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Philby: The Spy Who Betrayed A Generation
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Philby: The Spy Who Betrayed A Generation

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  49 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A novelist wouldn't dare invent the story contained herein. That a son of the British establishment could, during a 30 year secret service career, be a Communist agent is too far-fetched for fiction. Here's the story of how Philby did it, of what he did & its consequences; of how he betrayed his country, service, friends & the class which nurtured, shaped & pro ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published 1969 by Penguin (first published January 1st 1968)
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Feb 17, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it
In the early 1950s, two British intelligence agents defected to the Soviet Union, throwing suspicion on one of Britain's highest-placed intelligence officers, Kim Philby, whom many thought to have warned the defectors of their imminent arrest. But Philby was cleared, and it was not until several years later that he himself defected and the world learned the scope o the greatest disaster and embarrassment in the history of British national intelligence. Philby and the two other agents (Guy Burges ...more
Nathan Willard
Apr 04, 2009 Nathan Willard rated it really liked it
Offers the first thoroughly-researched biography of Kim Philby, the Soviet master spy who served as the liaison between what is now MI-6 and the CIA in the early 1950s. Three reporters for the Times worked to track his likely period of initial recruitment, early signs that the intelligence services missed, and especially the odd events surrounding the defections of Guy Burgess and Donald Mclean. Absolutely fascinating spy tale as interesting for its content as for its status as a primary source ...more
Erik Graff
Feb 06, 2015 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: espionage fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
For a book with three authors, all of them journalists, this is an impressively well written item. Written in 1967, it treats the conspiracy as involving simply Philby, Maclean and Burgess. Blunt is treated just incidentally and never with suspicion, likewise the others who were later discovered, or at least strongly suspected, as being Soviet moles in the British government. Being so early--Philby had only just defected in 1963, following the others--this book is more highly speculative than th ...more
Adrian Hunt
Aug 04, 2015 Adrian Hunt rated it really liked it
1968 Sunday Times Insight team telling of the Cambridge Spies story naturally leaves some gaps but captures the seedy characters of Burgess, Maclean and Philby and removes any glamour attached to their activities. Fascinating references to Sir Anthony Blunt, identified as someone with left wing sympathies, a friend of Burgess at Cambridge and beyond, an employee of MI5 but definitely "not a Communist". Had they been briefed that Blunt had confessed in 1964 to being a Soviet spy and were they lea ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Edward rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This is a good follow on to Philby's "My Silent War" and the authors provide a more substantial insight on the events from a different perspective than does Philby who is more reserved for obvious reasons of guilt. Insight into Philby's Communist sympathies while at Cambridge as a reaction to the rise of Fascism in England and Europe during the 1930s is offered as a reason for his ideological preferences. The dysfunctional nature of MI5 and SIS is painted in a similar manner to the picture given ...more
Jan 04, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of a set of books in Ballintines Espionage/Intelligence series, The Philby Conspiracy is the factual account(as are all in the series) of three Englishmen who infiltrated the very highest levels of MI6 (Britain's C.I.A.). in the employ of the U.S.S.R.
Recruited from Cambridge at a young age Philby and two others were run as very deep moles. With Soviet advice and natural cunning all rose to positions that allowed them to pass the very highest secrets of both the U.K. and later the U.S.A. dire
Oct 30, 2012 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy, non-fiction
The book has many strengths, most notably a depiction of the background and Cambridge careers of the first three of the known spies. Their motivation(s) and the degree of their interaction still remain a mystery to me after reading the book but there was no first person or interview information available when this book was written in 1968. An update on the story, to include the two other member spies of what we now call The Trinity Five, would be worthwhile and welcomed. For those who read and l ...more
John Page
Mar 27, 2016 John Page rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent piece of history - the top molecatcher is the mole himself.
Jan 12, 2008 Arnold rated it it was amazing
Shelves: current-affairs
Brilliant is the only word applicable. By the globally famous Insight team from The Sunday Times and with a wonderful introduction by John Le Carre this is the detailed masterpiece of the life of Kim Philby, the British spy working for Moscow who betrayed an entire generation. reads like the very best of Le Carre's own inimitable spy thrillers
Jun 05, 2015 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating treatise on the three most notorious men who began life as Cambridge students, recruited as soviet agents. For the next 30 years spent spying for the Soviets. The most notorious was Kim Philby This Is a well written and a must read for those who are interested in Cold War history.
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