Cover image for A spy named Orphan : the enigma of Donald Maclean / Roland Philipps.
Title:
A spy named Orphan : the enigma of Donald Maclean / Roland Philipps.
ISBN:
9780393608571
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2018]

©2018
Physical Description:
440 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Abstract:
Donald Maclean was one of the most treacherous spies of the Cold War era and a key member of the infamous "Cambridge Five" spy ring, yet the full extent of this shrewd, secretive man's betrayal has never been explored--until now. Drawing on a wealth of previously classified files and unseen family papers, A Spy Named Orphan meticulously documents his extraordinary story.--Provided by Publisher.
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Summary

Summary

Donald Maclean was one of the most treacherous spies of the Cold War era and a key member of the infamous "Cambridge Five" spy ring, yet the full extent of this shrewd, secretive man's betrayal has never been explored--until now. Drawing on a wealth of previously classified files and unseen family papers, A Spy Named Orphan meticulously documents his extraordinary story.Roland Philipps unravels Maclean's character and contradictions, informed by a domineering father in a childhood at once liberal and austere. Maclean became infatuated with Communism during his school days, even before his time at Cambridge. A model diplomat, he rose through the ranks of the British Foreign Office rapidly, never arousing suspicion of his chilling double life. He married an American woman despite his sexual ambivalence and increasing antipathy to the United States. He was prone to alcoholic binges that should have blown his cover, yet they never found their way onto his record. A sworn enemy of capitalism, he had access to some of the greatest secrets of the time, transmitting invaulable intelligence to his Soviet handlers on the atom bomb and the shape of the postwar world. Maclean was a spy who loved and loathed the role. In a brazen escapade, he successfully eluded the incredulous authorities to defect to the Soviet Union, where he worked and lived unrepentantly for the next thirty years.Philipps offers memorable portraits of Maclean's coconspirators--Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, and Anthony Blunt--as well as the gifted Russian spymasters of the period; a vibrant evocation of Cambridge and London between the wars; colorful descriptions of Maclean's postings in Paris, Cairo, and Washington, D.C.; and a riveting re-creation of the tense international code-breaking operation that ultimately exposed him. A gripping tale of blind faith and fierce loyalty alongside dangerous duplicity and human vulnerability, Philipps's narrative will stand as the definitive account of the mysterious and elusive man first codenamed "Orphan."


Author Notes

Roland Philipps is the grandson of Roger Makins, the last man from the Foreign Office to see Donald Maclean before his escape to the Soviet Union. He was publishing director of Hodder & Stoughton and Macmillan, London, and managing director of John Murray Publishers. He lives in London.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this often exciting narrative, Philipps uses a trove of recently declassified files to trace the arc of Russian spy Donald Maclean¿s life. While studying at Cambridge, Maclean became a supporter of communism and fatefully met Kim Philby, a fellow member of the Cambridge Five spy ring. Philby went on to become a high-ranking British intelligence officer, and he recruited Maclean as a Soviet agent before Maclean landed a job with the Foreign Office in 1935. The valuable information Maclean was to share included the truth about America¿s nuclear capacity in 1948, as tensions flared over the division of Berlin, and secrets relating to America¿s development of uranium for use in nuclear weapons. Maclean and his co-conspirators were eventually discovered, leading to his flight to Russia in 1951, where he lived until his death in 1983. Maclean¿s motivations for betraying his country remain murky, despite Philipps¿s speculation that its seeds lay in the oppressive private school he attended¿Gresham¿s School, in an isolated pocket of eastern England. Philipps believes that the required loyalty oaths to the school¿s masters encouraged betrayals of one¿s classmates and contributed to making Gresham¿s ¿the perfect psychological training-ground for a nascent spy.¿ Even though Maclean remains a mysterious figure, this is likely to be considered the definitive biography. (May)


Library Journal Review

The secrets passed on to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin from 1942 to 1951 by British diplomat Donald Maclean, one of the Cambridge Five, helped the USSR stay one step ahead of the British and American allies during the closing days of World War II and the early critical years of the Cold War. Philipps, former publisher at Hodder & Stoughton, used newly opened files from the British Foreign Office and MI5 to write this book. It closely parallels Andrew Lownie's Stalin's Englishman and chronicles much of the same materials. Maclean, code named "Orphan," was so entrenched in the British Foreign Office that he had access to all secrets. Maclean's conflicted conscience led him to increasing alcoholism and abuse of his wife, Melinda. With the Venona project (decrypting coded messages) closing in on him, Maclean fell apart and had a breakdown while serving in his last post in Cairo, Egypt; he was transferred back to London to recuperate. Kim Philby warned Burgess and Maclean about their impending exposure, allowing them to make a successful escape to the USSR where they lived out their lives. VERDICT Philipps brilliantly succeeds in painting a complete picture of the most devastating spy in recent history. Russophiles and amateur historians will be delighted. [See Prepub Alert, 11/22/17.]-Harry Willems, Great Bend, KS © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
1 Purity in Thoughtp. 7
2 Dared to Questionp. 24
3 Orphanp. 47
4 Lyricp. 66
5 City of Lightp. 89
6 Left Bankp. 109
7 Blitz and Barbarossap. 122
8 Homerp. 140
9 Iron Curtainp. 155
10 Distant Thunderp. 166
11 Access All Areasp. 185
12 Chaos on the Nilep. 205
13 Collapsep. 231
14 Reconciliationp. 251
15 Curzonp. 275
16 Endgamep. 300
17 Establishmentp. 324
18 Into the Wildernessp. 340
19 Comrade Frazerp. 356
Afterwordp. 381
Acknowledgementsp. 383
Bibliographyp. 386
Notesp. 393
Illustration Creditsp. 426
Indexp. 427