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The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward: Sex, Scandal and Deadly Secrets in the Profumo Affair

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The Profumo Affair was the political scandal of the twentieth century. The Tory War Minister, John Profumo, had been sleeping with the teenage Christine Keeler, while at the same time she had been sleeping with a Russian spy. The ensuing investigation revealed a secret world where titled men and prostitutes mixed, of orgies and S&M parties. The revelations rocked the Briti ...more
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published December 6th 2013 by Headline
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  68 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book does not just tell the rather sordid and sad tale of Dr Stephen Ward, and examine the details of the Profumo Affair, but goes one step further and asks whether Ward was, in fact, not only made a scapegoat but even murdered. For, as Ward lay in a hospital bed, having taken a drug overdose, he was found guilty of living off immoral endings. It was the trial of the Sixties and the political scandal that brought down a government. Christine Keeler, a young girl; one of many Dr Ward certain ...more
Jay Phillippi
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward - (2014) - To most Americans the words "The Profumo Affair" probably mean nothing. You would have to be a follower of English political history or a student of Cold War espionage to know it.

In the early 1960's it was a political scandal that rocked the Conservative government of Prime Minister Harold McMillan. His Secretary of State for War (and a member of the Privy Council, an advisory board for the Queen)Joseph Profumo, was having an affair with a young woma
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Ward is exactly the kind of intriguing, disgusting and unique man that readers love in a book. He’s the kind of person that readers will alternately love and loathe as they read turning page after page to follow what he’s involved in only to find his behavior both enticing and revolting. The title for this book couldn’t be more apt and the Profumo Affair, which Stephen Ward was an integral part in, was a scandal that rocked the British establishment. Sex, scandal, secrets and spies was m ...more
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reading
While I don't think there could ever be a 'definitive' account of the Profumo Affair, this is one of my favourites. It is an updated reissue of the 1987 book, Honeytrap, and unlike some other recent publications, it doesn't ignore the security implications of the scandal - and it's also a great read. ...more
I was approved of an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This review in its entirety was originally posted at

The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward chronologically follows the life Dr. Stephen Ward, his mingling amongst the upper and political classes and the events that not only affected their activities but also led to Ward’s downfall. It’s a pretty crazy course of events, one that you’d find in a movie or a thriller
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was a child when the Profumo scandal broke, and yet such was the attention it garnered and the names associated with Profumo etched on the public consciousness that I feel that I have always been aware of it without, however, really understanding what happened. Now, thanks to this succinct and thoroughly researched book, I do. I’m not knowledgeable enough to comment on whether the authors have all their facts and interpretations correct, but it all seemed very convincing and plausible to me. A ...more
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I actually read a digital edition from Open Road Integrated Media. This book is an exhaustive look at the role Ward played in The Profumo Affair. I was appalled at the sex orgies of the upper class during that era, ones involving Ward. There was speculation at the time that Ward was a scapegoat and the authors seem to indicate that was the case. There is the now known involvement of M15. There were other women, some who claimed involvement with then president elect Kennedy. The authors do a grea ...more
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sordid book detailing sex and figures in high places in England .

fairly easy reading book about a highly publicized trial that involved a doctor and well known men from political, business,and movie circles, in the early 60's. Almost, every man involved had money and much to lose as a result of sexual contacts with young girls provided by Stephen Ward. This sad story even has a Russian spy going out the back door from a prostitute's flat, as a leader in Britain's government is coming in the fron
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe, politerror, waites
Dirty, deceitful English high society (and maybe a few Americans as well) frolic happily during the early 60's. Maybe a bit of espionage on the side along with the fall of a pillar of this excess, but mainly just good old fashioned SEX, in all it's fame , shame and glory. Mildly interesting - 3 stars. ...more
Jordan Phizacklea-Cullen
Extensively researched and updated a quarter of a century after the first edition, this is an authoritative account of one of Whitehall's sleaziest moments in history and how Stephen WArd effectively became the fall guy for an Establishment desperate to avoid embarrassment and to look after its own, rather than concern itself too much with actual justice. ...more
Stephen J.
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
“History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes,” as Mark Twain maybe said... The story of the elite classes doing bad things and then the media and the establishment covering said things over... Decades later the Epstein Scandal has echoed this.

Another thoroughly researched and very interesting expose by Anthony Summers writing about the seedy underbelly of society/political life.
Jillian McCreadie
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it

This book is an interesting read would recommend it gives you an in sight to politics back in the days
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
From our perspective, more than 50 years later,and in today's wildly shameless "acting out" society, the scandals of the "Profumo Affair" might seem tame. But instead real issues were involved: in among the dishonesty, deception, pandering, and "sex for hire" lurked national security and potential espionage and leakage of state secrets. In a fascinating and riveting non-fiction narrative that reads like a finely-tuned novel, the authors explore the intricacies of class and lineage, of society an ...more
barry kerr
rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2017
Timothy D Holder
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Oct 17, 2016
Darren Winter
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Dec 22, 2017
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May 31, 2019
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Jun 18, 2015
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Sep 20, 2014
Jane Whitehead
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Anthony Summers is the bestselling author of eight nonfiction books. His investigative books include Not in Your Lifetime, the critically acclaimed book about the assassination of John F. Kennedy; Official & Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover; and most recently The Eleventh Day, on the 9/11 attacks—a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History.

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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