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Gill Bennett recounts what she discovered in 1998 when Foreign Secretary Robin Cook commissioned her to get to the bottom of a mystery that had haunted the Labour Party – and British politics generally – for over seventy years: The Daily Mail published the Zinoviev letter just before the General Election on 25 October 1924, humiliating the first ever British Labour government, headed by Ramsay MacDonald. Its political opponents used the ‘fake news’ to create a ‘Red Scare’ in the media. The letter still haunts British politics, cropping up in the media during the 2016 Referendum campaign and the 2017 general election.
‘scrupulously researched and argued account of an enduring mystery’ Spectator
‘superb book, a compelling mixture of history, anecdote and historiography’ Literary Review
Gill Bennett OBE FRHistS and an Associate Fellow of RUSI, was Chief Historian of the Foreign Office from 1995-2005, and senior editor of its official history of British foreign policy, Documents on British Policy Overseas. Historian in Whitehall for over thirty years, she provided historical advice to twelve foreign secretaries under six prime ministers, from Edward Heath to Tony Blair. Her other books: Churchill’s Man of Mystery: Desmond Morton and the World of Intelligence and Six Moments of Crisis: Inside British Foreign Policy.