book cover of Too Secret Too Long

Too Secret Too Long

A non fiction book by

From Harry Rositzke - The New York Times Book Review

Mr. Pincher's thesis is that Sir Roger Hollis, an M.I.5 officer who served as chief of the organization for the nine years up to 1965 and who died in 1973, was a long-term Soviet agent. . . . In over 60 episodic chapters, he presents a circumstantial case based on the thesis that M.I.5 could not have performed so miserably over the years without a 'protective hand' in its ranks working for the Russians. . . . Mr. Pincher's indictment is built on coincidences of time and place ranging from China in the late 1920's to the Oxford suburbs in the 1940's, on actual and possible personal associations, and on a generousapproach to probabilities--his analysis is replete with hypotheticals like 'may have been' or 'could have been.'nnFrom The Times Literary Supplementn{The author's} main purpose in reconstructing an otherwise largely familiar story is to provide greater credibility than in his earlier book, Their Trade is Treachery {BRD 1983}, for the claim that Sir Roger Hollis . . . was the best placed, longest lasting and most successful Soviet agent of them all. . . {Pincher's} so-called evidence, which would be laughed out of court in any judicial inquiry, becomes genuinely derisory when, in order to rebut the claimthat no one who was keen to flaunt his Old Cliftonian tie (as Hollis did in Shanghai) could ever betray his country, Pincher shows that Burgess often wore his Old Etonian tie in Moscow and that Philby continued to follow the cricket scores and pined for Lords. Once Hollis has been convicted on circumstantial evidence and made to appear guilty by association, the story moves straight on within this groove.

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