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Ben Macintyre

The Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography

3 January 2017

The Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography was established in 2003 in affectionate memory of Elizabeth Longford, the acclaimed biographer.

The £5000 prize is awarded annually for a historical biography published in the preceding year. The 2015 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography will be awarded to Ben Macintyre for A Spy Among Friends on Thursday 25 June at the Society of Authors annual awards party, at The Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall.

The judges this year were Antonia Fraser, Flora Fraser, David Gilmour, Munro Price and Roy Foster (Chair). Speaking on behalf of the judges, Roy Foster said:

"Ben Macintyre's book analyses psychology and social history as well as decoding the world of the spy with the precision of Le Carré. His sparkling style and sharp wit should not distract from the fact that A Spy Among Friends does what serious historical biography ought to do: it illuminates an individual's life and actions by locating them, with scholarly care and insight, firmly within the context of their times."

A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre
Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. Philby's two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all. This is a story of intimate duplicity; of loyalty, trust and treachery, class and conscience; of an ideological battle waged by men with cut-glass accents and well-made suits in the comfortable clubs and restaurants of London and Washington; of male friendships forged, and then systematically betrayed.

This title is available to purchase in large print and unabridged CD and MP3 CD formats.