John Le Carré: The Tailor of Panama (3513 words)


In 1958, Graham Greene published Our Man in Havana in which he satirizes the British Secret Service for its eagerness to accept unvetted intelligence from local sources. Our man is James Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman in pre-Castro Cuba who, strapped for money to support his spendthrift daughter, creates a subnetwork of fictitious agents and sells schematics to expensive vacuum models to an overly eager MI6 agent, Hawthorne. When exposed, Wormold is deported to London where MI5 sets him up in a teaching position and recommends him for the Order of the British Empire. Inspired by Greene’s novel, John le Carré, pseudonym for John David Moore Cornwell, published a far darker version of this basic plot as The …

Citation: Beene, LynnDianne. "The Tailor of Panama". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 July 2021 [, accessed 09 August 2022.]

7880 The Tailor of Panama 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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