It is a nonfiction book about international relations although it reads as a novel. Writing non-fiction which has more dazzle and suspense than any novel is a gift. Alternately gripping and hilarious. Making matters worse, one of Philby’s fellow Soviet spies suddenly came to pay the family a visit. A Spy Among Friends By Ben Macintyre Crown, 368 pages, $27 Mr. Macintyre suggests that although Philby was a sincere Communist, the impelling motive for his treachery was conceit. A Spy Among Friends was a New York Times Bestseller, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, and Entertainment Weekly’s Best Spy Book of 2014. Believe it or not, this one is even better. It’s known that he purchased some of Karl Marx’s works, but there’s no evidence of his ever reading or studying them in any detail, let alone of his preaching Communist ideas. Aileen was furious. A Spy Among Friends is hands down the most entertaining book I’ve reviewed this year.” —Boston Globe “Macintyre is a superb writer, with an eye for the telling detail as fine as any novelist’s…A Spy Among Friends is as suspenseful as any novel, too, as the clues … They are all such decent chaps! Yes, there are some factual errors. Difficult read, complex and astonishing lives. There was too much information about some seemingly irrelevant figures that confused the main story. But Macintyre tells the devastating story in an entirely new fashion, with new sources and an astonishing intimacy.”  —Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and author of The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames “I have seldom had a better read than A Spy Among Friends. Buy, Jul 29, 2014 But, it's stunningly good. Russian informants have since confirmed that they knew exactly how many insurgents to expect, when and where they would land and with what kind of weapons they would be armed. This book and author has put me into what I'm going to call my Covert Phase of reading. Once I read almost nothing but Russians for a year, and wonder if that is going to happen with another genre so many decades later. But he was secretly betraying them both: He was working for the Russians the entire time. One lasting benefit of not paying attention in school history lessons is that I can read books like this without already knowing the ending. Our Reading Guide for A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre includes Book Club Discussion Questions, Book Reviews, Plot Summary-Synopsis and Author Bio. However, it was to be a short-lived victory: the CIA was closing in fast on Soviet spies. The book concentrates solely on Philby with some mention of the other men involved. Suspiciously, the Russians seemed to hold information they could not have obtained by any other means. We are experiencing technical difficulties. In reality, he was set on continuing his work as a spy. Philby started out as a journalist before being recruited by the secret services. I thought it was only me that found this book such a slog. A Spy Among Friends was a New York Times Bestseller, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, and Entertainment Weekly’s Best Spy Book of 2014. However, his scholastic tendencies were soon superseded by somewhat more controversial occupations as his political outlook shifted. It was very likely, she thought, that they were actually double agents for the British. He began by exacerbating the pre-existing feelings of dislike that existed between Cowgill and his superiors, Valentine Vivian and Claude Dansey. This is labelled as a bestseller but I struggled to really get into it. Difficult read, complex and astonishing lives. Kim Philby was a master of deception. I wasn't even half-way into this book when I knew it was going to be a 5 star read. In this narrative he tells the story of one of if not the highest Soviet double agent in MI6's history, Kim Philby. Philby was recruited by the Soviet secret services, and he soon began leading a double life. 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, this is Ben Macintyre’s epic telling of one of the greatest spy stories ever, a Cold War history that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It was a critical assignment since the Allies were planning to invade Morocco and Algeria. Actually, I read the two pages after that. Perhaps because of her precarious position as a woman in power in Soviet Russia, perhaps because of the general fear that most everyone felt under Stalin, she was sure that something was amiss. | 660 Minutes Consequently, Philby married her so that she could flee to Britain and safety. One day, a bomb went off near the car in which he was sitting with three other journalists. Kim Philby’s web of deceit finally unraveled. This is a story that's been told before, this man is a legend, but the author is able to dig deeper into declassified documents and notes Le Carre took from Eliot decades earlier. The first was damning, and it had been produced by counterintelligence officer Bill Harvey. It was he who turned over vital information to the Russian and Albanian governments, right down to intelligence about the rebels’ landing sites. For more than 20 years, he provided the Soviet Union with crucial intelligence about the British and American secret services. Together with Elliott and Angleton he stood on the front lines of the Cold War, holding Communism at bay. With a bit of instruction, Philby was ready to begin his life as a Russian spy. He suggested to C, the head of MI6, that a new section be established. This meant he would have to pursue the kind of conventional career in a bourgeois society that he had already rejected as a student. If the finger of blame can be pointed anywhere, then it’s at Philby. It reads like a story by Graham Greene, Ian Fleming, or John Le Carré, leavened with a dollop of P.G. But Philby and Moscow had other plans. They would then be parachuted back into the country, so they could coordinate with other rebels, and lead them in revolution. Finally, Philby’s boss, Felix Cowgill, asked him to represent him in all areas while Cowgill was traveling in the United States for MI6. Philby’s standing grew and grew, and, as it did, he was assigned ever more responsibilities. Harold “Kim” Philby (1912-1988) during the 1940’s and 50’s was an officer in the U.K. secret intelligence service (MI6). Now he would be a right-wing conservative, with Fascist sympathies. They are all such decent chaps! I love this guy's writing , Agent Zig Zag worked the triple agent thing so beautifully you'd swear it was's this one compare? The author's fluid writing style could make a book about house cleaning compelling! Kim Philby was a member of Britain’s upper crust. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. To be a spy in Britain at that time, you had to be from a certain background, with the essential confidence of being at the top of the social tree. Incredibly, once again Philby managed to maneuver himself out of a corner, through use of a rather unorthodox stratagem. Incredible true story about a master spy who had a tremendous impact on operations in British, American, and Soviet intelligence. But they were still lacking a smoking gun: they wanted a confession from Philby. His story is quite amazing, the guy fooled everyone, time after time, and it is especially amazing how he fooled his close friend from the MI6, Nicholas Elliott. The story of the Cambridge "old school ties" group of brilliant and charming young men who were the shining lights of British Intelligence during the Cold War is in a word....fantastic. The filmed interview is a remarkable document of Philby’s stone-faced chutzpah. Nicholas Elliott told him that MI6 were prepared to offer Philby immunity if he told them everything he knew about Russian intelligence networks. In A Spy Among Friends he weaves an absorbing tale of deceit and duplicity, of treason and betrayal. So how was this cunning double-agent finally exposed? Every word uttered in confidence to Philby by his colleagues in the West made its way to Moscow, leading countless missions to their doom and subverting American and British attempts to subdue the Soviet threat. And also reveals far more historical perception and actions than most current publication, most of which are 75% spin and slant. For instance, he insinuated that Cowgill’s relationship with MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, was particularly sour. If it starts as a study of friendship, it ends as an indictment.” –The Spectator, Sign up for news about books, authors, and more from Penguin Random House, Visit other sites in the Penguin Random House Network. In 1956, Philby was sent to Beirut as a journalist on assignment for the Observer.