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John le Carre and the Cold War


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Table of Contents

Dedication Acknowledgements Introduction: 'A Nation's Political Health' The enemy The state The nation Cold-War consensus to critical consensus Chapter 1. 'Murderers and Spies': The Communist Threat and Call for the Dead 'Mass philosophy': The Cold-War enemy 'A symbol of nothing at all': The British state 'Deep love of England': Imagining the nation 'Who was then the gentleman?': Nation, state and enemy Chapter 2. 'Breeze Blocks and Barbed Wire': The Berlin Wall and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold 'Party Terms': The communist enemy 'Not quite a gentleman': Leamas and the classless British nation 'We are defensive': English empiricism, ideology and the British state Chapter 3. 'Looking at His Own Reflection': The Establishment and The Looking Glass War 'A sort of Cuba situation': Reflections of the enemy 'Government hirings': The Department, the Circus and the British state 'The mystery of England': The nation and class Chapter 4. 'Holding the World Together': The Cambridge Spies and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 'The imminent collapse of the nation': England and the establishment 'Russians taken over the government': The infiltrated British state 'Fanaticism' and 'mindless treason': Enemy characterization 'Haydon's crooked deathmask': State, nation and enemy Chapter 5. 'All One Vanishing World': The Honourable Schoolboy, Colonialism and Communism 'Her colonial grip': Britain, the Empire and the special relationship 'A spreading plague': Communism and Southeast Asia Chapter 6. 'Only People': Humanism, Populism, the Second Cold War and Smiley's People 'Deniable blessing': Smiley and the British state 'British to the core': Smiley's tour of the nation 'The danger is absolute": Karla and communism 'Half-angels' and 'half-devils': Smiley, Karla and the Cold War Conclusion: 'Man, Not the Mass' The enemy The state The nation Appendix I: Plot Synopses Bibliography Index

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Examines the political, historical and literary contexts of John le Carre's Cold War novels, from The Spy Who Came in from the Cold to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

About the Author

Toby Manning has taught at Queen Mary University, Brunel University and the University of Birmingham, UK. A former journalist, he is also the author of The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd (2006).


An analysis inspired by venerated figures of 20th-century Marxist literary criticism. This reappraisal of the popular novelist's oeuvre incorporates a fan's enthusiasm with the literary scholar's eye for ideological complexity. Summing Up: Recommended. * CHOICE *
John le Carre and the Cold War is highly informative and loaded with historical context. * Times Literary Supplement *
Manning's study proves to be an important contribution to le Carre scholarship and to criticism of espionage ?ction as a whole. Its signi?cance lies also in laying the foundations for future research. * Literature & History *
An important contribution to work on spy fiction and its contexts. * Rosie White, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Literature, Theory and Popular Culture, Northumbria University, UK *
Confidently in command of his materials, Toby Manning has produced a carefully compiled dossier on the historical and political valence of Le Carre's central fiction. His finely nuanced interpretations radiate with an authority indicative of a keen grasp of the literary imagination and a judicious depth of learning. * Alan Wald, H. Chandler Davis Collegiate Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, USA *

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