Page, Bruce, David Leitch, and Phillip Knightley. Philby: The Spy Who Betrayed a Generation. London: André Deutsch, 1968. The Philby Conspiracy. New York: Doubleday, 1968. New York: Ballantine, 1981. [pb]
According to Pforzheimer, "[o]ne knowledgeable historian ... characterizes this book as 'instant history' ... lacking dimension, having 'no corrective background, no reflective depth.'" Constantinides tempers that judgment by noting that the book remains "an incredible, vivid story of the official ineptitude and personal attitudes" that allowed the Philby generation spies "to gain and exploit for so long their diplomatic and intelligence positions." Wise, The New Republic, 25 May 1968, calls the book "a superbly readable account."
Philby, Eleanor. The Spy I Married. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1967. New York: Ballantine, 1968.
Wise, The New Republic, 25 May 1968, finds that "Philby's American wife Eleanor, a native of Seattle, is somewhat revealing of his character and possible motivation. Although heavily ghosted and written in an appalling woman's magazine style ..., there are some nuggets."
Philby, Harold A.R. ("Kim"). My Silent War. London: MacGibbon & Kee,1968. New York: Grove Press, 1968. New York: Dell, 1968. [pb] 2d ed. My Silent War: The Soviet Master Spy's Own Story. New York: Ballantine, 1983.
Pforzheimer notes that this book "was written in Moscow after Philby's defection.... It is basically ... designed to further Moscow's aims in a classic example of Soviet disinformation.... The book must be read with care." To Constantinides, the book is not "mendacious but highly selective, with the purpose of causing mischief." Nonetheless, "Philby included some rich detail of SIS procedures and on SIS personnel and relationships." Cecil, I&NS 9.4 (1994), complains of the "listing [of] ... tedious detail [and] errors both of fact and interpretation in Kim's text." Wise, The New Republic, 25 May 1968, suggests that "each sentence must be examined through the prism of 'the Soviet interest.'"
See also, Edward D.R. Harrison, "Some Reflections on Kim Philby's 'My Silent War' as a Historical Source," in Intelligence, Defence, and Diplomacy: British Policy in the Post-war World, eds. Richard James Aldrich and Michael Francis Hopkins, 205-225 (London: Cass, 1994); and Edward D.R. Harrison, "More thoughts on Kim Philby's My Silent War," . Intelligence and National Security 10 (1995): 514-25.
Philby, Rufina, Mikhail Lyubimov, and Hayden Peake. The Private Life of Kim Philby: The Moscow Years. London: St Ermin's, 1999. London: Little, Brown, 1999. New York: Fromm, 2000. New York: Little, Brown, 2003. [pb]
Clark comment: Philby's Russian wife from their marriage in 1970 to his death in 1988 tells her story. There is no real insight here to Philby the Spy, but seemingly honest glimpses of Philby the Expatriate, not even trusted by his KGB masters, come through. For Legvold, FA 79.3 (May-Jun. 2000), Rufina Philby "gives a simple account of their cloistered, privileged, but torpid existence.... One ... gets a good sense of what his existence was like under the perpetually watchful eye of the KGB."
A Publisher's Weekly, 1 May 2000, review notes that "[e]xcept for disclosing that her husband did 'an occasional job for the KGB' during his Moscow years, [Rufina Philby's] chronicle of marital domesticity sheds little light on Philby's political activities behind the Iron Curtain." The work includes some previously unpublished writings by Kim Philby and Hayden Peake's "useful, scholarly bibliographic essay [that] coolly reassesses the Philby saga by sifting the myths and distortions in a slew of books and articles."
Jonkers, AFIO WIN 37-00 (15 Sep. 2000), also points to the significance of Peake's bibliographic essay: "If there is a redeeming quality to the book, it is in the part written by ... Hayden Peake.... He provides an essay entitled 'The Philby Literature,' and covers the voluminous and contentious books on Philby in 157 annotated entries, divided in three sections -- case histories, books primarily devoted to Philby, and memoirs or intelligence-service histories that pertain to him.... Without Peake's contribution, the book would not be worth mentioning."
