No Other Choice: An Autobiography by George Blake
When George Blake, a Senior Officer in the British Secret Intelligence Service, was sentenced in 1961 to forty-two years' imprisonment for spying for the KGB, the judge said he had undone most of the work done by British Intelligence since the war. Blake said nothing. When Blake escaped from Wormwood Scrubs prison five and a half years later, the British press said it was the escape of the centruy and that the KGB must have masterminded it. Blake was not around to comment. When some of Blake's fellow prisoners who had helped his escape later wrote books on their role, Blake himself kept silent. Whn spy writers, fascinated by his treahcery, pyschoanalaysed the forces which drove him, Blake did not defend himself. Now at last, Blake has decided to speak. He accepts that he is part of the history of the Cold War, and has written here the stort of his incredible life. He writes of his great love for his mother, and of his strange relationship with his father - a Turkish Jew who was educated in France and fought with the British Army against his own countrymen in the 1914-18 war. He recalls his boyhood in Holland and the dangerous work he did as a teenage courier for the Dutch undeground in the Second World War. He describes his pride on being recruited to the Britihs Secret Service, his admiration for his adopted country, his prepapration for his SIS posting to Korea, his capture and ordeal in a communist prisoner-of-war camp and his triumphant return home. He writes of his rapid rise in SIS, his role in the famous 'Berlin tunnel' operation and his day by day work trying to recruit Communists to spy for the West. Parallel to this story runs Blake's secret life as a KGB agent. He explains why he converted to Communism, and reveals how he made contact with the KGB and betrayed to Moscow not only all the Western operations in which he was involved but the names of hundreds of British agents working behind the Iron Curtain. Finally Blake describes how he as eventually brought down; recalling his arrest and interrogation, his life in prison, his sensational escape and his new life in Moscow. George Blake emerges as a a most unusual personality, one determined to face the reality of na chmaged world, but still coming to terms with the fact that the side he chose was not the communist paradise he had imagined. The book, like its author, will arouse powerful emotions, whether at the end of ti you revile Blake for his calculated treachery, or admire him for being a man who stuck to his beliefs because he says he had no other choice.