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by Genrikh Borovik,Phillip Knightley

Download The Philby Files: The Secret Life of Master Spy Kim Philby fb2, epub

ISBN: 0316102849
Author: Genrikh Borovik,Phillip Knightley
Language: English
Publisher: Little Brown & Co (October 1, 1994)
Pages: 382
Category: Military
Subcategory: History
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 625
Size Fb2: 1174 kb
Size ePub: 1780 kb
Size Djvu: 1792 kb
Other formats: mbr lrf lit mobi


The Philby Files book.

The Philby Files book.

Borovik also provides a fascinating glimpse into the years in which Philby, who had resigned from MI6 under suspicion after Burgess and Maclean had defected to Moscow, was rehired by British Intelligence as an agent in Beirut (a touchy subject about which most books are reticent). Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the book, however, is its depiction of the dilemma in which Philby found himself-indeed, Burgess and Blunt found themselves in the same pickle-when the information he provided was judged by the KGB to be "too good" to be believed!

Genrikh Averyanovich Borovik (Russian: Ге́нрих Аверьянович Борови́к; born 16 November 1929 in Minsk) is a Soviet and Russian publicist, writer, playwright . The Philby Files: The Secret Life of Master Spy Kim Philby.

Genrikh Averyanovich Borovik (Russian: Ге́нрих Аверьянович Борови́к; born 16 November 1929 in Minsk) is a Soviet and Russian publicist, writer, playwright and filmmaker, the father of journalist Artyom Borovik  .

Looking for Mr Nobody: The Secret Life of Goronwy Rees by Jenny Rees . Kim Philby is apparently talking

Looking for Mr Nobody: The Secret Life of Goronwy Rees by Jenny Rees Weidenfeld, 291 pp, £1. 9, October 1994, ISBN 0 297 81430 3. While I was still reading these books, and thinking about them, I chanced to have two annoying near-KGB experiences. Kim Philby is apparently talking

Soviet spy Kim Philby, discreet to the last, speaks at length here about his career without saying much new, but his KGB file is more revealing.

Soviet spy Kim Philby, discreet to the last, speaks at length here about his career without saying much new, but his KGB file is more revealing. This is particularly fruitful for the first part of Philby's career, since for some unexplained reason the file does not continue beyond the early years of WW II, after which Philby's recollections, mostly repetitive of his own book, are supplemented by the recollections of a former KGB agent in London who didn't work with Philby at all.

Philby, Kim, 1912-, Spies, Espionage, Soviet, Secret service. Originally published: Philby, the life and times of a . Books for People with Print Disabilities. London: A Deutsch, 1988. Internet Archive Books.

ISBN: 0394578902 (Philby, Kim, Spies, Espionage, Secret Service).

The Master Spy: The Story Of Kim Philby. ISBN: 0394578902 (Philby, Kim, Spies, Espionage, Secret Service).

THE PHILBY FILES The Secret Life of Master Spy Kim Philby. Although the same characters are present in "The Philby Files," and the two books somewhat complement each other, Genrikh Borovik's emphasis is primarily on Philby. And there is another big difference. 382 pp. Boston: Little, Brown & Company. to unlock its files on the Cambridge ring for him.

Genrikh Averyanovich Borovik (Russian: Ге́нрих Аверьянович Борови́к; born 16 November 1929 in Minsk) is a. .The Philby Files: The Secret Life of Master Spy Kim Philby ISBN 0-316-10284-9

Genrikh Averyanovich Borovik (Russian: Ге́нрих Аверьянович Борови́к; born 16 November 1929 in Minsk) is a Soviet and Russian publicist, writer, playwright and filmmaker, the father of journalist Artyom Borovik  . The Philby Files: The Secret Life of Master Spy Kim Philby ISBN 0-316-10284-9.

Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with Kim Philby and unique access to his KGB files, a noted journalist offers an intricate portrait of the Cold War's most notorious Soviet spy, answering many enduring questions about his espionage career.

