Top critical review
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interesting but irritating
on 30 January 2013
History is written by the winners and this book shows it. It is a very chatty discursive "family history" by a son about his father's very colourful career. There seems to be a lot of intent to "set the record straight" and not a few "get squares" . Normally we don't get much written about how much the British Government actually supported Franco. There is much more literature about heroic support from the Left for the communist Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. The extent to which the conservative old boy network dominated British government, military and espionage policy in World War 2 comes through in this book. The Public School, Oxbridge and Clubland web of privilege seems to determine everything. The role of Catholicism in being apparently able to make both fascists and communists the baddies is emphasised more than usual in literature.
Nevertheless, the book is entertaining for its range of real characters, bizarre events and new twists on "history". There is quite a bit of repetition and there are quite a few typographical errors.