A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean

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Bodley Head, 2018 - Diplomats - 440 pages
Donald Maclean was a star diplomat, an establishment insider and a keeper of some of the West's greatest secrets. He was also a Russian spy, driven by passionately held beliefs, whose betrayal and defection to Moscow reverberated for decades. Christened `Orphan' by his Russian recruiter, Maclean was the perfect spy and Britain's most gifted traitor. But as he leaked huge amounts of top-secret intelligence, an international code-breaking operation was rapidly closing in on him. Moments before he was unmasked, Maclean vanished. Drawing on a wealth of previously classified material, Roland Philipps now tells this story for the first time in full. Philipps unravels Maclean's character and contradictions: a childhood that was simultaneously liberal and austere; a Cambridge education mixing in Communist circles; a polished diplomat with a tendency to wild binges; a marriage complicated by secrets; an accelerated rise through the Foreign Office and, above all, a gift for deception. Taking us back to the golden age of espionage, A Spy Named Orphan reveals the impact of one of the most dangerous and enigmatic Soviet agents of the twentieth century, whose actions heightened the tensions of the Cold War.

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A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald MacLean

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

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 ... Read full review

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About the author (2018)

Roland Philipps worked in publishing as the editor of some leading novelists, politicians, historians, travellers and biographers. His first book, A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean, was published in 2018 to wide acclaim.

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