George Donald King McCormick (11 December 1911 – 2 January 1998) was a British journalist
and popular historian
, who also wrote under the pseudonym Richard Deacon.
After working for Naval Intelligence during the Second World War
, McCormick was a journalist for the foreign desk of the ''Sunday Times
'', at one point working with Ian Fleming
. In his prolific output as a historian, McCormick was attracted to controversial topics on which verifiable evidence was scarce. He wrote on the Hellfire Club
, Jack the Ripper
, the Cambridge Apostles
and rather extensively about spies. He wrote histories of the Russia
, and Israel
i secret services, and biographies of Sir Maurice Oldfield
and Ian Fleming
McCormick's reliance on an informal network of oral informants, and his eye for a good story, means that it is often difficult to judge the reliability of his more controversial claims. In 1979 he claimed that Rudolf Peierls
had been under investigation as a Soviet agent, and was forced to make an out-of-court settlement when Peierls sued him. (The equally controversial Rupert Allason
, who once worked for McCormick, has continued to press this particular claim after Peierls's death.) McCormick also claimed that the early twentieth-century economist Arthur Pigou
had been a Russian agent, and to be in possession of Pigou's journal: no such journal has surfaced since McCormick's death.
An assessment by a number of academics and specialists of what has been termed McCormick's "fraudulent career", which includes evidence supplied by his personal papers, was published (2015) as the third volume of a biography of economist Friedrich Hayek
[''Hayek: A Collaborative Biography Part III, Fraud, Fascism and Free Market Religion'', Leeson, Robert (Ed.), Palgrave Macmillan 2015 ]
* ''The Identity of Jack the Ripper''. London: Jarrolds, 1959.
* ''The Mystery of Lord Kitchener's Death''. Putnam, 1959.
* ''Temple of Love''. New York: Citadel Press. 1965.
* ''The Red Barn Mystery: some new evidence on an old murder''. London: John Long, 1967.
* ''John Dee: Scientist, Geographer, Astrologer and Secret Agent to Elizabeth I''. London: Muller, 1968.
* ''Murder By Witchcraft''. London: Long, 1968.
* ''A History of the British Secret Service''. London: Muller, 1969. New York: Taplinger, 1970. Reprinted in paperback, London: Grafton, 1991.
* ''Murder by Perfection: Maundy Gregory, the Man Behind Two Unsolved Mysteries?''. London: Jarrolds, 1970.
* ''A History of the Russian Secret Service''. New York: Taplinger, 1972. London: Muller, 1972.
* ''The Chinese Secret Service.'' New York: Taplinger, 1974. b
Revised and updated. London: Grafton Books, 1989.
* ''The Hell-Fire Club : the story of the amorous Knights of Wycombe''. London: Sphere,1975.
* ''Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General''. London: F. Mueller, 1976.
* ''Who's Who in Spy Fiction''. London: Sphere, 1977.
* ''The Israeli Secret Service''. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1977.
* ''The Silent War: A History of Western Naval Intelligence''. Newton Abbot, UK: David & Charles, 1978. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1978.
* ''The British Connection: Russia's Manipulation of British Individuals and Institutions'', London: Hamish Hamilton. 1979. Later withdrawn.
* ''Escape!'' London: BBC, 1980.
* ''Love In Code, or, How to Keep Your Secrets''. London: Eyre Methuen, 1980.
* ''Kempai Tai: A History of the Japanese Secret Service''. London: Muller, 1982. New York: Beaufort Books, 1983. Revised and updated edition, Tokyo: Charles Tuttle Books, 1990.
* ''With My Little Eye: The Memoirs of a Spy-Hunter''. London: Frederick Muller, 1982.
* ''"C": A Biography of Sir Maurice Oldfield''. London: MacDonald, 1985.
* ''The Cambridge Apostles: A History of Cambridge University's Elite Intellectual Secret Society.'' New York: Farrar, Straus, 1986.
* ''Spyclopedia: The Comprehensive Handbook of Espionage''. New York: Morrow, 1987.
* ''The Truth Twisters''. London: Macdonald, 1987.
* ''The Greatest Treason: The Bizarre Story of Hollis, Liddell and Mountbatten''. London: Century, 1990. (A 1989 printing had resulted in a libel suit and was withdrawn; this edition had the offending material withdrawn.)
* ''Super Spy: The Man Who Infiltrated the Kremlin and the Gestapo''. UK: Futura, 1990.
* ''The French Secret Service.'' London: Grafton, 1990.
* ''The Life of Ian Fleming.'' Dufour Editions, 1994.
Category:British male journalists