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How ordinary people are convinced to become spies

By Chris Smith, Lecturer in History, Coventry University
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A new film starring Benedict Cumberbatch, The Courier, tells the story of the salesman, Grenville Wynne, caught up in the murky world of espionage during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This follows recent news that David Smith, a 57-year-old and apparently normal security guard at the British embassy in Berlin, had been spying for Russia. So why do seemingly ordinary people become spies?

In 1988 the…


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