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Characterizing Kim Philby Open Access

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Harold "Kim" Philby was a double agent in the British Secret Service during the 1940's and 50's. Eventually officials uncovered his treasonous activities, and he fled to Moscow in 1963. But Philby was not to be disposed of so easily. Historians, journalists, and novelists wrote their own versions of the Philby affair for world-wide audiences. Novelists John le Carré and Graham Greene used his story as a foundation for their novels. Philby became a cult figure, and it became impossible to separate the person from the image. His story became part of the story of the Cold War. The political and diplomatic history of the conflict cannot be extricated from its history in popular culture and public perception. The Iron Curtain has fallen, Philby has passed on, but his story will shape the history of Cold War intelligence for generations to come.

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