Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer - Peter WrightLondon: Viking, 1987, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper. Pages lightly age-tanned.
6th printing. [First Published: 1987] Illustrated with black and white photographs.
From the cover: “Peter Wright was a key figure in British intelligence for nearly a quarter of a century This book, which the British government has gone to great lengths to keep from being published, is a memoir that recounts his extraordinary career in that wilderness of mirrors, the world of espionage. It is uncensored, remarkably candid, and enormously revealing about the real spy business that most of us know principally from fiction. Peter Wright initially joined Britain’s Secret Service, known as MI5, in 1955 in the capacity of the organization’s principal scientist, and devoted himself in the early years to the invention of various gadgets for use in the espionage trade. Along the way, he demonstrated a brilliant flair for the art of counter-intelligence. He went on to become, for nearly two decades, the central figure in Britain’s relentless and sometimes humiliating efforts to detect and expose Soviet espionage. From that vantage point, the reader is treated to a unique perspective on the likes of Philby, Maclean, Burgess, Blunt, and a host of other exposed spies and alleged defectors. The identity of the so-called Fifth Man Soviet spy has puzzled and fascinated many for decades. In Spycatcher, Peter Wright shares his conviction that the Fifth Man was none other than Sir Roger Hollis, long the head of MI5 itself! The story of how he and many of his MI5 colleagues came to this conclusion makes for some of the best reading found anywhere in the vast literature on espionage. As a result of a great many trips Peter Wright made to the United States in his capacity as Britain’s principal liaison with American intelligence officials, his book is replete with sharply etched and sometimes humorous anecdotes about such notables as J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Helms, Bill Sullivan, William Harvey, and, above all, James Jesus Angleton. Wright’s insights about the CIA and the FBI, their relationships with each other, with the rest of the U. S. government, and with America’s allies is riveting stuff. American interest ought to be especially aroused by Peter Wright’s charge that there was a conspiracy within MI5 to overthrow then Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the mid-1970s, and that it was instigated from within the CIA. Wright’s memoir is also of interest because it is a firsthand account of the bugging of embassies (of friend and foe alike), as well as other aspects of electronic eavesdropping, codebreaking, and “wet” affairs (assassinations). But the most important aspect of this book is that it offers a rare inside glimpse of the real day-by-day goings-on within the intelligence world over a long period of time from a very high-level, authoritative voice.”