3 May 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. 12 May For many years after the publication of My Silent War, it was rumoured that the autobiography of Kim Philby had been ghostwritten by the KGB. More thoughts on Kim Philby’s My Silent War The Young Kim Philby: Soviet Spy and British Intelligence Officer University of Exeter Press, Exeter, UK,

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As a portrait of the intelligence world it’s tainted by the fact that we can never be sure just how truthful Philby’s words are, or how much he was forced to leave out by his Moscow masters.

In Septemberthe Philbys arrived in the United States. The Hidden Years, Penzance: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century. Philby told the British, after a direct question to Franco, that German troops would never be permitted to cross Spain to attack Gibraltar. Most infiltrators were caught by the Sigurimithe Albanian Security Service.

They travelled together in Spain through August zilent The “affair of the missing diplomats,” as it was referred to before Burgess and Maclean surfaced in Moscow, [39] attracted a great deal of public attention, and Burgess’s disappearance, which identified him as complicit in Maclean’s espionage, deeply compromised Philby’s position.

Philby claimed to have overheard discussion of this by chance silenf sent a report to his controller. After reading about a third of the book my dilemma was resolved, he appears to have been a right berk.

Stay in Touch Sign up. His successor, Boris Bazarovsuffered the same fate two years later during the purges. For all his machinations, Philby may be remembered best as a writer. In fact, its almost possible to forget Philby is a working for the Soviets at all – although he discretely references his Soviet pihlby from time to time.


And this is most unfortunate since Kim Philby was a writer of exceptional quality, and I’m mystified that he chose to tell the story of his most exceptional life phipby such a dearth of excitement.

My Silent War: The Autobiography of a Spy by Kim Philby

Toward the end of the story, once he has been unmasked, for all intents and purposes, the adjectives, “nasty,” phillby pop up frequently, indicating the manifestation of sociopathic tendencies and a failure to see his own failures, preferring rather to place blame upon the rest of society. The book becomes a procession of run-ins with staff at various levels of the UK secret services.

He was implicated in a similar campaign jim Albania.

To ask other readers questions about My Silent Warplease sign up. They would discuss absinthe and serve Burgundy above room temperature. He joined the Anglo-German Fellowshipwhich was supported both by the British and German governments, and made many trips to Berlin. He considers himself the ultimate spy, the maleversion of Mata Hari personified. Throughout, Philby comments pungently on the various figures who made up his secret world, many of whom are now mere footnotes. The name alone is enough to provoke a whole raft of visceral feelings about treachery, deceit, double dealing and betrayal.

Review: My Silent War: The Autobiography of a Spy by Kim Philby — a monster unmasked

Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal. All the while, he was a tireless worker for the other side.

Aileen Philby had suffered since childhood from psychological problems which caused her to inflict injuries upon herself. In FebruaryPhilby travelled to SevilleSpain. Behind the inbred upper-class arrogance, the taste for adventure, lies the self-hate of a vain misfit for whom nothing will ever be worthy of his loyalty.


And here she was plunked down in my midst! Want to read more? If you are intimately familiar with his record and the history of the British secret service then I expect this book would shade in some details for you. Retrieved 12 February One can understand his youthful attraction to Communism in the ’30s but must wonder how he swallowed Stalinism through the show trials and into the Cold War.

Then towards the end there is an account of the period of initial suspicion around him and sklent he managed to dodge being caught, though his subsequent service in the Middle East is very much glossed over.

In his early teens he spent some time with the Bedouin in the desert of Saudi Arabia “to be turned into a man”. The book, written years after his defection to the USSR, goes heavy on the interoffice politics of the SIS in WW2 as well as brief and uninteresting paragraph long character sketches of his coworkers. Fromthey infiltrated the southern mountains to build support for former King Zog. Open Preview See a Problem?

Wa Vivianthe head of Section V at that time. Truth may not be stranger than fiction. Occasionally, he will make a brief nudge-nudge, wink-wink reference to being responsible for the failure of some anti-Soviet spy effort but other than his discussion of the Volkov affair and how he got Burgess and Maclean out there is nothing there.