Our Collection

The Man Who Might Have Been: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Herbert Norman

Top of page

On April 4, 1957, Herbert Norman, the Canadian ambassador to Egypt, leapt to his death from a Cairo rooftop. During his remarkable life, Norman helped set the course of post-war Japan and played a key role during the Suez crisis. But with all of his talents and achievements, there was something haunting Herbert Norman and following him to every corner of the globe: the accusation that he was a Soviet spy. Director John Kramer's chilling and revealing documentary The Man Who Might Have Been: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Herbert Norman takes us back to a time when the Cold War was heating up and when the mere accusation of communist sympathies could destroy a man's career. Using declassified documents, interviews with key players and dramatizations filmed around the world, Kramer reconstructs the ordeal that Norman endured for seven long years, as a US Senate subcommittee relentlessly probed his past beliefs and current loyalties. During his meteoric rise and fall, Norman crossed paths with some of the greatest personalities of his time: Nobel-prize winning Canadian diplomat and politician Lester B. Pearson; FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, whose organization had an 800-page security file on Norman; General Douglas MacArthur, to whom Norman was a trusted aide; and charismatic Egyptian leader Gamel Abdul Nasser.

,

Top of page