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Home » Books » History » Europe » England

Agent M

The Lives and Spies of Mi5's Maxwell Knight

By Henry Hemming

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Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Published In: United States, 09 May 2017
Spying is the art of knowing who to trust-and who to betrayMaxwell Knight was perhaps the greatest spymaster in history, rumored to be the real-life inspiration for the James Bond character "M." He did more than anyone in his era to combat the rising threat of fascism in Britain during World War II, in spite of his own history inside this movement. He was also truly eccentric--a thrice-married jazz aficionado who kept a menagerie of exotic pets--and almost totally unqualified for espionage.Yet he had a gift for turning practically anyone into a fearless secret agent. Knight's work revolutionized British intelligence, pioneering the use of female agents, among other accomplishments. In telling Knight's remarkable story, Agent M also reveals for the first time in print the names and stories of some of the men and women recruited by Knight, on behalf of MI5, who were asked to infiltrate the country's most dangerous political organizations.Drawing on a vast array of original sources, Agent M reveals not only the story of one of the world's greatest intelligence operators, but the sacrifices and courage required to confront fascism during a nation's darkest time.

About the Author

Henry Hemming is the author of five previous works of nonfiction, including most recently The Ingenious Mr. Pyke. He has written for the Economist, FT Magazine, and the Washington Post, and his books have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and other places. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

Reviews

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #454545} "Absolute proof that assiduous digging in the archives can produce scoops. This is intelligence research at its best, especially in the identification of hitherto anonymous agents. Definitely a great contribution to the literature." - Nigel West, author of MI5 "This in-depth introduction illuminates a largely forgotten man of antidemocratic tendencies who played a key role in keeping Britain secure and democratic for much of the interwar and early postwar periods."--Publishers Weekly

EAN: 9781610396844
ISBN: 1610396847
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Dimensions: 23.62 x 16.26 x 3.05 centimetres (0.62 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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