A Divided Life (Paperback)
A Biography of Donald Maclean
Thistle Publishing, 9781786080592, 292pp.
Publication Date: October 4, 2018
In this perceptive biography of Donald Maclean, Robert Cecil draws on hs 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.