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The Man Who Was George Smiley: The Life of John Bingham
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The Man Who Was George Smiley: The Life of John Bingham

3.24  ·  Rating Details ·  25 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
"The greatest irony is that it was to George Smiley, modelled largely on Bingham, that le Carré owed his success."—London Review of Books

Following the film success of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy John le Carré's hero George Smiley has come to be seen as the perfect spy. Le Carré revealed shortly before the Iraq War that the model for Smiley was the author and MI5 officer J
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Biteback Publishing (first published February 1st 2013)
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Paul
Feb 20, 2015 Paul rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-read-2015
The character of Smiley as invented by Le Carre was actually based on the real life MI5 agent John Bingham. In this book Jago takes you through his life history and career.

He was a heir to an Irish barony. In his early life he attended Cheltenham School, rather than Eton as the family was a little hard up. He didn't attend university, and wanted to join the colonial service, but didn't do well at the interview. They suggested that he learnt another language so ended up in France staying at a cha
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Bryan
Sep 18, 2013 Bryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This is a very engaging account of a man who inspired one of the most successful espionage series ever written.

The author deftly delivers a complete picture of 'the man who was George Smiley' with detail on his life as a spy master, an author and a family man. Despite living his life in the shadow's, John Bingham is brought to life in a way that few authors could have accomplished. The commentary is very insightful on a number of levels and keep the reader engaged throughout.

I highly recommend t
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David
Jan 01, 2016 David rated it liked it
John Bingham was a modestly important literary figure in his time, as well as a key figure in WWII and Cold War espionage, and has been mostly forgotten. He probably deserves better than to be remembered only as the prototype for John Le Carré's most famous character, but this book goes some way toward redressing the injury.
Helen
Mar 08, 2015 Helen rated it it was amazing
The man behind the legend . Fascinating stuff ( historically and politically ) from his birth to the wranglings with John le Carre.
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Michael Jago read Ancient History and Philosophy at University College, Oxford before settling in the USA in 1980. For fifteen years he ran an educational travel business, focusing on the battlefields of Western Europe. Previously a publisher and editor of a number of journals, he now specialises in biography.
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