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The greatest irony is that it was to George Smiley, modelled largely on Bingham, that le Carr owed his success. London Review of Books
Following the film success of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy John le Carr's hero George Smiley has come to be seen as the perfect spy. Le Carr revealed shortly before the Iraq War that the model for Smiley was the author and MI5 officer John Bingham, 7th Baron Clanmorris. Michael Jago's brilliant account of his life is not just the story of a great intriguer; it is also of a portrait of the emotions behind the darkest human behavior.