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My Five Cambridge Friends: Burgess, Maclean, Philby, Blunt, and Cairncross by Their KGB Controller

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At once historically important and thrilling to read, this is the first account through Soviet eyes of the most famous spy ring the world has ever known: the Cambridge Five. Written by their KGB controller--their protector, confident, and link to Moscow--this book offers unique insight into the true characters and intrigues of the legendary British spies. Illustrated.


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At once historically important and thrilling to read, this is the first account through Soviet eyes of the most famous spy ring the world has ever known: the Cambridge Five. Written by their KGB controller--their protector, confident, and link to Moscow--this book offers unique insight into the true characters and intrigues of the legendary British spies. Illustrated.

30 review for My Five Cambridge Friends: Burgess, Maclean, Philby, Blunt, and Cairncross by Their KGB Controller

  1. 5 out of 5

    Roozbeh Estifaee

    قبل از هر چیز باید به خواننده بی‌خبر از همه جای این کتاب، اگر که وجود داشته باشد، اطلاع داد که «پنج دوست کمبریجی من» داستان نیست. البته ماجرای بسیار جذابی دارد، ولی داستان نیست. نویسنده‌اش هم «نویسنده» نیست. یک جاسوس واقعی کا. گ. ب. بوده است که ماجرای یک پروژه جاسوسی واقعی بسیار عظیم را، چندین سال بعد از اتمامش و حتی بعد از فروپاشی دولت کمونیستش، روایت کرده. اتفاق به نظر آن قدر بزرگ بوده که خیلی از مردمی که این پنجاه شصت سال اخیر در، به خصوص، نیمه غربی جهان زندگی کرده‌اند، ازش خبر دارند. اما من ن قبل از هر چیز باید به خواننده بی‌خبر از همه جای این کتاب، اگر که وجود داشته باشد، اطلاع داد که «پنج دوست کمبریجی من» داستان نیست. البته ماجرای بسیار جذابی دارد، ولی داستان نیست. نویسنده‌اش هم «نویسنده» نیست. یک جاسوس واقعی کا. گ. ب. بوده است که ماجرای یک پروژه جاسوسی واقعی بسیار عظیم را، چندین سال بعد از اتمامش و حتی بعد از فروپاشی دولت کمونیستش، روایت کرده. اتفاق به نظر آن قدر بزرگ بوده که خیلی از مردمی که این پنجاه شصت سال اخیر در، به خصوص، نیمه غربی جهان زندگی کرده‌اند، ازش خبر دارند. اما من نمی‌دانستمش و بعید نیست که شما هم ندانید. در جریان جنگ جهانی دوم، شوروی پنج نفر از دانشجویان دانشگاه کمبریج را راضی کرد که در بریتانیا برایش جاسوسی کنند. این پنج نفر وارد دستگاه اطلاعاتی-امنیتی بریتانیا و یا وزارت خارجه آن شدند و شروع به ترقی در حیطه کاری خود کردند. همکاری آن‌ها با کا. گ. ب. تا حدود پانزده سال ادامه پیدا کرد و به میانه جنگ سرد ختم شد، و در این مدت «پنج دوست کمبریجی» به سمت‌های فوق‌العاده حساسی در دستگاه جاسوسی و دیپلماسی انگلستان رسیدند. حتی یکی از آن‌ها مسئول کنترل تمام فعالیت‌های جاسوسی بریتانیا در خاک شوروی، و محتمل‌ترین گزینه ریاست آینده اس. آی. اس. (سرویس مخفی بریتانیا) شد. دیگران هم در وزارت‌خانه‌های جنگ و امور خارجه مشغول بودند و خلاصه، در یک دوره به نسبت طولانی واقعا بریتانیا نمی‌توانست کاری بکند که شوروی از آن خبر نداشته باشد. طبیعی است که لو رفتن چنین شبکه پیچیده و سطح بالایی، که این همه هم موفق است، یک افتضاح اطلاعاتی به تمام معنا و همهمه ملی برای انگلستان بوده. اما بعد از لو رفتن شبکه هم، هر پنج نفر به سلامتی، و هر کدام به یک شکل، از مخمصه فرار می‌کنند و گر چه سختی می‌کشند، اما هیچ کدام «گیر» نمی‌افتند. این عملیات، از نظر طول زمان، سطح نفوذ، و موفقیت غریب اطلاعاتیش، به ادعای نویسنده موفق‌ترین پروژه جاسوسی تاریخ بوده است. اما نویسنده کتاب، یوری مودین، رابط این پنج دوست کمبریجی بوده، که یعنی نماینده‌ای از کا. گ. ب. بوده که از آن‌ها اطلاعات تحویل می‌گرفته و بهشان دستور می‌داده. او چندین سال با آن‌ها ملاقات‌های متوالی و منظم داشته و خیلی بیشتر از این چندین سال هم اطلاعاتی که از آن‌ها به کا. گ. ب. می‌رسیده را ترجمه و تحلیل می‌کرده. واضح است که خود مودین هم جاسوس بوده و باید گفت که شخصیت جاسوسش را، خیلی نامحسوس و زیرپوستی، در نوشتن این کتاب هم حفظ کرده. شما بعد از خواندن چهارصد صفحه کتاب که همه درباره جاسوسی است، اطلاعات چندان زیادی در مورد روش‌های ریز و دقیق کار جاسوس‌ها، که بدیع و نبوغ‌آمیز باشند و خودتان از قبل ندانیدشان، به دست نمی‌آورید. برای چنین چیزی بهتر است سراغ خواندن رمان‌های جان لوکاره بروید. این‌جا فقط با روایتی شخصی از سالیان طولانی حضور این آدم‌ها و زندگیشان، و تا حدودی هم نتایج کارهایشان، آشنا می‌شوید. «پنج دوست کمبریجی من» یک کار کاملا غیرداستانی است که توسط یک نویسنده تماما غیرحرفه‌ای نوشته شده، که البته قلمش هیچ اشکالی ندارد و خوش‌خوان هم هست، ولی در بند ساخت یک روایت داستانی از کارش نبوده. و ارزش کار هم به تجربه مستقیم و دست اول نویسنده آن از دنیایی زیرزمینی و مخفی است، که زوایای تاریک بسیاری دارد و، گر چه این زوایا را روشن نمی‌کند، صرف آگاهی از وجودشان می‌تواند برای خواننده جذاب باشد. ترجمه احمد کسایی‌پور هم، مطابق انتظار، بسیار تمیز و روان است و چاپ نشر کارنامه هم کتاب را خواندنی‌تر می‌کند.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mana H

