tive are substantiated. Moscow, fornKent, “must have been a great culturenshock, and the prospect of a stay of sixnyears quite daunting.” ConcerningnKent’s penchant for copying documents,n”Partly, no doubt, it was for hisnown satisfaction, like that of any collectornof stamps or books or paintings. Itnmust also have been partly to nourishnhis need to possess secret knowledgenand thus assert … his superiority overnthose lesser beings who were in authoritynover him. But it is impossible tonavoid the thought that he may still havenbeen collecting information for thenNKVD. Though there is no evidencenthat he ever passed anything to themndirectly in London, it is known thatnseveral of his friends and associatesnoutside the embassy were Soviet agentsnor collaborators, willing or unwilling.”nConcerning his relationship withnAnna Wolkoff, “There is no hard evidencenthat she and Kent were lovers,nthough with his tomcat morals andnobsession with sex it is hard to believenthat he did not add her to his list ofnparamours.” Concerning Kent’s associationnwith members of the RightnClub, “Kent, of course, was an enthusiasticnmember, though, strangely, hisnname does not appear on the list [ofnmembers].” And concerning the allimportantnquestion of whether Kentnknew that Anna Wolkoff was going tonhave the documents photographed andnsent to the Germans, “Kent may havenbeen perturbed at the thought that thensignals had been photographed. Butnthe idea of their being passed to thenGermans may not have been entirelynunwelcome to him.” The authors cannotneven resist accusing Kent of condoningnterrorism. Regarding the IRAnbomb that exploded in Coventry inn1940, killing five people and injuringnfifty, “‘No doubt this terrorist act wasnwelcomed by Kent.”nIf any psychological interpretation isnwarranted, it is for an understanding ofnBearse and Read, not of Kent. Fornaside from their delusion that they havenwritten a work of history, the authorsnexhibit a strange preoccupation withnthings sartorial. They contend thatnever since Kent entered Princeton withn”a smart wardrobe from Brooks Brothers,”nhe suffered a lifelong obsessionnwith tailored clothes, an obsession thatnsomehow bespeaks Kent’s debaucherynand deceit. Then there is Joan Miller,nBritain’s beautiful undercover agentnwho infiltrated the Right Club to gatherninformation on Kent and Wolkoffnand who after “three sexually frustratednyears of living with [Max] Knight”nwas seen “floating angrily around Londonnin tentlike garments.” Of course,nKent’s relationship with ArchibaldnRamsay is easy to explain, for “bothnwere immaculate dressers, fond ofngood clothes.” Kent’s mother—whonspent every breathing moment attemptingnto free her son from prison —nwas particulariy disgusting since shenwas “a chubby woman given to wearingnhats and gowns of an earlier era.”nMoreover, Kent “must have been”nembarrassed when she visited him innprison, because when he was youngnand his mother would visit him at prepnschool, “there can be no doubt” thatn”he compared her dowdy clothes withnthe classic Peck & Peck uniforms ofngray flannel or tweed suits, or graynflannel skirts with cashmere sweatersnand a single strand of pearls, worn bynthe mothers of his classmates.”nMost disturbing, however, is thendisingenuousness of this book’s title:nConspirator. That Kent illegally removednand copied confidential documents,nno one denies. But a “conspiracy”nis “an agreement between two ornmore persons to commit an illegal act,”nand a “conspirator” is “one who conspiresnwith others” to commit such annact. In other words, one person doesnnot a conspiracy make, and never hasnanyone or any study ever proven thatnKent acted in concert with anyone elsenin the collecting of documents; that henknowingly showed documents to annagent of a foreign government; or thatnhe collected the documents for anynreason other than his purported aim ofngetting them to the leading Americannisolationists of the day.nThe one obvious conspiracy that didnexist is the one the authors intentionallynplay down: the Washington andnLondon conspiracy to silence Kentnand to keep him imprisoned outside ofnthe United States for the duration ofnthe war. There was a reason why Kentnremained calm throughout his arrestnand interrogation. He was confidentnthat once he had been deported, thenRoosevelt administration would nevernmake him stand trial for fear of disclosingnthe politically damaging documentsnthat he would have at his dispo­nnnsal. What Kent did not realize is thatnRoosevelt had no intention of bringingnhim home. For after his arrest he wasnfired from his post, thereby erasing hisndiplomatic immunity and freeing himnto be tried under British law. Nor hadnKent considered that, in Britain, mattersndealing with state security could bentried in camera, behind locked doors,nwith journalists excluded and all lawyersnand jurors sworn to silence. TylernKent’s crucial mistake was not hisnstealing of top secret documents, butnhis failure to understand and to appreciatenfully the political shrewdness ofnthe Roosevelt administration.nThe conspiracy to cover up thenTyler Kent affair was so brilliantlynexecuted that it did not even becomenan issue until the 1944 election, andnthen only briefly. Senator BurtonnWheeler of Montana, though unablento condone what Kent did, was outragednthat an “American boy connectednwith the American embassy couldnbe tried in a secret British court,” andnthat he could still remain in a Britishnprison four years later. “What wouldnhave happened,” he asked, “if wenshould arrest a member of the Britishnembassy here and endeavor to try himnin an American secret court?”nIn reply to Wheeler’s question. SenatornHenrik Shipstead of Minnesotansaid: “He would be sent back to Englandnto be tried under the laws ofnEngland.” His answer, however, wasnperhaps overly optimistic. For given thencordiality of relations between Churchillnand Roosevelt, the hypothetical Britonnwould probably never have beennarrested. In fact, it is well-known thatnBritain had, with Roosevelt’s approval,nan intelligence network headquarterednin New York called the British SecuritynCoordination, whose job it was to tracknand to frustrate every move of thenleading American isolationists of thenday. Senator Burton Wheeler was onenof its prime targets. America’s anglophilianoften stretches to great lengths,nencompassing even British agents whonspy on American citizens. Instead ofnbeing denounced as an agent for anforeign power, William Stephenson,nthe BSC’s famed Canadian-born leader,nhas been honored with lavish praisenand lionized in book and film. TylernKent was a “spy,” but William Stephensonnwas A Man Called Intrepid.nnDECEMBER 1991/29n