David Pryce-Jones is the author of ten novels and thirteen books of non-fiction, including the bestselling The Closed Circle and The Strange Death of the Soviet Union. He is a Senior Editor of National Review.
Treason of the Heart: From Thomas Paine to Kim Philbyby David Pryce-Jones
Treason of the Heart is an account of British people who took up foreign causes. Not mercenaries, then, but ideologues. Almost all were what today we would call radicals or activists, who thought they knew better than whichever bunch of backward or oppressed people it was that they had come to save. Usually they were applying to others what they saw as the/i>
Treason of the Heart is an account of British people who took up foreign causes. Not mercenaries, then, but ideologues. Almost all were what today we would call radicals or activists, who thought they knew better than whichever bunch of backward or oppressed people it was that they had come to save. Usually they were applying to others what they saw as the benefits of their culture, and so obviously meritorious was their culture that they were prepared to be violent in imposing it. Some genuinely hated their own country, however, and saw themselves promoting abroad the values their own retrograde government was blocking.
The book deals with those like Thomas Paine who saw American independence as the surest means to hurt England; the many who hoped to spread the French revolution and then have Napoleon conquer England; historic characters like Lord Byron and Lawrence of Arabia who fought for the causes that brought them glory; finally those who took up Communism or Nazism. Treason of the Heart is nothing less than the tale of intellectuals deluded about the effect of what they are doing and therefore with immediate reference to today’s world.
- Encounter Books
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This book is in some ways disturbing,in that it documents how people who live in free societies can develop such a hatred for their own society and culture that they will go to any lengths to betray it.Their denile of actual conditions in such systems as the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany is hard to understand, but this book makes it very clear that too many people in responsible positions do exactly that. This book should be required reading in high school and college Political Science courses.Because of my background in a navy career as well as graduate study in foreign affairs I was aware of much that the writer presents,but he puts it all together in a clear and concise package.
I wish the chapters were a bit more fleshed out--some of the stories left me wanting more detail and information; also, the author does not supply a lot of background information. Nonetheless, this is a really interesting book, and I do recommend it.