• The Cambridge Five: The History and Legacy of the Notorious Soviet Spy Ring in Britain during World War II and the Cold War

  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Colin Fluxman
  • Length: 1 hr and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The spy novel emerged from the intrigues of the mid-20th century for good reason. The war with the Third Reich involved an unseen cloak-and-dagger struggle between the participants, but beyond that, an even larger and longer contest took place in the shadows.

Communism gained its first major foothold in statehood with the success of the Russian Revolution at the end of World War I, a success bizarrely assisted by the massive funding provided to the revolutionaries by some Western businessmen. Armand Hammer’s father, Julius, for instance, gave the new Soviet Union $50,000 in gold to back their new currency. In exchange, he received asbestos mining and oil concessions, plus a pencil manufacturing monopoly in the USSR lasting until the Stalin era.

Soviet Russia followed a philosophy demanding international, global revolution - which, in practice, often resembled conquest by any means available, direct or indirect. While the Soviets never hesitated to use naked force when it seemed advisable, or when compelled to it by outside attack, they made intensive use of covert operations - spying, assassination, bribery, infiltration of governments and educational systems, the deployment of agents provocateur, and "agitprop" - in an effort to weaken other nations from within or possibly cause takeover by a friendly revolutionary regime.

Soviet agents operated in all European countries and others, but their main efforts naturally focused on the strongest potential rivals - Germany, the United States, and Great Britain. Intelligent, persistent, and ruthless, the Soviets succeeded in recruiting a considerable number of agents, including men from the British ruling class.

Their activities enabled the Soviets to capture and execute hundreds, if not thousands, of the opponents of their regime along with numbers of British agents. The men responsible for this unprecedented leaking of life-or-death information would enter history as the Cambridge Five - though in fact, they may have been only the core of a much larger group.

The Cambridge Five: The History and Legacy of the Notorious Soviet Spy Ring in Britain During World War II and the Cold War chronicles the war’s most infamous spy ring and its activities. You will learn about the Cambridge Five like never before.

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

What listeners say about The Cambridge Five: The History and Legacy of the Notorious Soviet Spy Ring in Britain during World War II and the Cold War

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

EVEN THE SMARTEST FOLKS CAN BE STUPID

I knew about the Cambridge Five Spy Ring. I remember what a scandal it was both in the UK and the US as a classic case of intelligence failure during the Cold War. Having read a book, some years back, titled Spy Catcher I just wanted a refresher. Like most presentations by Charles River Editors it is concise and to the point. And, will get one up to snuff quickly. Essentially this colossal intelligence failure was a case of purposefully not wanting to the forest for the trees. It shows what happens when MI5, MI6, the CIA, and the FBI put potential embarrassment before closing down serious intelligence networks set up by one's adversary.

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cambridge,'s traitors

an overwelmimg account of the five traitors of cambridge with amazing mastership un the history of russian espionage inside UK.

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What a waste of time

I thought I can learn something instead I had to listen sexist, homophobic, nationalist man claim that everyone was sex adicts and british people who have sent their kins to eton and cambridge are absent parents. No historical evidence, no references to any document pure personal view on communism without even balanced criticism. I will directly gove it back, do not even try to listen this, simply rubbish!

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Fascinating history of WW2 Era and the cold War and the spies of that time

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Short on Content~ Spies for Russia 3 stars~

A brief glimpse into the Cambridge Spies.

This is a very short book. About 90 minutes. It is very short on details and is best described as an overview. The Russian (USSR) recruits each man who in turn help recruit other spies. They devote their time passing secrets to the Russian KGB. Over time intercepted radio messages are finally decoded called Venona by the US. When a clue to McClain's spying is found. McClain is headed to a complete mental breakdown. So fellow spy Burgess receives an order to *flea" to the USSR with McClain. Left behind is Philby who is soon a major suspect. It takes years for Philby to finally be nailed down as a spy and he leaves and is soon living in the USSR as an honored guest because of his spy history. This fills in the missing pieces how the British class system aided the good old boy network to make the spies above suspicion I would give it over all 5 stars.

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  • Paula Meldrum
  • 04-08-19

Robotic

The narration resembles a computer speaking. Monotone. Ruined what could have been an interesting book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Judith Andrews
  • 06-29-21

Didn't enjoy

I struggled go finish this book. The reader wasn't good. Rushed, even though I slowed the rate, and many mispronounced words. The story was not well written either, sadly. This audio book is too short for such a complex subject.

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  • Lilburne
  • 09-11-19

Great story but poor narration

I love books about British spies and was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately the narration is very poor to the extent I am convinced that it is a computer generated voice! Very little emotion and too quick to continue after punctuation. had to stop listening it was so bad.