James Klugmann appears as a shadowy figure in the legendary history of the Cambridge spies. As both mentor and friend to Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess and others, Klugmann was the man who manipulated promising recruits deemed ripe for conversion to the communist cause. This perception of him was reinforced following the release of his MI5 file and the disclosure of Soviet intelligence files in Moscow, which revealed he played the key part in the recruitment of John Cairncross, the ‘fifth man’, as well as his pivotal war-time role in the Special Operations Executive in shifting Churchill and the allies to support Tito and the communist partisans in Yugoslavia. In this book, Geoff Andrews reveals Klugmann’s story in full for the first time, uncovering the motivations, conflicts and illusions of those drawn into the world of communism and the sacrifices they made on its behalf.
This quite unapologetic and exciting biography rescues James Klugmann from the condescension of posterity and from those of us who regarded him (mistakenly) as simply a dull British communist apparatchik. By strongly contextualizing Klugmann’s life, Geoff Andrews gives us a fuller picture of the man, an unswerving communist, a friend of the Cambridge spies, a recruit of Soviet intelligence, a senior SOE operative (under the nose of MI5), a great supporter of Tito before joining in Stalin’s fatwa, and, yes, also an ultra-loyalist communist hack.’ —
Donald Sassoon, author of One Hundred Years of Socialism
In his illuminating, sympathetic, but far from sycophantic, biography of Klugmann, a leading member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, Geoff Andrews paints a picture of a troubled intellectual who sacrificed his integrity through rigid devotion to the party.
Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian
offers a fascinating study of the intellectual and moral ossification that can result from an addiction to dogma. Geoff Andrews has done his research…well-written and thought-provoking account. —
Alan Judd, Literary Review
fascinating…admirably detailed account… Andrews writes well…Andrews paints a very human picture of Klugmann…impressive book.
Ivor Gaber, Tribune
Geoff Andrews has done a fine job in piecing together the story. This fascinating biography illuminates the world of the mid-twentieth century Communist intellectuals: the idealism that motivated them, and the choices that they had to make
Tom Buchanan, Professor of Modern British and European History, University of Oxford.
a complete picture of a truly dedicated revolutionary…extensive and meticulously researched…[Andrews] illuminates the complete story of a brilliant intellectual who gave his life to the Communist Party…fascinating…an important work about a generation that was like no other and a man who was a giant of his time. —
Bob Oram, Morning Star