NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The epic true story of Kim Philby, the Cold War’s most infamous spy, from the “master storyteller” (San Francisco Chronicle) and author of Prisoners of the Castle.
Now an MGM+ series starring Damian Lewis, Guy Pearce, and Anna Maxwell Martin
“[A Spy Among Friends] reads like a story by Graham Greene, Ian Fleming, or John le Carré, leavened with a dollop of P. G. Wodehouse.”—Walter Isaacson, New York Times Book Review
Who was Kim Philby? Those closest to him—like his fellow MI6 officer and best friend since childhood, Nicholas Elliot, and the CIA’s head of counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton—knew him as a loyal confidant and an unshakeable patriot. Philby was a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain’s counterintelligence against the Soviet Union. Together with Elliott and Angleton he stood on the front lines of the Cold War, holding Communism at bay. But he was secretly betraying them both: He was working for the Russians the entire time.
Every word uttered in confidence to Philby made its way to Moscow, sinking almost every important Anglo-American spy operation for twenty years and costing hundreds of lives. So how was this cunning double-agent finally exposed? In A Spy Among Friends, Ben Macintyre expertly weaves the heart-pounding tale of how Philby almost got away with it all—and what happened when he was finally unmasked.
Based on personal papers and never-before-seen British intelligence files and told with heart-pounding suspense and keen psychological insight, A Spy Among Friends is a fascinating portrait of a Cold War spy and the countrymen who remained willfully blind to his treachery.
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Shelf Awareness
In this engaging real-life spy story, Macintyre (Double Cross) pulls back the curtain on the life and exploits of Kim Philby, who served for decades in Britain's intelligence community while secretly working as a Soviet double agent. Macintyre covers the full range of Philby's career, from his work during WWII and the early years of the Cold War to his downfall and defection to the Soviet Union. Moreover, Macintyre widens his scope to look at Philby's closest allies and friends, including fellow MI6 officer Nicholas Elliot and CIA operative James Jesus Angleton the men who stood by him when all others were convinced of his as-yet-unproven guilt. Working with colorful characters and an anything-can-happen attitude, Macintyre builds up a picture of an intelligence community chock-full of intrigue and betrayal, in which Philby was the undisputed king of lies. There's a measure of admiration in the text for Philby's run of luck and audacious accomplishments, as when he was actually placed in charge of anti-Soviet intelligence: "The fox was not merely guarding the henhouse but building it, running it, assessing its strengths and frailties, and planning its future construction." Entertaining and lively, Macintyre's account makes the best fictional thrillers seem tame.
I knew nothing of Kim Philby before reading this book, so the book was very informative on this world class spy and his close relationships with CIA & British Intelligence figures. It is hard to believe he got away with what he did so the story itself is fascinating. My one major complaint is that there are so many names in a 300+ page book your head will spin!...EAF
Great book crappy Russian spy
The gal this guy had to not only spy for Russia but to include his family is disgusting
A spy among friends
I very intriguing and a pleasure to read. Keeps you engaged from the first page.