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Christine Keeler: The Truth at Last Hardcover – 23 Feb 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson; Main Market Ed. edition (23 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0283072911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0283072918
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

For Philip Larkin, sexual intercourse may have begun in 1963, but for many, particularly government ministers, spies and 19-year-old models such as Christine Keeler, it was already in full swing. Swingers of all political persuasion indulged in antics of all persuasions: heady stuff, but destined for scandal, and victims. Keeler, in this ghostwritten autobiography, makes very plain that she believes herself to have been made the biggest scapegoat for a scandal publicly about impropriety, but behind heavy doors about espionage. Already the author of several books on the affair, only now is she revealing her complete account of what occurred before and after she had sex with a government minister and a Russian spy in the same week. And it's not without irony that the publisher is Macmillan.

In a sense, it's hard to appreciate the anger Keeler still obviously harbours, but it must be even harder to be her. Beautiful perhaps beyond her means, despite the frenzy of free love her story is luridly, unflaggingly bleak. An abortion at 16, held captive and raped twice by an infatuated madman, shot at by a jealous lover, imprisoned for perjury, disowned by her mother and one of her sons, the rest of her life saw her bear a stigma that resulted in men thinking her an easy proposition, and society shunning her. The new truths are, essentially, that she became pregnant by Profumo, that M15 chief Roger Hollis, was, if not the Fifth Man, then "certainly in the top 10", and that Stephen Ward, the Svengali osteopath, was a Russian spy who tried to kill her. Her most damning verdict, though, is on Lord Denning, appointed to investigate the scandal, whom she claims ignored her evidence as part of an official cover-up operation that damned her as a prostitute and the affair as a sex rather than security issue. The official papers will remain locked up until 2046, and until then, Keeler's truth will appear both plausible and frustratingly unverifiable. Her decision not to let sleeping dogs lie--because they lie and lie, she says--resurrects a story of original sin that remains, in an era of sleaze, relentlessly beguiling, even if, as she concludes, "I have survived and possibly I should not hope for more than that." --David Vincent

Review

If the details of the scandal itself are hazy to some, the famous photograph of Christine Keeler astride that chair is not. To re-cap: when she was 19, Keeler became involved both with Minister of War John Profumo and a Russian attach . When it became public, Profumo was forced to resign and the scandal undermined the Macmillan government. Keeler was jailed for six months and on her release her life was never the same. There have been other "biographies" of course, but only now - with both the passage of the years and the release of certain MI5 files - does she at last feel she can tell the "real" story. The publisher isn't releasing details yet because of the newspaper serialisation, but the involvement of the KGB and CIA are both discussed by Keeler. It is likely to be the familiar tale of the powerless and poor individual being used by the powerful Establishment.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Read read and a very good price. Arrived early too
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book, quick delivery
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting read
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The book was accurately described, value for money. Iv yet to read it but will be interested to read I about the event.
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Format: Hardcover
Good
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Format: Hardcover
What a miracle Christine Keeler survived all the threats and attempts on her life
A case of unjust gender bias is how the establishment for some of the men involved in the scandal to be rehabilitated but not Christine Keeler
She was swept into a world beyond her control at 16 and is a victim of what today we call 'slut shaming' Slut shaming should be done away with in this day and age but alas still persists
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Format: Hardcover
Before reading this book I had a lot more respect for Christine Keeler. I had always viewed her as a plucky adventuress, out for a good time, and somewhat over her head in political gamesmanship. I liked the image of Christine as a 60s icon - the girl with enough sexual charisma to bring down a government. There are revelations in the book, and interesting ones at that regarding her and Ward's involvement in espionage and the Government's strategy to use her as a red herring to mitigate the damage. As a historical record, it undoubtedly makes an important contribution. However the book is very poorly written, it's choppy and not very well structured, and it's whiney. While I don't doubt that Christine was set up, and paid the price for challenging her society's moral code, she was an adult, and she did make her own decisions as to those with whom she associated, and the nature of those associations. She has also obviously benefitted from her fame and notoriety - she has traveled, she has had magnificent opportunities for relationships and associations that she could otherwise never have dreamed. In this book she blames Ward, the Government, her notoriety, even those who have loved her, for her lifetime of apparent regret and frustration. She blames everyone but herself. I was left wanting to tell her to grow up, accept and learn from the past, thank God for the opportunities she's had (and perhaps discarded) and continue to be the icon I have admired for the past 40 years.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good insight into the spy world & what went on in the sixties. This book makes you realise how much is covered up how people in high places manipulate others for their own ends.
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