In This Review

A Man Called Intrepid: The Secret War
A Man Called Intrepid: The Secret War
By William Stevenson
486 pp, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976

The remarkable and gifted work of Sir William Stephenson as head of British Security Coordination in America during World War II has already been the subject of a classic of intelligence history, H. Montgomery Hyde's Room 3603 (The Quiet Canadian, in Britain), published in 1962. The present study by a Canadian journalist (no relation) embellishes the story with recent revelations concerning Ultra, the breaking of the high-level German Enigma cipher-on which, however, the account of Sir William's role remains murky and in some respects inaccurate-as well as with material from the now-published history of the British Special Operations Executive. While the result may be appealing to lay readers, in every substantial respect, as well as in tone and style, the earlier Hyde treatment is far superior.