Comments:

Arihelm
This was the third book I read that focused on Philby. (The other two books: Phillip Knightley's valuable book "Philby: The Life and Views of the KGB Masterspy" [based on interviews with Philby in Russia] and Philby's own very readable book "My Silent War"). Amazon has a very good review of "The Philby Files" already posted ("An Intriguing Piece of the Philby Puzzle" by F. S. L'hoir, 5/16/05) and I will just add some to what that writer wrote. In addition to being granted access to the remarkable information in Philby's KGB files and interviewing Philby in Russia for many hours, the Russian author also interviewed Yuri Modin who, as a KGB agent, worked with Burgess, Blunt and Cairncross. Among other things, Modin gives valuable insights into the defections of Burgess and Maclain, revealing that it was the KGB that was responsible for Burgess' one-way flight to Russia, which had a big hand in destroying Philby's intelligence career. (Philby always blamed Burgess for his defection.) As well as revealing the KGB's mistrust of Philby for a period of time, and previously unknown details about the Burgess/Maclain defections, the book reveals details about the recruitments of Maclain and Burgess. Borovik also gives a good picture of the Stalin era, during which several of Philby's Russian handlers were called back to Russia and executed as "spies." For those who have not read other books on Philby, the well-written book gives a pretty good overview of the Philby story. Perhaps unavoidably, the book repeats a number of details that are in the other two books I read, which made for boring reading at times. In spite of that, because of the new information the author uncovers, this book is a "must read" for anyone seriously interested in Philby and/or the Cambridge spies.
Tall
Genrikh Borovik's absorbing account of the life and times of Kim Philby is especially compelling. Based upon a combination of personal interviews with the Cambridge spy during the last years of his life and a comparison of his reminiscences with the actual KGB files (which Philby was never allowed to see), the book offers new insights to the career of a man who was as enigmatic as he was charming (characteristics about which both his friends and enemies were in agreement).

Borovik, a Russian journalist (who seems to be a cross between Tom Brokaw and Phil Donahue), was able to get access both to Philby and to the KGB files because of Glasnost. He is no apologist for the old communist regime, nor is he flummoxed by the Philby charm. Borovik lets the reader know when his subject has not been completely candid with him on a particular topic. Nevertheless, the author presents a sympathetic portrait of a man (with a delightful sense of humor) who may have betrayed his country (during the Cold War) but never betrayed his ideals.

Borovik also provides a fascinating glimpse into the years in which Philby, who had resigned from MI6 under suspicion after Burgess and Maclean had defected to Moscow, was rehired by British Intelligence as an agent in Beirut (a touchy subject about which most books are reticent).

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the book, however, is its depiction of the dilemma in which Philby found himself--indeed, Burgess and Blunt found themselves in the same pickle--when the information he provided was judged by the KGB to be "too good" to be believed! British Intelligence could not have been so "unprofessional that they failed to notice that Soviet agents were carrying out documents from SIS by the suitcase [.]" (p. 213). Philby had to have been a double agent, as did the other two (For some reason, they never doubted Maclean.). Moscow's obsession that Philby and the others were British plants stemmed from the fact that when the agents were continually asked how many British spies were working in Russia, and the (truthful) answer was always "none," they were never believed. For years, in fact, Philby and the others were hounded by the KGB and forced to write endless time-wasting reports on the (non-existent) "main issue," the number of British agents in the Soviet Union. Philby's answer remained unwavering: "There are no British agents in the Soviet Union.". Although this cloud of suspicion would eventually dispel, it would nevertheless materialize from time to time and cast its shadow on Kim Philby even after his defection, depending upon who was in power in Moscow.

Borovik's account of the death of Kim Philby, who served the Soviet Union for some thirty years, is both moving and ironic. As the author observes on page 375, "Three and a half years [after his death], the country to which he had devoted his life ceased to exist."
Lavivan
Genrikh Borovik's "The Philby Files," now more than two decades old, remains one of the most enjoyable – if not always reliable – books on Kim Philby. Writing in a thoughtful, at times skeptical tone, Borovik provides evidence for how the USSR could be its own worst enemy, as for example when it effectively blinded itself with the purges of the late '30s. Institutional memory was wiped out to such a degree that Moscow Center had to ask surviving lower-level agents to remind them just who Philby and the other Cambridge recruits were.

