A Spy Among Friends

A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal - Ben Macintyre

No one likes to admit they have been utterly conned. The truth was simpler, as it almost always is: Philby was spying on everyone, and no one was spying on him, because he fooled them all.

After reading one of Ben Macintyre's previous books and enjoying it I immediately requested this book on NetGalley when I saw that it was being offered. There have been other books that have discussed Kim Philby and his role as a double agent, but this book is really unique as it concentrates on Philby's friendships with not only his fellow double agents but also with the men he deceived.


I haven't read much about Kim Philby so it was interesting getting to learn more about him. One thing that I really love about Macintyre's books is that he includes a great sense of humor with the history that he discusses so that you are informed and amused at the same time. He always manages to find some eccentric and humorous people to spotlight throughout the book (I especially loved learning that someone was actually named Engelbertus Fukken).


I was amazed that no one caught on to what Philby was doing for so long. His friend Nicholas Elliot (who worked for MI6) came across as having a poor sense of judgment and being needlessly reckless. It was surprising how so many people could have been blinded by Philby's charisma.


I just gobbled this book right up. I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for a new angle to the Kim Philby story or if you are looking for a book that provides history in a lively, sometimes humorous, way. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the galley.