Kim Philby, one of the most famous spies of all time, was a member of the so-called Cambridge Spy Ring. Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and Philby all met while at Cambridge University and were recruited in the 1930s to become agents of the Soviets' NKVD security agency––which later became the KGB. As was common for Cambridge graduates, they gained important places in British government. Burges, Blunt and Philby joined the MI-5 and MI-6 intelligence agencies during World War II, and Maclean was in the Foreign Office.
|Maclean and Burgess|
|St. John Philby|
|Soviet stamp commemorating Philby|
Though I'm an avid reader of Cold War espionage books––fiction and nonfiction––I haven't previously read any of Littell's books, which include The Company: A Novel of the CIA, The Sisters and The Once and Future Spy. After reading Young Philby, that now seems like a regrettable oversight––and one that I will remedy as soon as possible.
Young Philby was published on November 13, 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin's Press.
Note: A version of this review may appear on Amazon and other sites under my user names there.