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A Divided Life by Robert Cecil - Guest Blogger Book Review

By 11:30 PM , , , , , , , , ,

In this perceptive biography of Donald Maclean, Robert Cecil draws on his close acquaintance with the man, first at Cambridge and then as his colleague in the Diplomatic Service, to give an insider’s view of Maclean and his circle of ideological spies: Burgess, Philby and Blunt.
He details Maclean’s recruitment as an agent by the Comintern in 1934, his early years in Paris, marriage, breakdown in Cairo and ultimate flight, with Burgess, to the Soviet Union. The heart of the book is Maclean’s years in Washington from 1944-48, a time when crucial decisions about the post-war world were being made.
Maclean was assigned top secret work connected with the development of the atomic bomb – the ‘Manhattan Project’. He was undoubtedly Stalin’s best source in Washington, and Russian knowledge of US nuclear capabilities fuelled the atomic-weaponry race. His treachery did immense damage to Anglo-American relations. The other casualty, which Cecil is well-placed to describe, was to the gentlemanly culture of the Foreign Office and the sense of trust within the Service.

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Jennifer's Review
It was an okay book. 
Hard for me to read and understand about the life of Donald MacLean. 
A friend of his narrated the biography on the life and family and career of Donald MacLean. 
I give this book 2 stars.  

Author Bio
Robert Cecil served for thirty years in the Diplomatic Service, after reading History and Modern Languages at Cambridge. During the War he was seconded for two years to ‘C’, the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. Later he was to serve as Donald Maclean’s assistant in the American Department, taking over the post of Head of Department after Maclean’s flight. In 1968 he took up a Readership at the University of Reading, and from 1976 until retirement in 1978 he was Chairman of the Graduate School of Contemporary European Studies. In addition to two books on aspects of modern German history and two books of verse, he has published a book on English social history, Life in Edwardian England. 

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