Cambridge spy Guy Burgess was a supreme networker, with a contacts book that included everyone from statesmen to socialites and high-ranking government officials, to the famous actors and literary figures of the day. He also set a gold standard for conflicts of interest, working variously, and often simultaneously, for the BBC, MI5, MI6, the War Office, the Ministry of Information and the KGB.
For May’s members’ BookNight, we look forward to welcoming Stewart Purvis and Jeff Hulbert on the release of their new book, Guy Burgess: The Spy Who Knew Everyone .
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director George Carey. In April 1953, George Blake returned to Britain as a national hero, one of a small group of British diplomats who returned alive from three hard years as prisoner of the North Koreans. When the new Queen was crowned a couple of months later, he was among the select few invited to celebrate the day in No. 2 Carlton Gardens, a discreet building overlooking the Mall from where the men who ran Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service were watching the royal procession go by. Little did they know that during his time as a prisoner he had become a Communist and decided to work for the KGB. In The Making of a Traitor, director George Carey speaks to Blake’s close acquaintances, historians and other former spies to chronicle his curious history.
Anonymous, a group of hackers, activists and technologists, came to the fore in 2008 when they attacked the church of Scientology. Since then their coordinated collective action has come up against global corporations and supported the Arab revolutionaries, but how much do we know about who they are and what motivates them? Anthropologist and Anonymous confidante, interpreter, and erstwhile mouthpiece, Gabriella Coleman will be with us in conversation with Ben Hammersley, presenter of the new BBC World News series Cybercrime with Ben Hammersley, to shed some light on the motivations and culture of this secretive group.
By George Symonds “Good breeding and good manners are no guarantee of loyalty.” On Friday 11 October 2013, the Frontline Club screened Philby – The Spy Who Went Into the Cold. Kim Philby acted as a Soviet double-agent while serving as chief British intelligence officer in the United States, and while heading MI6’s anti-Soviet section. […]
Veteran director George Carey captures the extraordinary story of the double agent Kim Philby, who served as head of the anti-Soviet section of MI6. Several people who knew him well – in London, Beirut and Moscow – talk frankly about his character, and the weaknesses in the British establishment that made his double life possible. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director George Carey moderated by Nick Fraser.
The recent attempted bombings in London and Glasgow have highlighted the fact that Britain remains a prime target for al-Qaeda. Outside Iraq and Afghanistan, Britain is al-Qaeda’s most popular target, having faced more attempted attacks than any other country. Leaving aside various ineffectual plots, fundraising and propaganda efforts, the so-called Doctors’ Plot was at least […]