The Last Cambridge Spy: John Cairncross, Bletchley Codebreaker and Soviet Double Agent

The Last Cambridge Spy: John Cairncross, Bletchley Codebreaker and Soviet Double Agent


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John Cairncross was among the most damaging spies of the 20th century. A member of the infamous Cambridge spy ring, he leaked highly sensitive documents from Bletchley Park, MI6 and the Treasury to the Soviet Union—including the first Atomic secrets and raw decrypts from Enigma and Tunny that influenced the outcome of the Battle of Kursk. Based on newly released archival materials, this biography will be the first to cover the life and espionage of this singularly important spy. In 2014 Cairncross appeared as a secondary, though key, character in the biopic of Alan Turing's life, The Imitation Game. The result was considerable negative reaction within the national press. Despite this clear interest, the function filled by Cairncross remains an untold story. Where all of the other members of the Cambridge spy ring have been the subject of extensive biographical study, Cairncross has largely been omitted by both academic and popular writers, and no biography has yet been penned of his life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780750981477
Publisher: The History Press
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,200,484
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Chris Smith has published a monograph on the history of Bletchley Park and several related articles in journals, including History of Science. Dermot Turing is the author of Prof, the acclaimed biography of Alan Turing. He is a trustee of Bletchley Park. 

Table of Contents

Foreword Sir Dermot Turing 6

Foreword Professor Richard Aldrich 8

Acknowledgements 9

Introduction 11

1 Lesmahagow 20

2 The Red Generation 30

3 A Foreign Country 41

4 The Third Secretary 50

5 An Unsatisfactory Probationer 60

6 LISZT 70

7 KURORT: Bletchley Park and Ultra Intelligence 83

8 A Semi-Monastic Life 92

9 On His Majesty's Secret Service 103

10 The Venona Project 115

11 The 'Ealing' Spy 125

12 New Careers 138

13 Confession 149

14 The Hunt for the Fifth Man 162

15 Agent for the Duration 171

Afterword 180

Appendices - Interviews with John Cairncross 187

Notes 204

Bibliography 237

Index 252

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