M

Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster

Author: Henry Hemming

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409052524

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 416

View: 2079

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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: 6197

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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: 6205

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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: 1406

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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: 652

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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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Agent Molière

The Life of John Cairncross, the Fifth Man of the Cambridge Spy Circle

Author: Geoff Andrews

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1838606769

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 312

View: 3776

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The Cambridge Spies continue to fascinate - but one of them, John Cairncross, has always been more of an enigma than the others. He worked alone and was driven by his hostility to Fascism rather than to the promotion of Communism. During his war-time work at Bletchley Park, he passed documents to the Soviets which went on to influence the Battle of Kursk. Now, Geoff Andrews has access to the Cairncross papers and secrets, and has spoken to friends, relatives and former colleagues. A complex individual emerges – a scholar as well as a spy – whose motivations have often been misunderstood. After his resignation from the Civil Service, Cairncross moved to Italy and here he rebuilt his life as a foreign correspondent, editor and university professor. This gave him new circles and friendships – which included the writer Graham Greene – while he always lived with the fear that his earlier espionage would come to light. The full account of Cairncross's spying, his confession and his dramatic public exposure as the 'fifth man' will be told here for the first time, while also unveiling the story of his post-espionage life.
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Knight

Yorkshireman, Storyteller, Spy

Author: Greg Christie

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780995629981

Category:

Page: 224

View: 8372

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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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The China Journals

Ideology and Intrigue in the 1960s

Author: Hugh Trevor-Roper

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1350136042

Category: History

Page: 296

View: 5362

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These private journals, made available here for the first time, record Hugh Trevor-Roper's visit to the People's Republic of China in the autumn of 1965, shortly before the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution, and describe the controversial aftermath of his journey on his return to England. The visit was a catalogue of frustrations, which he relates with the verve and irony of a master narrator who relished the human comedy. His efforts to meet the real life and mind of China, in whose history and politics he had long been interested, were blocked at every turn by the resources of state propaganda and the claustrophobic attention of sullen Party guides. The visit was arranged by the London-based Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding, which was ostensibly committed to the impartial interchange of culture and ideas. It proved to be run by a Communist claque whose ruthless methods of control outwitted the well-connected membership. Back in England, and with help from MI5, he resolved to get to the bottom of the society's affairs. His investigations provoked a tumultuous public row which Trevor-Roper, no shirker of controversy, zestfully traces in these pages. Through the book, which closes with an account of his visit to Taiwan and South-East Asia in 1967, there run the wisdom of historical perspective that he brought to contemporary events and his lifelong commitment to the defence of liberal values and practices against their ideological adversaries.
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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: 4360

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Spooks

The Unofficial History of MI5

Author: Thomas Hennessey,Claire Thomas

Publisher: Amberley Pub Plc

ISBN: 9781848680791

Category: History

Page: 662

View: 8832

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This book, based on previously secret sources, lifts the lid on Britain's Security Service. Despite an outstanding war record against German espionage, MI5 failed to prevent Soviet agents like Anthony Blunt penetrating the heart of the British establishment, including MI5 itself. The authors look in detail at MI5's role in the post-Cold War world; in particular, they consider its changing role as it took on the main responsibility in countering terrorist threats to Britain. Controversy has never been far away during MI5's battle against the IRA, which included sending deep penetration agents into the heart of Northern Ireland's terrorist organisations.
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