Andrew Parker Interview

There were times yesterday, reading Andrew Parker’s exclusive interview with the Guardian – the first such interview ever given by a serving head of MI5 – when it felt as though little had changed over the last hundred years. The way Parker spoke of the Russian threat to Britain, and how, to paraphrase his remarks, Moscow is now ‘using military means, propaganda, espionage, subversion and cyber-attacks to achieve its foreign policy aims’, seemed reminiscent (except for the cyber-attacks) of the 1920s and 1930s, or indeed the 1950s, come to think of it the 1960s as well.

That element of the interview also read like a vindication from beyond the grave of Maxwell Knight’s conviction, one that would sometimes set him apart from his MI5 colleagues, that the most persistent threat to British national security came from Moscow.

 

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Maxwell Knight Biography out soon

 

Just seven months to go before the publication of M, as it will be in the UK, and Agent M, for everyone in North America – my biography of MI5’s Maxwell Knight.

Here are some generous pre-publication quotes. The first is from Adam Sisman, author of the acclaimed biography of John le Carré, the next from Nigel West, the renowned intelligence expert who has been writing about MI5 and its milieu for many years, and the last one is from Charles Cumming, the brilliant spy novelist and author of the bestselling A Divided Spy.

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Praise for M:

‘Crammed with cracking stories and founded on sound research, Henry Hemming’s biography of Maxwell Knight – ‘M’ – stands comparison with the bestselling books of Ben Macintyre.’

ADAM SISMAN (Author of John Le Carré)

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‘Absolute proof that assiduous digging in the archives can produce scoops. This is intelligence research at its best, especially in the identification of hitherto anonymous agents. Definitely a great contribution to the literature.’

NIGEL WEST (Author of MI5)

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‘A fascinating portrait of a complex man. Espionage writing at its best.’

CHARLES CUMMING (Author of A Divided Spy)

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Here’s roughly what it will look like,

in the UK:

And the US:

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New Biography of MI5’s Maxwell Knight

At last I can announce my next book. Drum roll please… It’s a biography of the great MI5 spymaster Maxwell Knight – the naturalist and jazz-obsessive who helped to inspire the James Bond character ‘M’.

The book will be called M.

Here’s a bit more about it all in today’s The Bookseller.

And some more here.

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