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Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of Espionage [Kindle Edition]

Chapman Pincher
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Treachery, noted intelligence authority Chapman Pincher makes a compelling case that Roger Hollis, head of MI5 from 1956 to 1965, was himself a double agent, acting to undermine and imperil the UK and America.

Myriad intriguing case histories are portrayed, including that of Lt Igor Gouzenko, a Red Army cipher clerk whose 1945 disclosure of a mole in MI5 touched off the Cold War. With a mass of new evidence, some from Russian sources, Pincher also provides exciting new perspectives on other infamous operatives, including Kim Philby and Klaus Fuchs. Perhaps most explosively, Pincher posits that long after Hollis stepped down, a cover-up was perpetrated at the highest levels, even involving Margaret Thatcher, to conceal the truth for ever – a deception that continues today.

Treachery warns us to protect our society and institutions from enemy infiltration in the future. It is a revelatory work that puts twentieth-century politics and war into stunning new relief.

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"Chapman Pincher has drawn on decades of research and mined fresh evidence to examine in depth one of the enduring and controversial mysteries of the Cold War: Was the chief of British security service a Soviet spy?" (David Wise, co-author of The Invisible Government)

"This spectacular triumph of a study will be met with deep appreciation of a writer whose knowledge, judgement and integrity are surely beyond reproach" (Professor Peter Stachura, University of Stirling)


"Chapman Pincher has drawn on decades of research and mined fresh evidence to examine in depth one of the enduring and controversial mysteries of the Cold War: was the chief of the British security service a Soviet spy?" --David Wise," The Invisible Government"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1840 KB
  • Print Length: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Digital (5 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050OM428
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,677 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wholesale Treason 9 Sept. 2009
I had to read this book twice, just to get a handle on the extent of the perfidy throughout the career of this man, Roger Hollis, who became head of MI5.

What is most impressive about the preparation of this book is the massive amount of research, over three generations, and as many continents, that Chapman Pincher has gathered.

In the most tenacious pursuit of the truth regarding the actions or, more correctly, inactions, of Hollis throughout his career as MI5's so-called expert in both Soviet counterespionage, and security of the UK's evolving atomic industry, Pincher has presented one of the most mind-bogglingly staggering examples of investigative journalism I have ever read.

Thoroughly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How secure is our security? 13 Feb. 2012
By Jim Jim
Reading "Treachery", I felt I was on the jury at the posthumous trial of Roger Hollis, the ex-head of MI5. Was he really a Russian agent? Chapman Pincher makes a convincing case for the prosecution.

According to the author, Hollis was recruited to the communist cause in China, where he had gone to make his fortune after being sent down from Oxford University. Instructed to join either the Times, MI6 or MI5, he inveigled his way eventually into MI5 just before the second world war, soon gaining responsibility for seeking and neutralising Russian agents operating in the UK, and eventually rising to be the director general. Pincher accuses him of protecting Russian agents, giving atomic secrets which help the USSR develop their nuclear capability, sullying relations between the UK and US secret agencies, and facilitating the escape of spies after they had been discovered. He backs up these claims with references to both Western and Russian official documents, with information gleaned from the memoirs of spies from both sides and with the personal confidences he has accumulated over a long career as the most famous and well respected spy journalist in the UK press. His argument is persuasive, but is it correct?

Putting myself in the role of a juror, the problem with the book is that it presents only the case for the prosecution. The case for the defence is mentioned only in as far as it can be refuted. We cannot see Mr. Pincher as an unbiased academic in the pursuit of truth. In several places he expresses his deep hatred of communism. This has so inflamed his anger at Hollis's actions that it influences his analysis of the facts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive story of MI5 25 Nov. 2011
By Rod
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a youngster during the second world war one abiding memory was the arrival each week of the Sunday Express. Two matters concerned my parents. The first was the latest cartoon by Giles featuring Grandma, always equipped with a large brolly with which she would attack all who got in her way. The second was the latest revelation by Chapman Pincher. For some time I speculated that Mr Pincher actually was Grandma and got his facts while sneaking round Whitehall so disguised

Joking aside, Mr Pincher has been banging on about Roger Hollis for 50 years and more. Here are the reasons. Here also the litany of cover ups, obfuscations and incompetences with which MI5 has sought to deter further investigation.