    برای کسی که داستان پلیسی دوست دارد و جاسوسی و اینها، از یک وقتی این وسوسه برناگذشتنی می شود که برود سراغ وقایع اساسی قرن بیستم و با جزئیات فراوان آن را بررسی کند. قضیه فیلبی و حلقه کمبریجی‌های ام آی سیکس همین جور شد که برای من جالب شد و باید می‌رفتم ببینم قضیه چیست کتاب را آخرین رابط کا گ ب در لندن نوشته که از کراس را تحویل می‌گیرد و مجبور است از همه اطلاعات کسب کند، تمام عمرش را در نظام و بعد اداره امنیت روسیه گذرانده. ولی شم روایت کردن ندارد، نقاط حساس را گند می‌زند اگر داستانی نگاه نکنید اطلاعا برای کسی که داستان پلیسی دوست دارد و جاسوسی و اینها، از یک وقتی این وسوسه برناگذشتنی می شود که برود سراغ وقایع اساسی قرن بیستم و با جزئیات فراوان آن را بررسی کند. قضیه فیلبی و حلقه کمبریجی‌های ام آی سیکس همین جور شد که برای من جالب شد و باید می‌رفتم ببینم قضیه چیست کتاب را آخرین رابط کا گ ب در لندن نوشته که از کراس را تحویل می‌گیرد و مجبور است از همه اطلاعات کسب کند، تمام عمرش را در نظام و بعد اداره امنیت روسیه گذرانده. ولی شم روایت کردن ندارد، نقاط حساس را گند می‌زند اگر داستانی نگاه نکنید اطلاعات ذیقیمتی دارد، مثل اینکه همجنسگرایی چقدر در نزدیک کردن برخی موثر بوده است، اینکه معشوقه‌های عادی چقدر تاثیر داشتند و یا چندبار باید عملیات‌ها لو می‌رفته ولی شانس آورده اند.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Golnaz

