A Divided Life: A Biography of Donald Maclean
In this perceptive biography of Donald Maclean, Robert Cecil draws on his close acquaintance with the man, first at Cambridge and then as his colleague in the Diplomatic Service, to give an insider's view of Maclean and his circle of ideological spies: Burgess, Philby and Blunt. He details Maclean's recruitment as an agent by the Comintern in 1934, his early years in Paris, marriage, breakdown in Cairo and ultimate flight, with Burgess, to the Soviet Union.
The heart of the book is Maclean’s years in Washington from 1944-
"A riveting portrait."
"A splendidly perceptive life of Donald Maclean... [Cecil] provides, for the first time, a clear and detailed account by a Foreign Office colleague who knew Maclean, came from a similar background, and comprehends the unspoken assumptions of his time and class."
"[Cecil's] insider's account both of uneasy U.S.-
"The portrait of Maclean is convincing and the assessment of the damage done to Anglo-
"Delivered in a crisp, literate. no-
"Cecil has the rare benefit of having known most of the key players personally, and his account of the defection of Burgess and Maclean demolishes the idea that either Philby or Sir Roger Hollis conspired to tip them off."
“This is as much the inside story of those momentous events as we are likely to learn, intimate and revealing, told with candour and wit. A far better read than the average spy fiction, it throws light on the dark corners of an amazing career.”
Manchester Evening News
“The author confounds all expectations and keeps the narrative bowling along like the most seasoned thriller writer.”
“Detailed, authoritative, sympathetic, scholarly biography of British diplomat/Soviet spy Donald Duart Maclean (1913-
National Intelligence Book Center
“Cecil is also a first-
"Cecil's book is fascinating on Maclean's pressures and the way he had to live under them. And unlike Burgess, Maclean was indeed committed to communism and remained so until his death. Robert Cecil shows the human, doubting, tortured side of Maclean's personality and he reveals it in fascinating anecdotal detail.”
The Birmingham Post
“His insider's account both of uneasy US -
“Robert Cecil's biography of Donald Maclean is sympathetic, hardheaded and clear. Mr. Cecil is just the right person to assess Donald Maclean because he is balanced, not at all divided himself, and thus able to see how the divided life could so logically grow out of the concerns a young Englishman had about the rise of fascism in the 30s.”
The Book Review
“With Maclean, you understand the waste and futility of it all. The Cambridge spies are today irrelevances, footnotes to another age. Only the British could pick so doggedly over such old bones.”
London Review of Books