This is a much needed biography of James Klugmann, one of the most elusive figures at the heart of the Cambridge spy ring of the 1930s. Impeccably researched on the basis of vast archival material, Andrews uncovers the paradoxes and compromises of a Communist intellectual who sacrificed everything to the orthodox Party line, even his own integrity and credibility as a writer and historian. This is a must read for anyone interested in espionage or the British Communist Party.
Andrews has obviously years comprehensively researching this book, and coupled with his academic background he has created an extremely readable work on Klugman. By exploring the political environment of the period Andrews shows how Klugman was drawn toward communism, a creed he stood by for the rest of his days, even after the soviet invasion of Hungary. The book, of course, mentions the infamous Cambridge traitors such as Burgess and Philby, plus numerous other figures who saw communism as the only option. Some such as Dennis Healey, who later reached great British political rank, moved away from communism, others felt betrayed by Hungary and revelations of Stalins crimes. Klugman is described by Andrews at a recent book launch event I attended as a "communist Franciscan" who remained loyal to the end. Viewing events through contemporary eyes isn't always helpful, Andrews avoids this and gives his subject a compassionate and humanitarian touch.