Books: The Double Agent

THE BIRDS FALL DOWN by Rebecca West. 435 pages. Viking. $5.95.

Treason has many faces, and most of them are familiar to Dame Rebecca West. Her studies of such traitors as Lord Haw-Haw, Klaus Fuchs, Pontecorvo and the Rosenbergs, explored the wide range of motives that can impel a man to betrayal. Sometimes, as in the case of Lord Haw-Haw or Fuchs, the traitor is distinguished from the patriot mainly by a loyalty turned upside down. Sometimes the reason is outside compulsion: John Vassall, a homosexual in the British embassy in Moscow, claimed that...

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