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The legacy of le carré's breakthrough book"I had been poor too long, I was drinking a lot, I was beginning to doubt, in the deepest of ways, the wisdom of my choice of job." That, by his own account, was the state of mind of MI6 officer David Cornwell, a.k.a. John le Carré, when he wrote The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, a book that dominated the summer of 1964 and shaped every depiction of espionage that followed.
This appears in the July 7, 2014 issue of TIME.