West’s acclaimed examination of traitors, this gripping profile takes readers inside World War II spy rings and gets to the heart of what it means to betray one’s country
Throughout her career, Rebecca West dug into psyches, real and fictional, to try to understand the meaning of betrayal. In the aftermath of World War II, West was incensed when several wartime turncoats were tried with seeming indifference—and worse, sympathy—from the British public. In exploring these traitors’ origins, crimes, and motivations, West exposes how class division, greed, and discrimination can taint loyalties and redraw the relationships between individuals and their fatherland. A fascinating book, The Meaning of Treason combines the intrigue of a spy novel with West’s classic, careful dissection of man’s moral struggles.