The Master Spy: The Story of Kim Philby (1989)

October 6, 2003 · 3 comments

in Books

Philby, the agent, double agent, traitor and enigma revealed all to Knightley just before his death. Few knew the real man that for years fooled British Intelligence, the CIA and the FBI and was simultaneously head of the British Intelligence Service’s anti-Soviet section and a long-time KGB agent.

After he defected to Russia in 1963, he maintained a code of silence for 25 years – until a few weeks before his death. He invited Phillip Knightley to his Moscow apartment and in six days of conversation bared his soul.

He told of his childhood, the influence of his extraordinary father and the events that lead him inexorably to turn traitor. He tells the story before and after defection and discusses everything from loyalty and patriotism to pop music and Margaret Thatcher.

Available form Andre Deutsch (London) and Knopf (New York), an updated paperback edition is available in the UK.


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