This is essential reading for those wanting a complete view of the arguments on both sides. It should be noted that the value of the work is strengthened by the ability to resist going further than "it is likely" and "it is probable" where definitive proof has not been declassified or, indeed, lies among the many thousands of documents which have been destroyed

For readers considering the actual value to the nation of more recent work by our security services this book provides food for thought, and will encourage research as Chilcot reports, assuming the government allows publication of the many documents the enquiry has seen but is currently not being allowed to report upon or publish
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent update 22 July 2010
Having been an avid reader of intelligence matters and been close to it I have most books written by the leading authors on the subject.

This book is basically all the old stuff rewritten and updated from files released by the appropriate authorities.

It is an excellent read and fills in gaps that were there in previous books by Chapman Pincher, Nigel West, Peter Wright, Christopher Andrew (where a lot of the updates have come from, 'MI 5 Defence of the Realm') etc.

I found it strange that there were no photgraphs for a book like this. The end product is sadly these traitors escaped or were given immunity instead of all being lined up together and hung for treason.

Only faults are my book is the american edition and is obviously with american spellings and the book is a bad print starting to come away from the back binding.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Just when I thought I had exhausted my storehouse of Cold War Spy books, I found this one half-price at the going-out-of-business sale of a major bookstore [Thank you, Amazon!]. The topic continues to fascinate, and the author's account sweeps the reader on to the end of the narrative, although anyone new to the subject might become easily lost in the forest of multifarious personages.

Chapman Pincher, who has written three books on the same topic, qualifies as the Inspector Javert of espionage writers, relentlessly dogging the most minute traces of evidence in his continuing effort to prove the culpability of Sir Roger Hollis as the super-mole in MI5, suspicions raised by the late Peter Wright after his anti-Soviet technical operations constantly went awry while Hollis was at the helm of that organisation. And although the 694 pages (including index) certainly satisfied my "spy-tooth," by the time I finished the book, I felt as though I had consumed several pounds of chocolate-raspberry truffles at one sitting. I had to ask myself whether the author could not have accomplished his task in half the number of pages (Then he could have included some photos of the protagonists, always a plus in such books. Even though aficionados of the genre have seen dozens of such pictures, photographs might make this monster-sized book more accessible to readers who are new to the subject.).

The question also has to be asked whether "more" of an ever-intriguing subject equals more convincing. For my taste, the author weakened the validity of his thesis in several ways: 1) By constructing too many arguments [especially in the first third of the book] with speculative qualifiers such as "if," "very likely," "probably," "might well have been," etc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener
After reading this I no longer have much faith in the Security services.If they can't sort themselves out how on earth can they look after Jo Public.
Published 1 day ago by Paul Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars But an amazing insight into the world of spying
Well researched and very interesting. may be too much detail for some readers. But an amazing insight into the world of spying.
Published 2 months ago by IP133CB
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener.
This is the one to read if you want to remind yourself of the history of our post war intelligence services.
Published 4 months ago by Mr. M. A. Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The best book on espionage I have ever read. And I've read about 30.
Published 5 months ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Treachery - the definative work.
Chapman Pincher's excellent book Treachery ends the arguments about Arthur Hollis, the plot against Harold Wilson, the Blunt cover up and Margaret Thatcher's statements to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Bill Baillie
5.0 out of 5 stars An expose of one of the greatest intelligence scandals of our time
Compelling and well written. An expose of one of the greatest intelligence scandals of our time.
Published 9 months ago by Daniel Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars read once to know the names, read twice to captivate the drama
thrilling and informative
Published 9 months ago by Calvera
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
I have recently read a number of books regarding MI5, MI6 & the Cold War but this is without doubt the most compelling. Read more
Published 10 months ago by FAC191
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading if ever you wonder about the world we live in today.
Superb! Covers the same ground as "Their trade is Treachery" and "Spycatcher" but with far more detail following the release of various documents. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars The Work of a Lifetime
Chapman Pincher does a fine job in recounting the competence, or maybe incompetence is a more appropriate word here, of Roger Hollis during his career at MI5. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Thomas Koetzsch
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