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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming vile man
I have read all of Ben Macintyre's books, and they just get better and better. However, in this one he has set not only an exceptional standard for narrative, but, in a way that was absent in the others, he has, I think, let his own standpoint show, which lends a special edge to the book.

I recently heard an interview with the biographer of a Pre-Norman,...
Published 3 months ago by Charles Brewer

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slightly different take on an well-worn tale
For over twenty years Kim Philby operated as a Russian agent inside the British establishment, much of it working in MI6, including heading up Soviet counter-espionage. The most famous of the Cambridge spies recruited in the early 1930s, he sent thousands of copies of secret documents to his spymasters and hundreds of Allied agents and provocateurs to their death or...
Published 2 months ago by Rob Kitchin


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5.0 out of 5 stars Lively insight into Philby's secret double life & his relationships, 14 May 2014
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An account that gives the overall picture of the Cold War backdrop without being boring at all, lively & in depth, showing how those young people were attracted by Communist ideas in the 30s when fascism was progressing, and how Philby managed to hide his ideological commitment for decades, from colleagues & family. Highly recommended !
MClaire Merel
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 13 May 2014
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Probably as close to the full story as anybody will ever be able or allowed to tell. Could not fault this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars extraordinary!, 12 May 2014
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This book should become a 'must read' for all... Extraordinary tale and so scary to think that it is substantially true! Can friendship make one so blind to the obvious?!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Serving Two Masters, 10 May 2014
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This review is from: A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal (Hardcover)
Hundreds of books have been written about the Kim Philby affair and I haven't read a single one of them. Ben Macintyre's book is the first one I picked up on this issue. The story is fairly simple but I won't repeat it here, it is all in the book anyway. What struck me is how well one advances in these circles with the `one of us' pedigree and upbringing. I also seem to recall that it was quite fashionable in the 1930s to flirt with communism. In that respect Philby isn't terribly unusual. Since he was one of us (well one of them would be the proper expression here) he probably could have lived openly as a communist and still have advanced quite far.

As I read the book it was fairly obvious to me that Philby was encouraged to make `run for it' in Beirut. From an SIS point of view this must have appeared as a far better solution than bringing 30-years of dirty laundry into the open. The only other solution I could see would have been to have him met with an unfortunate accident.

The afterword by John Le Carre I found quite good. Towards the end, he mentions that during a trip to Moscow in 1987 he was invited to meet Philby and (presumably) help him write his memoirs. Those memoirs were written by Genrikh Borovik and published as The Philby Files: The Secret Life of the Master Spy, claiming that it reveals all KGB archives on the subject. In the next volume, the KGB (or its successor) will no doubt allow their files to be read onsite.

All told, I liked Ben Macintyre's book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal (Hardcover)
I have aways found this story fascinating. I have read several Ben Macintyre books and enjoyed them. He is on top form with this one, the ideal writer to reveal aspects of this jaw dropping piece of history. Very warmly reccommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal (Hardcover)
I heard it serialised on the radio but missed quite a few episodes. My wife bought me the book as an Easter present - I couldn't put it down. Well written and fascinating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 8 May 2014
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This review is from: A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal (Hardcover)
Philby was a friend of my Father's so a subject I have always been fascinated by.
brilliantly and unshowy writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BOUGHT AS A BIRTHDAY PRESENT, 8 May 2014
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Bruce Boogie (Stroud UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal (Hardcover)
Sister in law was visiting and she read a review in one of the Sunday papers about this book. She fancied a copy for her birthday present. I flicked open the iPad logged into Amazon and ordered it. She was surprised how quick the ordering process was. The book arrived promptly and is being read at the moment.
Ordering through Amazon is very easy, they do look after customers ~ I hope that local booksellers survive but I'm lazy and use Amazon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book which gave the reader an insight into the world of the secret service. It brought out many emotions as you work, 5 May 2014
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Excellent book which gives the reader an insight into the world of the secret service. It brings out emotions ranging from intrigue into this work but also anger with the powers that be who allowed him to continue he betraying his country.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Spy Amoung Friends, 4 May 2014
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D. Clay (Halifax, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal (Hardcover)
Well written and very informative. Lots of peoples names, foreign in particular, to try and assimilate / take in. I can only read so much of it at one session, however I'm not an avid reader at the best of times. Find the subject matter fascinating.
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A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre (Hardcover - 3 Mar 2014)
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