closely monitored by the British secret service. This led to claims that British communism was effectively a Russian creation with Theodore Rothstein acting as the éminence grise; the hidden hand of Moscow controlling the British left-wing movement. In 1920 Theodore Rothstein’s activities on the left of the British labour movement assisted the formation of a Communist party in Britain affiliated to the Comintern. Theodore was, soon after, effectively debarred from Britain following a visit to Russia, at which point his clandestine political activities passed to his son, Andrew. This book encompasses two periods. The first looks at the contribution of Theodore Rothstein to British Marxism and the response of the British intelligence services, Special Branch and MI5, to what they regarded as a serious threat to British security. The second part probes Andrew Rothstein’s subsequent career, and considers four main events: the formation of the Anglo-Russian Committee in 1924, the Zinoviev Letter, the General Strike of 1926 and the ARCOS Raid of 1927, and concluding with Andrew Rothstein joining his father in Moscow in 1930. With access to recently released documents from MI5, this book sheds new light on the activities of British Marxists against the backdrop of the early twentieth century and brings to life the story of a remarkable family.
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Knight

Yorkshireman, Storyteller, Spy

Author: Greg Christie

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780995629981

Category:

Page: 224

View: 7690

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"Vivid, detailed and fully of lively writing; Knight is a fascinating portrait of a remarkable man." Henry Hemming, author of 'M' Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster The epic tale of a major inter-war novelist whose work was lauded by the literary establishment of the 1930s - but overshadowed by his biggest hit. As a 10-year-old working in a Leeds knacker's yard, Eric Knight had a dream. Emigrating to the USA, he reinvented himself as artist, newspaper reporter, film critic and best-selling novelist. His books were praised by Ernest Hemingway and H L Mencken, and turned into Hollywood movies. An infantryman in the First World War, he served again in the Second - in espionage, propaganda and intelligence. Amond his confidants were O.S.S chief 'Wild Bill' Donovan, UK ambassador Lord Halifax and President Roosevelt. In 1943, on a secret mission to meet Churchill and FDR in North Africa, his plane was blown up, killing all on board. And what is this extraordinary man remembered for? A little pot-boiler he sold for $10,000: 'Lassie, Come-Home.'
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Spooks

The Unofficial History of MI5 From M to Miss X 1909-39

Author: Thomas Hennessey

Publisher: Amberley Publishing Limited

ISBN: 1445607999

Category: History

Page: 672

View: 1438

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The Devil is a Gentleman

The Life and Times of Dennis Wheatley

Author: Phil Baker

Publisher: Dedalus Limited

ISBN: 9781903517758

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 699

View: 7603

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One of the giants of popular fiction, with total sales of around fifty million books, Dennis Wheatley held twentieth-century Britain spellbound. His Black Magic novels like The Devil Rides Out created an oddly seductive and luxurious vision of Satanism, but in reality he was as interested in politics as occultism. Wheatley was closely involved with the secret intelligence community, and this powerfully researched study shows just how directly this drove his work, from his unlikely warnings about the menace of Satanic Trade Unionism to his role in a British scheme to engineer a revival of Islam. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished material, Phil Baker examines Wheatley's key friendship with a fraudster named Eric Gordon Tombe, and uncovers the full story of his sensational 1922 murder. Baker also explores Wheatley's relationship with occult figures such as Rollo Ahmed, Aleister Crowley, and the Reverend Montague Summers, the shady priest and demonologist who inspired the memorable evil character of Canon Copely-Syle in To The Devil - A Daughter.
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