Where spying or spies are concerned you cannot even believe the British. Ben Macintyre the author of this book has made a name in writing spy books , therefore the book definitely carries great style and is beautifully written. Ben is very engaging and interesting and the writer does not get bored.
My first question remains the timing of this book.
In every review or almost all reviews , there is a claim that this book is written without official support.This explanation raises a question mark ? Why at the height of East West rivalry and an intense stand off between UK-USA and Russia has this book with a definitely Russian baiting bias and agenda been written without British government support ?
The British are subtle and so is the timing of this book like a hammer striking the iron when the fire is at its hottest!
Gordievskys memoirs of 1995 told his story in detail.Gordievsky also authored various books on KGB and by 2005 the KGB collection was complete .
How and why this revival of Gordievsky in Britain in 2018 ?
Things don’t happen in Britain like that . Like this year the British think tank RUSI went out of the way to project Pakistan Army chief , by sponsoring a Pakistani researcher Kamal Alam .Kamal then published an essay from the RUSI platform extolling Pakistan Army chiefs strategy in Afghanistan.My friend Dr Hamid Hussain was intrigued and had the following to state :--
“I had some limited interaction with Kamal. Army has increased some coordination with British and Kamal’s presence at RUSI provides a window to GHQ. However, a more robust and critical review would have been more productive rather than simply praising the biggest idol in the temple. A British Guardian review meekishly claims that “Macintrye had no access to MI6’s archives, which remain secret.” From my long association with British and having many British cousins since ages I can smell ulterior motives when you read statements like Guardian reviewers statement quoted above.
The overriding impression that I got reading this book under review was Macintyres well argued and well written projection of British intelligence.
A patriotic book , well timed to go hand in glove with British national strategy to blame the Russians and to project MI 6 !
The readers must note that both USA and Britain have just suffered a rather pathetic defeat in Syria at the hands of Russia and are smarting from this grand debacle.
Since that time the British have staged possible dramas blaming Russians for posion attacks.
The subject of this book also claims to have been attacked by KGB in the past although the circumstances of that attack remain highly dubious and unsubstantiated.
The many mentions of USSR meddling in western elections also seems an attempt to rub President Trump on the wrong side as Trump is not very popular in Britain for various reasons.I find this repeated again and again in the book under review strange and certainly not an innocent coincidence.
At various places one gets the impression that the author is a master in the art of subtle exaggeration.
Our author claims that his hero Gordievsky made the world a little safer ! This remains disputable ! Not much has changed since Gordievsky defected to the west some decades ago.
A point which the readers must understand is that British intelligence had been deeply discredited after the Kim Philby affair.Gordievsky in this context was an attempt to redeem and restore the lost position of British intelligence in the eyes of the British public.
What Gordievsky did and what influence he had on history etc is a much complicated subject and in this regard the west in general and Macintyre in particular have grossly exaggerated his role.
At a more subtle level Macintyre seeks to transmit the unwitting reader a message that despite all failings and lapses the British intelligence is far more professional than the dumb uncouth Asiatic Russians !
At one point however the reader has no choice but to agree with Macintyre when he states that the CIA was relatively dumb and unprofessional and sharing anything with CIA would have resulted in betrayal of British intelligence assets like Gordievsky.
Reading the book my hunch was that it was carefully vetted by the British intelligence .I give them full marks in their possible vetting for not having stifled the authors subtlety and genius.
I am a fan of Mr Macintyres works and this book is another confirmation of his masterly genius.The sad part of life however is that even the genius have to compromise with the so called establishment and the powers that run things even in a country like Britain.
This book is another reconfirmation that our so called infallible west is deeply disturbed by a man called Vladimir Putin and this book , apart from its scholarly merit is a clear British attempt to run down the Russians and above all degrade Vladmir Putin.
I enjoyed reading the book but must conclude that this is yet another part of the ongoing intense cold war between the West and Russia.
After having been in Afghanistan for last 16 years and what I saw there, frankly I have lost all faith in the very concept of state.This happened as I was deeply disappointed to see that 90 % of all so called terrorists or trouble creators were proxies of some state including USA, Pakistan,Britain,Russia,Iran,India, France etc.
Another stint in Syria and Libya made me deeply disillusioned with so called liberal west where secular regimes were attacked by western proxies and fully financed and supported by Britain and USA !
This leads us to question if the USSR was all that bad and Britain such an angel . And what precisely did Gordievsky do ! His role has certainly been exaggerated in the west and his resurgence in 2018 in this book is by no means linked to what he did in 1971-85 !
The Economist magazine was particularly very thrilled by this book, which in itself raises many suspicions as economist is a very brilliant and subtle British psy ops tool.
It was good reading this book and In loved the style and the descriptions but one must use plenty of salt when it comes to dealing with Macintyres exaggerations which although masterly are far fetched at many places in the book.