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John le Carré and the Cold War explores the historical contexts and political implications of le Carré's major Cold-War novels. The first in-depth study of le Carré this century, this book analyses his work in light of key topics in 20th-century history, including containment of Communism, decolonization, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban missile crisis, the Cambridge spy-ring, the Vietnam War, the 70s oil crisis and Thatcherism. Examining The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974), Smiley's People (1979) and other novels, this book offers an illuminating picture of Cold-War Britain, while situating le Carré's work alongside that of George Orwell, Graham Greene and Ian Fleming. Providing a valuable contribution to contemporary understandings of both British spy fiction and post-war fiction, Toby Manning challenges the critical consensus to reveal a considerably less radical writer than is conventionally presented.