The Last Cambridge Spy
By Christopher Smith
The Last Cambridge Spy is not just a fascinating, well-placed book about an interesting individual; it also invites us to re-appraise the very idea of the ‘Cambridge spy ring’ (Sir Dermot Turing)
John Cairncross was among the most damaging spies of the twentieth century. A member of the infamous Cambridge Ring of Five, 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. In 2014, Cairncross appeared as a secondary, though key, character in the biopic of Alan Turing’s life, The Imitation Game. While the other members of the Cambridge Ring of Five have been the subject of extensive biographical study, Cairncross has largely been overlooked by both academic and popular writers. Despite clear interest, he has remained a mystery – until now.
The Last Cambridge Spy is the first ever biography of John Cairncross, using newly released material to tell the story of his life and espionage.
Christopher Smith is an historian of modern Britain, with a particular interest in espionage and intelligence in the 20th Century. He lectures in History at Coventry University, and has previously taught at Aberystwyth University, Worcester University, the University of Kent, and Bournemouth University.
Price £20.00 with free UK postage.