A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

Ben Macintyre. Crown, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-0-8041-3663-1
In this engaging real-life spy story, Macintyre (Double Cross) pulls back the curtain on the life and exploits of Kim Philby, who served for decades in Britain’s intelligence community while secretly working as a Soviet double agent. Macintyre covers the full range of Philby’s career, from his work during WWII and the early years of the Cold War to his downfall and defection to the Soviet Union. Moreover, Macintyre widens his scope to look at Philby’s closest allies and friends, including fellow MI6 officer Nicholas Elliot and CIA operative James Jesus Angleton—the men who stood by him when all others were convinced of his as-yet-unproven guilt. Working with colorful characters and an anything-can-happen attitude, Macintyre builds up a picture of an intelligence community chock-full of intrigue and betrayal, in which Philby was the undisputed king of lies. There’s a measure of admiration in the text for Philby’s run of luck and audacious accomplishments, as when he was actually placed in charge of anti-Soviet intelligence: “The fox was not merely guarding the henhouse but building it, running it, assessing its strengths and frailties, and planning its future construction.” Entertaining and lively, Macintyre’s account makes the best fictional thrillers seem tame. Agent: Ed Victor, Ed Victor Ltd. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/05/2014
Release date: 07/29/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 9 pages - 978-0-553-39788-8
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-8041-3665-5
Open Ebook - 322 pages - 978-0-8041-3664-8
Paperback - 624 pages - 978-0-8041-9449-5
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-7710-5550-8
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-8425-5
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-4088-6192-9
Hardcover - 432 pages - 978-1-4450-9936-1
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-7710-5552-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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