May books: Ben Macintyre – A spy among friends

A fascinating story about two men, one a spy, Kim Philby, the other his best friend, Nicholas Elliot. Both work for MI6 through WW2 and beyond with Philby charming and deadly at every stage until his eventual downfall.

The reliance of the “old boy network” is shown at its worst as trustworthyness is defined by an Eton and Oxbridge education. Even when MI5 (loathed by MI6 as middle class plebs) demonstrate that Philby is a traitor, his class protects him from discovery and prosecution for many years and he kept on spying!

Any reader of John Le Carre novels (who has an afterword) will recognise many of the scenarios described here. It’s also to be seen in the excellent current BBC drama “The Game”.

From his publishers website.

Ben Macintyre is a columnist and Associate Editor on The Times. He has worked as the newspaper’s correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He is the author of nine books including Agent Zigzag, shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and the Galaxy British Book Award for Biography of the Year 2008, the number 1 bestseller Operation Mincemeat and, most recently, the Richard & Judy Book Club selection, Double Cross. He lives in London with his wife and three children. Author of : Operation Mincemeat, The Last Word, Agent Zigzag, Double Cross, For Your Eyes Only, Forgotten Fatherland, Ben Macintyre’s Espionage Files, A Spy Among Friends

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