Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Five best books about the secrets of espionage

Jonathan Miles is the author, most recently, of The Dangerous Otto Katz: The Many Lives of a Soviet Spy.

For the Wall Street Journal, he named a five best list of books on the secrets of espionage. One title on the list:
Anthony Blunt: His Lives
by Miranda Carter (2001)

A heroic attempt to sort the man from myth, misinformation and self-serving memoirs. Miranda Carter ably comprehends the complexity of the person behind Anthony Blunt's masks: scholar, aesthete, Soviet spy. Exploring characteristics that bedevil many high-flying traitors—self-absorption or the bored intellectual's capacity to become intoxicated by the challenge of deception—"Anthony Blunt: His Lives" is a biography in the fullest sense of the word. Spy fans might question the attention Carter devotes to Blunt's work as an art historian, but this is an important element in the excoriation of the lives of a double-dealer who penetrated to the Royal heartlands of the British establishment. The book demonstrates that the warmth of Blunt's aesthetic enthusiasms and sexual excesses proved unable to thaw his glacial, traitorous nature.
Read about another book on Miles's list.

--Marshal Zeringue