Fitzroy Maclean by F.J. McLynn
The life of Sir Fitzroy Maclean is a heady blend of adventure and achievement. Diplomat, soldier, statesman, traveller, writer and film-maker, he is a modern hero to rival the Burtons and Burnabys of the Victorian era. This biography, written with Sir Fitzroy's full co-operation and drawing on all possible sources besides, provides a record of his extraordinary life. Born into the tradition of the Highland clans, Fitzroy soon evolved beyond the Establishment compass of Eton, Cambridge and the Diplomatic Service. He resigned in 1941 from the Foreign Service, became an MP and joined the Cameron Highlanders as a private soldier. His abilities were soon recognized after daring service with the newly formed SAS regiment behind German lines in North Africa. A brigadier at 32, he was chosen by Churchill to be head of the mission to Tito's partisans. His involvement with Yugoslavia forms the centrepiece of this book, but McLynn does not neglect his later career as backbench Conservative MP, junior minister, traveller and author. Fitzroy Maclean's great reputation has come under scrutiny during the break-up of both the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia - the two countries he more than any other man interpreted to the West - and McLynn investigates the controversies that have attached to his name. But he does full justice to the private as well as the public man. In a crowded life Fitzroy rubbed shoulders with an amazing variety of people: from Churchill to Orson Welles, from Tito to Yevtushenko; his kaleidoscopic career was an accurate expression of his multifaceted personality.