In the annals of espionage, one name towers above all others: that of H.A.R. “Kim” Philby, the ringleader of the legendary Cambridge spies. A member of the British establishment, Philby joined the Secret Intelligence Service in 1940, rose to the head of Soviet counterintelligence, and, as MI6’s liaison with the CIA and the FBI, betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians, fatally compromising covert actions to roll back the Iron Curtain in the early years of the Cold War.
Written from Moscow in 1967, My Silent War shook the world and introduced a new archetype in fiction: the unrepentant spy. It inspired John le Carre’s Smiley novels and the later espionage novels of Graham Greene. Kim Philby was history’s most successful spy. He was also an exceptional writer who gave us the great iconic story of the Cold War and revolutionized, in the process, the art of espionage writing.
Phillip Knightley is a journalist and the author of Master Spy: The Story of Kim Philby.
Graham Greene was a member of the SIS and one of the most highly regarded English novelists of the twentieth century. Among his many works are The Power and the Glory, The Human Factor, Our Man in Havana, and The Third Man.
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