May 15, 1988 |
H.A.R. (Kim) Philby is dead. Or is he? Has he been for some time? In the wilderness of mirrors that constitutes what spy-watchers call the "second oldest profession," Philby was always another reflection of his real self. His life was continuous deception. Is his death? As a blue-blooded English undergraduate, recruited into the "Cambridge Comintern" of potential Soviet moles in 1933, Philby joined a Nazi organization--the Anglo-German Fellowship--to disguise his true role as a Soviet agent.
August 14, 1987 |
"The Whistle Blower" (scheduled to open in Orange County on Aug. 21 at Lido Cinema in Newport Beach) has all the trappings of a handsome, traditional-style British spy thriller, but it evolves into a powerful protest drama with striking parallels to Costa-Gavras' "Missing."
March 14, 1986 |
Besides their ability to spin a good yarn, John le Carre, Graham Greene, Ian Fleming and W. Somerset Maugham have something else in common: All were British intelligence officers. Their books have spread through the world a pervasive fictionalized version of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, but the real SIS is still the most secretive of the world's espionage agencies.
August 11, 1985 |
At first glance, one may well ask, what kind of book is this? Because it consists for almost its entire length solely of thumbnail biographical sketches and analyses of the leading figures in the world of espionage over the last several decades. Sometimes these run a couple of pages. More often, they run only a few paragraphs. Then the rest of the book is very brief descriptions of the leading intelligence services around the world and the most important intelligence techniques.
May 12, 1985 |
Writing about spies, or intelligence operations in general, is a risky business, because the reliability of the information is almost always in doubt. There are circles within circles in the intelligence community, and sorting out truth from falsehood frequently is beyond the ability of even the most skillful, discerning outside investigator. When, on top of that, authors resort to surmise and conjecture to flesh out an uncertain story, let the reader beware.