Kim Philby's life and career has inspired an entire literary genre: the spy novel of betrayal. Philby was one of the leaders of the British counter-intelligence efforts, first against the Nazis, then against the Soviet Union. He was also the KGB's most valuable double-agent, so highly regarded that his image is on the postage stamps of the Russian Federation even today.
Before he was exposed, Philby was the mentor of James Jesus Angleton, one of the central figures in the early years of the CIA who became the long-serving chief of the counter-intelligence staff of the Agency.
James Angleton and Kim Philby were friends for six years, or so Angleton thought. Then they were enemies for the rest of their lives. This is the story of their intertwined careers and a betrayal that would have dramatic and irrevocable effects on the Cold War and US-Soviet relations, and have a direct effect on the shape and culture of the CIA in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Spanning the globe, from London and Washington DC, to Rome and Istanbul, Spies and Traitors gets to the heart of one of the most important and flawed personal relationships in modern history.
By Michael Holzman. Published by Pegasus Books, 2021. Hardcover, 352 pages.