The Cambridge Five: Background information when reading The Trinity Six

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Trinity Six

by Charles Cumming

The Trinity Six by Charles Cumming
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2011, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2012, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Cambridge Five

Print Review

Kim PhilbyThe Cambridge Five consisted of Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, and John Cairncross, all Cambridge graduates, who made their careers in various British government agencies including the Secret Intelligence Service. Guy BurgessThey were recruited to work for Stalin's NKVD (the precursor to the KGB) while students at Cambridge in the 1930s by Arnold Deutsch, a Russian talent spotter. Many British students at that time saw the rise of Fascism as dangerous and felt that only the Soviet Union was powerful enough to stand up to the threat. Donald MacleanThis belief made it relatively easy for the USSR's secret service to recruit select high-flying students from prestigious universities in the hope that they would rise to positions of influence in their future careers. In the case of the Cambridge Five the investment paid off - during their careers they passed countless numbers of classified documents to Soviet authorities.

Anthony BluntIn the 1950s Philby, Maclean and Burgess were discovered and defected to the USSR. Blunt was under suspicion but did not confess until the 1960s and continued to live in Britain where he was not publicly exposed until 1979. Caincross confessed in 1951 and, having lost his civil service job, moved to the USA as a lecturer at Northwestern University near Chicago.

John CairncrossAlthough Cairncross had been exposed as a spy in the 1950s, his role as the "Fifth Man" in the Cambridge spy ring was not confirmed until the 1990s; and it is widely thought that the spy ring had additional members not yet firmly identified.

More about the Cambridge Five



Images top to bottom: Philby (left), Burgess (right), Maclean (left), Blunt (right), Cairncross (left)

This article was originally published in March 2011, and has been updated for the March 2012 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice


Book Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

"A powerful, provocative debut ... Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." - Kirkus, starred review

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Seven Days of Us
    by Francesca Hornak

    A warm, wry debut novel about a family forced to spend a week together over the holidays.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.