Wealhtheow's Reviews > The Story of Scotland Yard

The Story of Scotland Yard by Basil Thomson
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's review
Jun 14, 08

bookshelves: british-history, historical, non-fiction
Read in June, 2008

This is the memoir of Sir Basil Thompson, who was head of Scotland Yard before, during and after World War I (or as he calls it, The Great War). In any other hands the tale of a spy catcher would be fascinating, but unfortunately he feels himself unable to give any details or even vague ideas of how actual discoveries are made, and so instead contents himself with "through the usual methods" and then how bravely the spy went to the firing squad. Moreoever, he holds every possible prejudice an Englishman of his time and class *could* hold (against women, Jews, the Irish, the lower classes, and of course, every non-European...) I found both the lack of actual detail and the narrowness of his opinions to be grating, and gave up half-way through. That said, this is an interesting historical document.

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