At the dawn of the Cold War, the world’s most important intelligence agencies—the Soviet KGB, the American CIA, and the British MI6—appeared to have clear-cut roles and a sense of rising importance in their respective countries. But when Kim Philby, head of MI6’s Russian division and arguably the twenty-first century’s greatest spy, was revealed to be a Russian mole along with British government heavyweights Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, everything in the Western intelligence world turned upside down.
Here is the true story of how the American James Bond—the colorful, foulmouthed, pistol-packing, alcoholic ex-FBI agent William “King” Harvey—put the finger on Philby; how James Jesus Angleton, the chain-smoking poet of Yale University and the CIA’s supposed “master spy” in charge of counterintelligence, began his descent into a paranoid wilderness of mirrors upon learning of family friend Kim Philby’s ultimate betrayal; and the devastating consequences of the loss of MI6 prestige and the CIA’s subsequent self-defeating witch hunts.
Every revelation, every stranger-than-fiction twist and turn is all the more intriguing as truths become lies and unlikely scenarios are revealed as reality. With impeccable sourcing and the use of thousands of pages of declassified research, David C. Martin’s Wilderness of Mirrors is widely recognized as a masterpiece of intelligence literature.