    كاش ميداد خاطراتشو يك نويسنده به صورت يك داستان كاملا مهيج جاسوسى مى نوشت، نه اينكه خودش مثل يك گزارش بنويسه، اتفاقات خيلى جالبى بوده ولى با مدل تعريف كردنش خرابشون كرده. البته اين كتاب هم ديگه چاپ نميشه و من تو كتابفروشى هاى انقلاب پيداش كردم.

  4. 4 out of 5

    AC

    Quite an excellent read for those interested in the subject — full of fascinating insights into human character, and into the particular characters of some rather peculiar humans.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michał/Michael Nikodem/Nicodemus Hołda/Holda

    The experience of writer are inspiration for novel by John le Carré, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy". But with information like, Agents work that lead to Russian victory in major tank battle between Germany and Russia. In which German thought that their tank armor is greater than Russian shell impact, but when Russians got info, from Agent, in England. Information of Enemies tanks armor, they have made new ammo, for this battle. And this book is really good example of decent autobiography.

  6. 4 out of 5

    JR Bricksfield

    This was an interesting read, and for those interested in espionage during the early years of the Cold War, I recommend picking this book up. However, given who the author is and what the book is about, I kept a critical eye as I read it. Yuri Modin was the Soviet version of a "desk officer" for the Cambridge Five, and he provides some interesting insights into how they were handled, comments about what was going on from the Soviet perspective, and what seems to be an effort to ‘correct the reco This was an interesting read, and for those interested in espionage during the early years of the Cold War, I recommend picking this book up. However, given who the author is and what the book is about, I kept a critical eye as I read it. Yuri Modin was the Soviet version of a "desk officer" for the Cambridge Five, and he provides some interesting insights into how they were handled, comments about what was going on from the Soviet perspective, and what seems to be an effort to ‘correct the record’ in certain instances. From a scholarly point of view, this book could be considered a primary source and treated as such. That said, this book is about espionage and counterintelligence, which are both based in lies, deceit, misinformation, disinformation, half-truths, and the list could go on. Even though it has been nearly fifty years since the Cambridge Five spy ring fell apart, there are still secrets that I am sure the parties involved want to remain confidential, or that they want to spin to either discredit another or put themselves in a better light. Therefore, when reading this book, it is important to include it among a broader swath of documentation to get a more balanced picture of what happened in the early years of the Cold War.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Buyung Hadi

