How to pronounce Ben Macintyre: mackin-tire
Ben Macintyre is a columnist and Associate Editor on The Times. He has worked as the newspaper's correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He is the author of nine books including Agent Zigzag, shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and the Galaxy British Book Award for Biography of the Year 2008, the bestseller Operation Mincemeat and, the Richard & Judy Book Club selection, Double Cross. He lives in London with his wife and three children.
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A Q&A with Author Ben Macintyre about A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
What inspired you to turn your hand to Kim Philbygreatest spy of the Cold Warand, in particular, through the lens of his closest relationships and greatest betrayals?
A Spy Among Friends was born out of a conversation with John le Carré some years ago, in which I asked himwhile walking on Hampstead Heathwhich was the best untold spy story of the Cold War, and he replied unhesitatingly, "The friendship between Kim Philby and Nicholas Elliott."
Did you make an effort to read other books or watch movies about Kim Philby before you wrote this book? Are there any others you'd recommend after reading A Spy Among Friends?
There are several excellent books about Kim Philby, and almost no good films. Of the straight biographies, Phillip Knightley's Philby: KGB Masterspy is probably still the best, having the benefit of several interviews with Philby before his death. Oddly, Philby has inspired more great fiction, on the page and on-screen, than good nonfiction.
Where (or how) did you conduct most of your research, and did you encounter any difficulties or roadblocks along the way?
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