Among the most interesting chapters are the ones where Borovik tries to lay to rest any lingering suspicions that Philby may have been a triple agent, only pretending to work for the Soviets while feeding them disinformation. While it is hardly surprising that "Sonny" was never completely trusted, professional skepticism is one thing, unremitting distrust another. Stalin suffered from the paranoid's greatest fear – that of being insufficiently suspicious. So if Philby, Burgess, Maclean and the rest turned over nothing on British penetration of the USSR, that was itself evidence of their duplicity. And if they turned over a wealth of evidence on other matters, that was simply more evidence of the same. Harboring doubts was a virtue, and acting on trust was in Stalin's view "the sickness of idiots." (pg. 213)

As it played out, Moscow first suspected Philby of being a German plant, then of working for the British. The re-direction coincided with the abrupt re-orientation of Stalin's policy in 1939, away from hostility towards Hitler to cooperation with him, and heightened distrust of London. The implications were clear, at least to the cleverest intelligence analysts in Moscow Center, who made sure their views always stayed in sync with the shifting views of the leadership. They figured out what needed to be proved, and looked around for ways to supply the evidence. Something that has never happened in Washington, thank goodness.

From Moscow's point of view, the passivity of the British was simply inexplicable. One who inadvertently fed their suspicion was Philby himself. Maintaining, as he consistently did, that the "SIS was not engaged in any subversive and espionage work against the Soviet Union" before 1944 was not likely to persuade many people in the Kremlin. (pg. 193) And yet he kept on reporting what they did not want to hear and refused to believe. In these years, the main threats to agents such as Philby came not from British counter-intelligence but from their own Center, from "their own people." (pg. 203) When an informant does not provide the information that is expected and desired, it is of little comfort to be proven correct years later.

Borovik quotes words of wisdom from Philby, making him echo Graham Greene. "We tend to look for a solid logical line in the various cleaner decisions of the intelligence services. But every such decision involved the human factor. And that means that you can never exclude the possibility of a mistake, simple stupidity, as in chess. By the way, that is the great lack in spy novels, where the authors write their plots, even complicated ones, very logically. The most complicated logical construction is predictable and expected. These writers exclude the human factor, that is, error, in their work. There is only one writer who writes about intelligence with the human factor always present. That, of course, is Graham Greene. There is always some completely illogical, unexpected thing in his books. That's why they are all so truthful and human." (pg. 323)

So why question the book's reliability? First off, some of the quotations provided here, said to have been written in English originally, sound very much like translations from Russian. Let's look, for example, at this one from near the end of the book (pg. 372). According to Borovik, in "The Quiet American" we find this description of Pyle: "He is absolutely convinced of his righteousness and absolutely indifferent." To my ear, this does not sound like a sentence Graham Greene would have written. And indeed, though the absence of footnotes makes it difficult to check Borovik's source, a perusal of the novel reveals no such passage.

What one does find, however, is Greene's original – and rather different – sentence (near the end of Part Three): "He was impregnably armoured by his good intentions and his ignorance." This is a key sentence in the novel, one that sums up Pyle's character, yet his initial "ignorance" has been turned into "indifferent," which obviously is not quite the same. It seems that what happened was that Greene's original text was translated fairly accurately for the Russian edition of his novel, then for Borovik's book this sentence was retranslated (by Antonina Bouis) back into English, with some resultant distortion.

Next, take Philby's lecture to KGB officers which Borovik alleges he delivered at their club in 1977. According to his summary, Philby "talked about the five-year plan he had developed for himself before leaving for Istanbul as the SIS chief in Turkey," a schedule that was later put aside due to the pressure of work. He goes on to joke about being "certain that this could never have happened at the KGB, where planned work was the basis of everything." Borovik adds, "The response of the 500 agents in the audience was a roar of laughter." He concludes by having Philby say he knew that the Moscow "Centre undoubtedly needed him." (pg. 362)

All this bears little resemblance to the lecture that Philby actually presented. Let us leave aside the minor error of location (it was delivered at KGB headquarters in Yasenovo, in Moscow's suburbs, not the officers' club downtown, which was the site of his wake in 1988). More importantly, the original 14-page text, based on Philby's own typescript and printed in Rufina Philby's memoir "The Private Life of Kim Philby," differs markedly from the summary provided by Borovik. In fact, about the only point of similarity is that in both versions Philby told a joke which went over well. So either there were two different lectures (something no one has ever maintained), or there is some disinformation here. (Readers can find more detail at my site hamiltonbeck dot wordpress dot com.)

In short, "The Philby Files" is a good read, as long as you don't probe too deeply into the details. While his book may be vivid, on some matters, Borovik was misinformed at best. Neither the story nor the translation can be considered 100% reliable. Use with caution.

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