- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 12 hours and 31 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Soundings
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 4 Aug. 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00MBR3D90
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
This fascinating account looks at the early life of both men, their meeting during WWII and their career in the Secret Intelligence Service. Kim Philby was, from the beginning, a Soviet agent. Along with the Cambridge Spies; Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross, he was so successful that his Soviet spymasters suspected him of being a double agent. As well as being a close friend of Elliott, he also became the mentor of James Jesus Angleton, an American and one of the most powerful spies in history. The Old Boy network which had brought both Elliott and Philby into the intelligence service meant that while agents were secretive outside of their immediate circle, they were horribly indiscreet within it, trusting on bonds of class and social networking to protect them.Read more ›
Kim Philby was one of the great spies in 20th century history. A prolific gatherer of information in pre-WW2 Europe, during the war, and the Cold War afterwards for Great Britain, he was equally if not better at betraying the Brits to the Russian KGB and the NKVD. He was part of the "Cambridge Five" spy ring and fled to and died in the Soviet Union after being unmasked by the British Intelligence in the 1960's. (He was almost caught several times before but tidily arranged for his potential exposers' deaths so as to keep his double-crossing a secret.)
Kim Philby was part of the British "Old Boys' Network" of Oxbridge graduates from elite British families. If your father was well-known and respected, chances are you - the son - would be, too, and welcomed into intelligence work. That's how Kim Philby and many others - including Nicholas Elliott - got into the "spy business". Ben Macintyre writes well about these men and you'll probably enjoy the book. Just don't be surprised if you feel like you need a shower after finishing it.
Ben Macintyre writes in a very different vein, thoughtfully, with dignity and in wonderfully lucid prose. He never insults the reader nor imposes assertively his own views. I must confess that I have not encountered his work previously but I’m strongly minded to explore his other much-celebrated accounts of espionage. I think it remarkable that he can achieve such poise in writing of quite such an extraordinary world. I imagine that MI6 is now a duller, if more secure institution.
This phenomenal amalgam of the socially elite, academically distinguished and seemingly perpetually inebriated, almost defies credibility. Guy Burgess, alone, was of quite amazing singularity: a flamboyant homosexual, apparently born with massive social confidence, charming, rude, contemptuous of authority and convention, aggressive, free-loading, possessed of the most amazing capacity for alcohol, yet blessed with a razor-sharp intellect.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating; the friendship angle really is the best one from which to tell this amazing tale. Not just any friendship: a relationship between two members of an Establishment... Read morePublished 8 days ago by J. D. Machin
Superb narrative covering Kim Philby's life as a Soviet spy whilst working at the heart of British intelligence. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Andy R
Intriguing story of one the most successful double agents and a fantastic insight into the early world of MI6 and other espionage agencies.Published 24 days ago by Ed K.
One man's meat is another man's poison. There has to admiration for Philby and how remained true to his cause over such a prolonged period. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chris L
A most informative look at the intriguing life of Kim Philby. You really can't go wrong with a Ben Macintyre book. He writes with style. Read morePublished 1 month ago by nickyb
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