A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

· Sold by Crown
28 reviews

About this ebook

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

Ratings and reviews

28 reviews
May 23, 2018
I was well into this book and loving it, and then MI5 and MI6 were described as "sister (sic) services." I ask, as I always do in these cases of blatant, double standard-bearing, anthropomorphic, gynocentric linguistic sexism: show me one vagina. Just one and I'll grant you the rest. Thought so. These organizations are without ANY sort of sexual organs; their pronoun is "it." One expects rather better from the hits constantly reminding the rest of us how they created the language ... oh wait, one doesn't expect such at all anymore from the hypocritical, largely irrelevant land of cuckdom that is present-day Little Britain. Fail.
1 person found this review helpful
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deborah elliott
March 31, 2023
The canned version of Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby with very little new information. This is the version that the CIA and MI6 want everyone to believe, a banal, spin-doctored, sanitized book.
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November 16, 2018
This is one of the best non-fiction reads I've ever read. It's written in the style of a novel and continues to propel you forward through the plot line. Nothing dry or boring here. Am moving on to read the other books by Macintyre.
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About the author

Ben Macintyre is a writer-at-large for The Times of London and the bestselling author of Double Cross, Operation Mincemeat, Agent Zigzag, The Napoleon of Crime, and Forgotten Fatherland, among other books. Macintyre has also written and presented BBC documentaries of his work.

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