Donald McCormick: 2 + 2 = 5

  • Richard B. Spence
Part of the Archival Insights into the Evolution of Economics book series (AIEE)


The question at the heart of this volume is the reliability, indeed, the fundamental honesty, of Donald McCormick, best known under his nom de plume, Richard Deacon. As the chapters generally attest, ‘Deacon’ McCormick could be an unreliable, even misleading, source. This, of course, raises the ticklish question — why? Was it just carelessness, a cavalier disregard for proper citation, or maybe a reflexive journalistic penchant for sensationalism and exaggeration? Then again, was he a deliberate, puckish hoaxer: ‘a very clever man who enjoys his quiet fun’? (Harris 1997). Or, in ‘Deacon’ McCormick do we have something more sinister: a malicious pathological liar who did not shy from outright character assassination? Was he a conscious or unconscious tool of disinformation and propaganda? Was he, maybe, a little bit of each?


Secret Service Foreign Manager Analytical Bibliography Bolshevik Revolution Proper Citation 
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Works by ‘Deacon’ McCormick

  1. 1979. The British Connection: Russia’s Manipulation of British Individuals and Institutions. London: Hamish Hamilton.Google Scholar
  2. 1969. A History of the British Secret Service. London: Frederick Muller.Google Scholar
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  7. 1970. Murder by Perfection. London: John Long.Google Scholar
  8. 1965. Peddler of Death: The Life and Times of Sir Basil Zaharoff. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1965.Google Scholar

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© Richard B. Spence 2014

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  • Richard B. Spence

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