Eastern Approaches () is an autobiographical account of the early career of Fitzroy Maclean. It is divided into three parts: his life as a junior diplomat in. Buy Eastern Approaches (Penguin World War II Collection) by Fitzroy MaClean ( ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and. Eastern Approaches has ratings and 97 reviews. Here Fitzroy Maclean recounts his extraordinary adventures in Soviet Central Asia, in the Western.

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He surreptitiously travels to Soviet central Asia, then to the border with China. MacLean launches right into his story– there is no mention of childhood, university days, or any pertinent autobiographical information. Here are the things I didn’t like: Sitting outside one afternoon, Tito saw a heavy plane and a dozen fighters coming in, and announced that that must be Mr Churchill. MacLean followed in the footsteps of many famous British gentlemen explorers, soldiers and diplomats often all at the same time.

This is evident equally in his descriptions of the victims and minor actors of war displaced Croatian women, captured German and Bulgarian soldiers, exhausted Soviets as it is to major historical figures Tito and Churchill amongst politicians; King George VI and King Peter of Yugoslavia amongst royalty; David Stirling and Lord Alexander amongst soldiers.

The portraits of Churchill and Tito are particularly interesting, adding a human dimension to the grand strategy. Retrieved from ” https: He refused to allow the tight control that outsiders were subject to stop him from exploring Southern Russia and Central Asia, places where life had barely changed since the Late Middle Ages. The world would be a better place if we had more people like Fitzroy Maclean.


My first outstanding read of For them, any deviation, however slight, was a crime. Soon he found himself back in Moscow.

Eastern Approaches

Prime Minister Winston Churchill jocularly accused him of using “the Mother of Parliaments as a public convenience”. When they got to the shore, they saw the approacbes flotilla of troopships setting off for the south of France Operation Dragoonand a small bright blue admiral’s barge dodging around them.

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It crosses the three genres comfortably and well. It all has the feel of an It Happened One Night screwball comedy. Not satisfied with a ringside seat at a witch hunt, he spends his holidays travelling in the near Fitzroh, dodging NKVD minders and Intourist officials to see Samarkhand and Kabul. The author tells the inside story of the wars in North Africa and the Balkans, among other things.

Eastern Approaches by Fitzroy MacLean

Although admitting “full political and juridical responsibility” for the crimes, he denies — macleah — each specific claim murder, sabotage, etc. Eastern Approaches is Good galloping gallons of grief. Thus began a painful limp of days and nights over the desert towards Jalo, without even knowing whether that oasis was in Allied hands.

I agree with him. It’s clear from the narrative why it was this particular speech that inspired Darkness at Noon, though given that the novel came out before this book, I wondered if there was some retrospective influence on Maclean’s conclusions.


Maclean claimed that “very few Europeans except Soviet frontier guards have ever seen it at this or any other point of its course”.

Maclean, who hated approachss conversations, managed to wring amusement from the mix-ups of codes and scrambling. Maclean, some time afterwards, found out the answer to this puzzle, comparing it to a fairytale. He managed to hire a car and made it eastren Issyk-kulthe lake that never freezes, but had to turn back because of the season. It has been widely speculated that Ian Fleming used Maclean as one of his inspirations for James Bond.

Eastern Approaches – Wikipedia

The first part of his book of his time as an expeditionary diplomat was the most enjoyable and deserved a full 5 stars. I have no trouble recommending “Eastern Approaches”. Many reviews and blurbs tend to claim a supposed inspiration for James Bond: The real quality of the book lies in Maclean’s power of description.

The advertising for the book describes Maclean as the real-life model for James Bond, but his true strengths were in connecting with people in very unusual surroundings and enlisting them in the Allied cause.

It looked, I thought, invitingly cool and refreshing after the sand and macleean of North Africa. It zoomed after the barge, eventually catching up with the prime minister, who found Maclean and his crew’s arrival a source of much hilarity.