    I got hooked with the case of Cambridge five, ironically, through an old movie series by BBC, a couple of months back. Ironic, for Cambridge five was five Cambridge graduates, all British, who decided to work as moles, spies, in British government agencies for KGB around the second world war time (one even rose into leadership of counter spionage wing of MI5.. how's that for a good dose of irony?). Their belief and idealism in socialism, marxism and communism were fascinating: how can such morbi I got hooked with the case of Cambridge five, ironically, through an old movie series by BBC, a couple of months back. Ironic, for Cambridge five was five Cambridge graduates, all British, who decided to work as moles, spies, in British government agencies for KGB around the second world war time (one even rose into leadership of counter spionage wing of MI5.. how's that for a good dose of irony?). Their belief and idealism in socialism, marxism and communism were fascinating: how can such morbid ideology(and for me, so flawed in its understanding of human nature) attracted and fixed the loyalty and life of five bright intellectuals? Yuri Modin acted as the five's 'handler' for a few years in London, the formal KGB link that passed instructions from Moscow and to whom the five directly reported to. In what is probably his only book ever translated into English, Modin wrote about his impressions on each character in the circle, gathered through years of direct interaction on the field and subsequent fermentation of friendship in after four out of the five openly declared their association with KGB and fled to Moscow. Human being, as we all know and -to me- restated firmly in this book, is capable to believe in almost anything. Anything.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    "My 5 Cambridge Friends" by Yuri Modin (1994) peaked my curiosity and my continued fascination with the spy stories and the Soviet Union. Modin "handled" the Cambridge 5--Burgess, Maclean, Philby, Blunt & Cairncross--for the KGB during the late 1940s and early 1950s. This was a fairly crucial time for the Cold War with an aging Stalin, the Korean War, and the Red Scare of McCarthy. Fortunately, the world did not blow up. Obviously Modin's sympathies are with the USSR, but his opinions of the Cam "My 5 Cambridge Friends" by Yuri Modin (1994) peaked my curiosity and my continued fascination with the spy stories and the Soviet Union. Modin "handled" the Cambridge 5--Burgess, Maclean, Philby, Blunt & Cairncross--for the KGB during the late 1940s and early 1950s. This was a fairly crucial time for the Cold War with an aging Stalin, the Korean War, and the Red Scare of McCarthy. Fortunately, the world did not blow up. Obviously Modin's sympathies are with the USSR, but his opinions of the Cambridge 5 are personal. The author complains more than once about how Carincross was habitually late and the tragic decent of Guy Burgess stuck in the Soviet Union after he help Donald Maclean escape and then defect there. My sympathies were with Maclean and Cairncross, who seemed genuinely sincere in these pursuits. I have no sympathy for the rest of them. My impression of other 3 was of spoiled children playing a game against a world they found only mediocre. Their motivations seemed to be childish.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Parastoo.im

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. اين كتاب واقعي و سرگذشت پنج جاسوس شوروي است. بايد بگم به رغم اين كه صد و هفتاد هشتاد صفحه ي اول براي من كمي كند و نااميدكننده بود(چون به معرفي و شناسوندن افراد گذشت)، ولي از اين بعد نتونستم كتاب رو حتي با وجود روايت خطي و ساده اي كه از زبان رابط اين جاسوس ها نوشته شده، زمين بذارم. با انتظاراتي كه احتمالا از فيلم و سريالهاي جاسوسي برامون ايجاد شده، اين كتاب هيچ جذابيت و اكشني نداره. آدم هاي مخوفي نيستن جاسوس هامون، فنون رزمي بلد نيستن، اسلحه ي صدا خفه كن ندارن يا هر چيز خفن ديگه اي. چندتا دانشجو بو اين كتاب واقعي و سرگذشت پنج جاسوس شوروي است. بايد بگم به رغم اين كه صد و هفتاد هشتاد صفحه ي اول براي من كمي كند و نااميدكننده بود(چون به معرفي و شناسوندن افراد گذشت)، ولي از اين بعد نتونستم كتاب رو حتي با وجود روايت خطي و ساده اي كه از زبان رابط اين جاسوس ها نوشته شده، زمين بذارم. با انتظاراتي كه احتمالا از فيلم و سريالهاي جاسوسي برامون ايجاد شده، اين كتاب هيچ جذابيت و اكشني نداره. آدم هاي مخوفي نيستن جاسوس هامون، فنون رزمي بلد نيستن، اسلحه ي صدا خفه كن ندارن يا هر چيز خفن ديگه اي. چندتا دانشجو بودن كه با سلسله وقايعي كنار هم اومدن و عجيب ترين شبكه ي جاسوسي دنيا رو تشكيل دادن. اگر نمي دونستم اين كتاب برگرفته از واقعيته شايد نصفه رهاش مي كردم. فكر مي كردم مسخره بازيه مگه پنج تا از شهروندهاي بريتانيا جاسوس شوروي باشن و مثل آب خوردن به مهم ترين و سري ترين اطلاعات و منصب هاي امنيتي كشور دست پيدا كنن و سال ها به راحتي به دردبخورترين اطلاعات رو به KGB برسونن؟ راستش هنوز هم باورش سخته. در نهايت هم بخاطر اشتباه سهل انگارانه ي ديگران گير بيفتن. روايت رابط اين جاسوس ها باعث مي شه به شدت تحسين شون كني حالا چقدر واقعيت، چقدر اغراق يا فريب قاطيش هست من نمي دونم. اما ظاهرا كتاب هاي زيادي درباره ي پنج كمبريجي نوشته شده كه نويسنده ادعا مي كنه روايت خودش به واقعيت و صحت نزديك تره چون او بوده كه سال ها كارهاي اينا رو پيگيري مي كرده. حتي يكي از همين پنج نفر كتابي درباره ي خودش و فعاليت شون نوشته به نام جنگ خاموش من كه از زاويه ي ديد او هم بايد خوندني باشه ماجرا. براي آدمي كه مطالعه يا اطلاعات سياسي-تاريخي بهتري از من داره قطعا جالب تر خواهد بود اين كتاب. سرگذشت پنج جاسوس كاركشته مون كمي غمگينه مخصوص تو صفحاتي كه نويسنده داره جمع بندي مي كنه و خاصه پاراگراف آخر كتاب. نكته ي آخر اين كه انتهاي كتاب تصاوير خوبي از اين پنج جاسوس هم برامون گذشته كه بعد از تموم شدن كتاب حس غريب و جالبي رو مي ده بهت. ترجمه: خوب جلد: زيبا من كتاب رو دوست داشتم و راضي ام از خوندن(يادمه توصيه ي بهمن دارالشفايي بود) ولي لزوما هر كسي لذت نخواهد برد ازش.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pawel

