Sunday, March 23, 2014

With Friends Like Kim Philby... A Review Of Ben Macintyre's "A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby And The Great Betrayal"


Andrew Lycett wrote a good review of Ben Macintyre's A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal in the Telegraph.

Outside a small flat in Beirut in January 1963, the usual Middle Eastern sounds – blaring horns, raised voices and amplified music – rent the air, while inside “one of the most important conversations in the history of the Cold War” (to use author Ben Macintyre) was taking place.
 
Finally, almost three decades after Kim Philby, product of Westminster School and Cambridge, had been recruited into the Soviet secret service, and had wormed his way into its British equivalent, MI6, to become the most dangerous traitor in British espionage history, he was being confronted by Nicholas Elliott, his friend and former MI6 colleague.
 
Elliott had been sent to the Lebanese capital to extract a confession, a dozen years after Philby had been identified in parliament as the “third man” in a top-level spy ring, following the defection to Moscow of two of his co-conspirators, Donald Maclean and Gy Burgess.

But, despite overwhelming evidence which had forced him to resign, Philby had always protested his innocence and, such was the camaraderie in MI6, associates such as Elliott had believed him. Indeed Elliott had helped him financially and later pulled strings to find him employment as a journalist in Beirut, where, amazingly, he still performed occasional freelance jobs for MI6.
 
However, following the discovery of further incriminating evidence, even Elliott now realised Philby was guilty.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/10713844/A-Spy-Among-Friends-by-Ben-Macintyre-review.html 

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