Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kim Philby: The Man I Knew, By The Master Spy's Oldest Friend

Neil Tweedie and Michael Smith at the British newspaper the Telegraph offer a piece on the Kim Philby story, as told in a book by Tim Milne.

Harold Adrian Russell ''Kim’’ Philby was an adequate rather than spectacular cricketer as a pupil at Westminster School. When fielding, he was content to stand apart from the rest, observing events at a distance. His preferred position? Deep cover. So it would be for much of his adult life. 
The label often attaching to Philby, the most prominent member of the Cambridge Ring, is that of “master spy”, a description conveying ruthlessness, guile and charm. Britain’s most infamous Cold War traitor, whose betrayal resulted in the deaths of untold numbers of agents operating on the dark side of the Iron Curtain, possessed those qualities, certainly. But his charm was not simply of the synthetic kind and he commanded the affection and loyalty of friends, even as the awful truth of his clandestine career – a Soviet asset operating at the heart of British intelligence – became clear. 
Tim Milne was Philby’s closest associate in the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. A fellow pupil at Westminster, he was recruited into the secret world during the Second World War on the recommendation of his friend. In retirement, he wrote a memoir of his friendship with Philby, which was promptly banned from publication by MI6. Now, four years after Milne’s death at the age of 97, his story can be told. 
Kim Philby: The Unknown Story of the KGB’s Master Spy is an often-intimate portrait of the Third Man, candid in its assessments. Written without rancour – despite Philby’s attempt to blacken Milne’s name during interrogation – it charts the 37 years from first meeting at Westminster in 1925 to Philby’s escape from Lebanon to Russia. 

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

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