    The story of Cambridge 5 is undoubtedly fascinating. The author is obviously not a professional book writer and it isn’t hard to spot while reading. The book is quite dry and reads more like a list of events than a cohesive story. There is also little “007” action. Don’t recommend If you are after spy-movie-like entertainment. Worthwhile read to get a data dump of who Cambridge 5 were, their motives, how they sourced intel, passed it on, etc. As I mentioned at the beginning of the review: while The story of Cambridge 5 is undoubtedly fascinating. The author is obviously not a professional book writer and it isn’t hard to spot while reading. The book is quite dry and reads more like a list of events than a cohesive story. There is also little “007” action. Don’t recommend If you are after spy-movie-like entertainment. Worthwhile read to get a data dump of who Cambridge 5 were, their motives, how they sourced intel, passed it on, etc. As I mentioned at the beginning of the review: while reading, do keep in mind that the author was not an objective observer / historian, but a KGB spy handling the group so I presume his recount of events comes with obvious biases.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Scott Vout

    This is the "true" story of five British spies as told my their KGB handler. I got on to this one after reading a purely fiction spy novel - the other woman, Danial Silva - that story was about the daughter of Kim Philby, one of the five. Philby kept being referenced so i decided to do some research. I found this book to be very dry. The writing style was not one i liked. I will admit i did not finish the book but of what i read it was interesting enough. Just painfully slow for me. If you are a h This is the "true" story of five British spies as told my their KGB handler. I got on to this one after reading a purely fiction spy novel - the other woman, Danial Silva - that story was about the daughter of Kim Philby, one of the five. Philby kept being referenced so i decided to do some research. I found this book to be very dry. The writing style was not one i liked. I will admit i did not finish the book but of what i read it was interesting enough. Just painfully slow for me. If you are a history buff and into the espionage of post WWII give it a go.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marzena

    Yuri Modin's book is truly a fascinating read. The history of the spy ring as described by their former KGB agent sounds truly unbelievable and back in the day must have fascinated millions. For one I have no illusions this was all there was to the story, or that what we're given is 100% true- this is a book about espionage, after all. Still, the author had great storytelling skills, and I had a real pleasure listening to the audiobook.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dvora

    Not only did he know these men well by working with them, his view is also interesting because he's in the KGB, he's never defected, and he sees it all from a different point of view than a Brit or American writing on the same topic. It's not brilliantly written, but still very interesting.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Excellent story about the Cambridge Spies from the perspective of the KGB.