Schecter, I&NS 15.3, comments that "Peake's skillful, dedicated and fascinating exegesis of the Philby literature sheds new light on the man and the myths around him." This sentiment is shared by Bath, NIPQ, Summer 2001, who suggests that "[a]nyone coming late to the Philby story will find [Peake's] introduction to its vast literature invaluable."
1. "Living with the Ghost of a Traitor." Telegraph (London), 17 Jan. 1998. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]
The author reports on a visit to Philby's Russian widow, Rufina, who met Philby "in 1970, when she was 38, on a blind date organised by the Russian wife of the other MI6 double agent, George Blake.... He was a wreck: 21 years older than Rufina, lonely, unable to speak Russian and a drunkard." She has published a Russian memoir of Philby, entitled "I Did It My Way."
2. "Pimms and Marmalade Helped Philby Survive." Telegraph (London), 19 Jan. 1998. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]
According to his fourth wife, Rufina, Kim Philby "kept homesickness at bay with regular supplies of marmalade, Pimms No 1, lime pickle and Gitanes cigarettes.... [T]o supplement her meagre Russian pension, [Rufina Philby] sold off some of his personal effects in 1994, raising £150,000."
Riley, Morris. Philby: The Hidden Years. Castle Gate, UK: United Writers Publication, 1990.
Surveillant 1.3 notes that this book has been involved in lawsuits. It was originally withdrawn to remove references to British journalist Patrick Seale. The book "covers major intelligence operations in the Middle East in which Philby was involved."
Seale, Patrick, and Maureen McConville. Philby: The Long Road to Moscow. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1973. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973. 2d ed. New York: Penguin, 1978. [pb]
For Pforzheimer, this is a "journalistic account ... [that] has been overtaken by later information which throws doubts on some of the authors' judgments and factual data." Constantinides notes that the authors focus mainly on "Philby the man, his life and his motives," rather than on what he accomplished as a Soviet agent.
Smith, Thomas T. "The Bodden Line: A Case Study in Wartime Technology." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 2 (Apr. 1991): 447- 457.
The author finds little evidence for the actual existence of the Bodden Line, a system of infrared ship detectors supposedly installed by the Germans to monitor passage through the Straits of Gibraltar. "Most accounts give the credit for detecting Bodden to Kim Philby." (fn. 2) The existence of Bodden is mentioned both by Hinsley, British Intelligence, vol. 2, pp. 719-720, and Jones, Most Secret War, p. 255. (fn. 3).
Ralph Erskine, "Eavesdropping on 'Bodden': ISOS v. the Abwehr in the Straits of Gibralter," Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 3 (Jul. 1997),110-129, argues that there is "no room for doubt that 'Bodden' used infra-red." With regard to Smith's article, Erskine notes that "most of the documents cited" in "Eavesdropping on 'Bodden'" -- "in particular, unusually extensive Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) papers -- were not available" when Smith wrote. (p. 124, fn. 1)
Trevor-Roper, Hugh R. The Philby Affair: Espionage, Treason, and Secret Services. London: Kimber, 1968.
Clark comment: The title of this book is somewhat misleading, not for what is mentioned but for what is lacking. There are two parts to this book, one on Philby and SIS and a second on Admiral Canaris. To Pforzheimer, the former is "an excellent and perceptive essay" and the latter is "interesting." Constantinides views the part of the book on Philby as "a first-class piece of work" that includes "perceptive and sometimes brilliant observations on Philby." He notes Trevor-Roper's argument that "not one great intelligence triumph of the war was directly or exclusively due to SIS agents." Trevor-Roper also "puts Canaris's work in perspective ('as ineffective in conspiracy as in intelligence')."
Warren, Marcus. "The Perfect Spy, the Perfect Husband." Telegraph (London), 16 Aug. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]
The author interviewed Rufina Philby at the Moscow apartment where she and Kim Philby lived for 11 years.
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