THE SECRETS OF THE SERVICE: A Story of Soviet Subversion of Western Intelligence by Anthony Glees

THE SECRETS OF THE SERVICE: A Story of Soviet Subversion of Western Intelligence

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The unglamourous side of British espionage: the spies, moles and traitors who bloomed unseen from 1939 to 1951, and the ways in which their secret intelligence influenced British policy and ultimately the Cold War. Many questions have to be asked in sifting the actual effectiveness of moles and traitors such as Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt, and some 40 other men and women named as Communist infiltrators, including, most recently, Sir Roger Hollis (was ""C""--the director general of MI5 from 1956-1965--a supermole?). Far more than mere spies, these Red stars were privy to Britain's official secrets and helped form British policy. However, says Glees, ""Stalin's aims were chiefly served by the might of the Red Army and only in a very secondary sense by the machinations of the moles."" Glees investigates the formation, uses, and infiltration of MI5, MI6, and the SOE (Special Operations Executive), a wing of British intelligence active in subversion and ""intended to be a Western liberal alternative to the Comintern,"" the main tool of Stalin's subversive strategy. In the Anglo. Soviet intelligence accord, spies who had been spying on Russia were spying with Russia against Germany while Britain remained ignorant of Soviet aims (occupation of Eastern Europe with no intention of withdrawal). However, during this highly critical period of wartime cooperation, why did Sir Roger Hollis fail to avert the Soviet's maximum penetration of his MI5 organization? Because he was a Russian mole? Glees' long investigation winds down to a single word: ""balls."" Glees' seriousness in weighing the effects of spies and traitors upon British policy toward the Russians scants the human personalities involved, and spells heavy weather for the average reader looking for a good story.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1987
Publisher: Carroll & Graf