  15. 4 out of 5

    mohammad reza

    کتاب، مکمل خوبی برای کتاب شناسایی و شکار جاسوسه،که میشه از دو زاویه مخالف به یک موضوع واحد نگاه کرد. اما مشخصا خیلی از مسائل عامدانه نگفته باقی میمونه که در چنین سطحی ،اصلا عجیب نیست.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    Roland Philipps' "A Spy Named Orphan," Yuri Modin's "My Five Cambridge Friends" and Ben Macintyre's "A Spy Among Friends" tell you a lot, though perhaps not everything, that you ever needed to know about the Cambridge Five spy ring that successfully infiltrated British and American intelligence beginning as far back as the 1930s. Of these, Philipps's book about Donald Maclean is the least elegantly written, which is a shame because Maclean is one of the most fascinating and tortured characters a Roland Philipps' "A Spy Named Orphan," Yuri Modin's "My Five Cambridge Friends" and Ben Macintyre's "A Spy Among Friends" tell you a lot, though perhaps not everything, that you ever needed to know about the Cambridge Five spy ring that successfully infiltrated British and American intelligence beginning as far back as the 1930s. Of these, Philipps's book about Donald Maclean is the least elegantly written, which is a shame because Maclean is one of the most fascinating and tortured characters among the Five. He illustrates the enormous influence the drinking culture had on these men at the time. (Maclean was certainly an alcoholic, as were Burgess and probably Philby.) Modin's book, by their primary Russian contact, reads quite well, though I believe it's translated from French to English. Modin, sounding like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, tends to be smug, though it's hard to blame him - that's how effective this group was. But the really bad man among the Five was Kim Philby, a sociopath if ever there was one. Cold-blooded, imperturbable, Philby's treasonous efforts caused much loss of life, notably in Germany and Albania. One comes away amazed by Macintyre's clear-eyed treatment of this horrible man, who fooled so many people into believing him a debonair diplomat. Making it through all three books takes an effort, but you'll come away with a different view of the Second World War, the Cold War, and spy craft generally.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    Written by the KGB handler of the most prominent and successful spy network of the 20th Century, this book provides an in depth and personal account of the Cambridge 5. Philby, Burgess, Maclean, Blunt and Cairncross are described succinctly by Modin, who is undoubtedly in a position to provide the best and most detailed account of their activities and work from the late 30s up until the early 60s and beyond. I found this to be a very interesting account of the 5's ideals and personalities and th Written by the KGB handler of the most prominent and successful spy network of the 20th Century, this book provides an in depth and personal account of the Cambridge 5. Philby, Burgess, Maclean, Blunt and Cairncross are described succinctly by Modin, who is undoubtedly in a position to provide the best and most detailed account of their activities and work from the late 30s up until the early 60s and beyond. I found this to be a very interesting account of the 5's ideals and personalities and thoroughly enjoyed the read. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in this amazing story and these unbelievably self-aware and fascinating individuals

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Good additional material to the history of the five Cambridge spies. Not to be read in isolation, but adds a different dimension. Modin ran these spies from 1948-51, but had access to much information about what what going on in Moscow when the British and Americans were trying to pick up the pieces as a result of the deceptions.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rome Doherty

    Ok, not real big deal

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marzieh rasouli

    متاسفانه راوی سهم خیلی زیادی برای خودش می خواست.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad Alikhani

    Fascinating !

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zoë

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bry

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tomasz Łukasz Tokarski

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark Barnes

  26. 5 out of 5

    Selma Cheurfi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mohammad

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Davison

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bartłomiej Paruzel

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