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Chapman Pincher: Dangerous to Know: A Life by [Pincher, Chapman]
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Chapman Pincher: Dangerous to Know: A Life Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Chapman Pincher was arguably the greatest scoop-hunter of postwar British journalism. The man is a marvel. These engrossing memoirs contain enough material for twenty thrillers. --Robert Harris

Chapman Pincher is a legend - truly, a larger than life figure, one of the greatest reporters of the golden days of Fleet Street and still going strong at nearly 100 years of age. If you want to know how to ferret out a jewel of a story from the bowels of our security services, then read this book. --Paul Greengrass, Film Director of The Bourne Trilogy & Captain Phillips

His tales of espionage and betrayal in this enthralling memoir belong to a world that younger readers might struggle to believe existed. --Graham Stewart, The Times

He writes as directly and vividly as ever. --The Spectator

About the Author

Harry Chapman Pincher was born in India in 1914 while his father was serving in the British Army. After moving to Great Britain, Chapman Pincher studied first at Darlington Grammar School and then King's College London before entering the teaching profession. He served in the Ministry of Supply during the Second World War and then embarked upon a lengthy and successful career in journalism, joining the Daily Express as a science and defence correspondent. Famed for his exposés, he is regarded as one of the finest investigative reporters of the twentieth century. Chapman Pincher has penned a number of books both non-fiction and fiction and is the author of the notorious Their Trade is Treachery. He lives in West Berkshire with his wife, Billee.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2367 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing (21 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I2GC9NK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #255,876 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Our family took the Daily Express throughout the Fifties and Sixties, a period when it really was a great newspaper and not a comic, and the name Chapman Pincher became as familiar as that of any public figure. Scoop after scoop, story after story, and always written in an elegant and readable manner.

How did he do it? How DID he do it?

The answer is laid out here in Pincher's own words, and it simply comes down to good journalism i.e. cultivate your contacts. Chapman Pincher had a good war, and this stood him in good stead with the scientific, military and intelligence communities. The stories flowed, often because the source had a grievance or a vanity project; but Pincher didn't care too much what the impetus was, as long as the account was accurate.

There are two aspects in particular that are something of a surprise. One is that the author found so much time for huntin' shootin' and fishin'. The other is that his own personal writing style, unlike the cool appraisal of the Express columns, tends towards that of a jaunty golf club secretary, with limp jokes and multiple exclamation marks. One anticipates capital letters and double underlining.

No matter. A childhood hero (this reader himself became a journalist, although he fell short of Pincher by a country mile) emerges as a flesh-and-blood titan, a genuine Fleet Street Great. It is heartening to see that he made it to 100 years, thereby outliving all his critics and enemies.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating account of post war journalism and espionage through the eyes of one the famous Chapman Pincher - a must read for those interested in learning more about Soviet infiltration into the British intelligence services.
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By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The author of this remarkable autobiography is 100 years old. Pincher has written many books on espionage and, in particular, about activities government would prefer to keep under wraps. Released cabinet papers testify to his reputation as a super scooper. His main aim in writing this book is to record the numerous issues and events with which he has been closely involved with over many, many years. He is now able to put on record secrets which can no longer do harm to the state or an individual-unlike the revelations of another person now in the news. His prowess as an investigative reporter is acknowledged by ex CIA Directors, academics, senior members of the three Services, and writers.

Chapman Pincher was born in a tent on 29th March.1914 in Ambala, a small town in the Punjab. By an extraordinary coincidence this was the town where Kim Philby, the traitor, was born in 1912. Pincher was later to spend many hours delving into the activities of this man. His father was the Drum Major of the 2nd Bn Northumberland Fusiliers stationed in the Punjab.For all of his adult life Chapman has been known as Harry. He went to a Grammar School in Darlington, took part in school plays and debates. He went to Kings College London to study genetics. While there he won prizes for Zoology and Botany. In 1936 he became a biology teacher in Liverpool. He began writing articles for farm magazines and other similar magazines. This led to a desire to become a journalist.

In July 1946, after leaving the army, he entered Fleet Street as a defence and science specialist. His key job was to find classified information and expose it without risk of prosecution.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a 4 from me, but...
As an ex lifetime journalist during much of Pincher's 'reign' at the Express curiosity about the inside stories of his many exclusives had me sold on the book. However, for many others I think it would become quite boring, even tedious, as he ticks off the minutia of his journalistic and social lifestyle. How remarkable, too, was his breadth of expertise and interests in other fields not associated with the news trade.
Contacts are the lifeblood of journalism but Pincher makes it an art form on the shooting', fishin', drinkin' circuits and reaches a zenith with his name-dropping (I'm sure not deliberate boasting at any time, but just recording that he was a member of the in-set).
However, as a news buff I forgive all that to enjoy a detailed narrative which, forgive me, could have been 'subbed' extensively and still kept its intrigue.
His exactitude and memory amazes, witness a very late piece of advice well into his 90s about how the aged should keep themselves safe when journeying about the house, what they should wear and how carefully they walk around! In another era he would have been an excellent Health and Safety advisor! Thankfully he chose to market his skills elsewhere and enjoyed knocking down the barriers of officialdom and bureaucracy rather than building them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
. . . or Dangerous to Read, if your blood pressure is affected by exasperation. My first Amazon review, prompted by a sudden fit of altruism. It was a relief to finish this book. I am left with the impression that the author knew everybody worth knowing, and mostly he managed to be of considerable service to them. I wonder if old age invariably adds a golden glow to one's CV?
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