A Very Principled Boy: The Life of Duncan Lee, Red Spy and Cold Warrior.pdf
Duncan Chaplin Lee was a Rhodes Scholar, patriot, and descendent of one of America's most distinguished families--and possibly the best-placed mole ever to infiltrate U.S. intelligence operations. In A Very Principled Boy intelligence expert and former CIA officer Mark A. Bradley traces the tangled roots of Lee's betrayal and reveals his harrowing struggle to stay one step ahead of America's spy hunters during and after World War II. Exposed to leftist politics while studying at Oxford, Lee became a committed, albeit covert, member of the Communist Party. After following William "Wild Bill" Donovan to the newly formed Office of Strategic Services, Lee rose quickly through the ranks of the U.S. intelligence service--and just as quickly gained value as a Communist spy. As one of the chief aides to the head of the OSS, Lee was uniquely well placed to pass sensitive information to his Soviet handlers, including the likely timeframe of the D-Day invasion and the names of OSS personnel under investigation for suspected communist affiliations. In 1945, one of Lee's former handlers confessed to the FBI and named Lee as a Soviet agent. For the next thirteen years, J. Edgar Hoover would tirelessly, but futilely, attempt to prove Lee's guilt. Despite being accused of treason in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee, the increasingly paranoid Lee miraculously escaped again and again. In a move to atone for what he had done, Lee later became a Cold Warrior in China, fighting Mao Zedong's communists. He died a free but conflicted man. In A Very Principled Boy, Bradley weaves a fast-paced cat-and-mouse tale of misguided idealism, high treason, and belated redemption. Drawing on Lee's letters and thousands of previously unreleased CIA, FBI, and State Department records, Bradley tells the unlikely story of a spy who chose his conscience over his country and its dark consequences.
Wall Street Journal "In A Very Principled Boy, Mark Bradley tells Lee's story with few frills or atmospherics, letting the remarkable facts speak for themselves. Mr. Bradley is a former CIA intelligence officer whose straightforward narrative refuses to sensationalize. For this and other reasons, it radiates authenticity... [A] fascinating narrative." Foreign Affairs "Bradley has produced a truly superb example of this genre, especially because he exposes in riveting fashion how the Soviet spy network worked and how it flummoxed the FBI, which was very slow to catch on." Russian Life "Lee's story is by now a common one -- of the idealistic youth who becomes radicalized then blindly serves a power that has little regard or relation to his ideals. Bradley's tale (fluidly told and meticulously documented) is of how this Yale and Oxford educated son of missionaries first justified his personal treachery, then regretted it, and how it destroyed his life and those around him... But it is also a larger tale of the vast scope of Soviet espionage operations in the US, of Hoover and the FBI's dogged counterespionage efforts, of what happens when conscience and country collide." W & L Alumni Magazine "A fast-paced, cat-and-mouse tale of misguided idealism and treason, the book draws on previously unreleased CIA and State Department records to reveal this riveting story." Kirkus "An obscure wartime spy working for the OSS, the wartime precursor to the CIA, gets a thorough expose by a government lawyer and former CIA officer." Randall B. Woods, author of Shadow Warrior: William Egan Colby and the CIA "A vivid portrait of one of the early Cold War's most important but least studied Soviet moles. Bradley does an excellent job plumbing the depths of Duncan Lee's ideological defection." Christopher Andrew, author of Defend the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 "Mark Bradley's riveting biography of Duncan Chaplin Lee fills a major gap in both Russian and American intelligence history. Like Alger Hiss, Duncan Chaplin Lee persuasively claimed after the Second World War that accusations that he had been a Soviet spy were a McCarthyite invention. In reality, as Bradley demonstrates, Lee had been a committed Russian agent at the heart of wartime US intelligence. The 'Very Principled Boy' became a master of the black art of deception--so much so that he deceived even himself." David Garrow, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Bearing the Cross "Bradley's deeply researched and authoritative biography offers a powerful and emotionally compelling account of how one man's life illuminates the dramatic story of widespread Soviet espionage by Americans against the United States during World War II." Daniel Horowitz, Mary Huggins Professor of American Studies and History, emeritus, Smith College and author of The Making of The Feminine Mystique: The American Left, The Cold War, and Modern Feminism "A compelling book that draws on recently declassified Soviet and American documents to tell the story of Duncan Lee, who worked for the OSS and as a double agent for the USSR before becoming a Cold Warrior. Mark Bradley knows exactly how to help us understand the combination of bureaucratic intrigue, espionage, and multiple contexts that make this such an extraordinary history, biography, and spy story." Hayden Peake, curator of the CIA's Historical Intelligence Collection "A Very Principled Boy tells the story of an idealist inoculated with communism as a Rhodes Scholar, who serves as a Soviet agent in the OSS, becomes a post-war Cold Warrior, and duals with the FBI when exposed by defectors and Venona. An astounding story of espionage and counterintelligence, thoroughly documented and wonderfully told--a captivating read."
Mark A. Bradley is a former CIA intelligence officer and is currently serving as an attorney in the United States Department of Justice's National Security Division. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington & Lee University, he holds a Master of Arts in Modern History from Oxford University (which he attended as a Rhodes scholar) and a law degree from the University of Virginia. He has contributed to the Washington Post, the Washington Lawyer, and Naval Proceedings.