Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire

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9780007457977: Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire

Against the backdrop of the Cold War and the looming specter of Soviet dominance in Britain's dwindling colonial possessions, the imperial intelligence service MI5 played a crucial but virtually unseen role in tipping the scales in favor of America and her allies.

Working clandestinely behind the scenes, MI5 operatives helped to prop up newly independent states across the globe against a ceaseless campaign of Communist subversion. Though the CIA are often assumed to be the principal actors in the prolonged struggle against the KGB and other Soviet agencies, the so-called "special relationship" between Britain and the United States became the driving force behind an enormous overhaul of Britain's colonial intelligence system, which would play a key role in destabilizing and defeating the Communist threat.

In Empire of Secrets, pioneering intelligence historian Calder Walton reveals how Britain contributed largely silently yet stunningly effectively to the Cold War effort, their victories as invisible to the larger world as their defeats. Mining recently declassified intelligence records, Walton uncovers this missing link in Britain's post-war history. He sheds new light on everything from violent counterinsurgencies fought by British forces in the jungles of Malaya and Kenya, to urban warfare campaigns conducted in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. Drawing on a wealth of top-secret documents, as well as hitherto overlooked personal papers, this is the first book to utilize records from the Foreign Office's secret archive, which contains some of the darkest and most shameful secrets from the last days of Britain's empire.

Packed with incidents straight out of a John le Carre novel, Empire of Secrets is an exhilarating read by an exciting new voice in intelligence history. The stories here have chilling contemporary resonance, dealing with the use and abuse of intelligence by governments -- state-sanctioned terrorism, wartime rendition, and "enhanced" interrogation. Britain's bloody imperial past can provide valuable lessons for our present and future.

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Product Description:

The winner of the 2013 Longman-History Today Book Prize is the gripping and largely untold story of the role of the intelligence services in Britain's retreat from empire. Against the background of the Cold War, and the looming spectre of Soviet-sponsored subversion in Britain's dwindling colonial possessions, the imperial intelligence service MI5 played a crucial but top secret role in passing power to newly independent national states across the globe. Mining recently declassified intelligence records, Calder Walton reveals this 'missing link' in Britain's post-war history. He sheds new light on everything from violent counter-insurgencies fought by British forces in the jungles of Malaya and Kenya, to urban warfare campaigns conducted in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. Drawing on a wealth of previously classified documents, as well as hitherto overlooked personal papers, this is also the first book to draw on records from the Foreign Office's secret archive at Hanslope Park, which contains some of the darkest and most shameful secrets from the last days of Britain's empire. Packed with incidents straight out of a John le Carre novel, Empire of Secrets is an exhilarating read by an exciting new voice in intelligence history.

About the Author:

Calder Walton is a leading expert among a new generation of intelligence historians. He has published widely on intelligence history and contributed to a number of books on British foreign policy and international relations. While completing a PhD in history at Trinity College, Cambridge, and then a post-doctoral Fellowship at Darwin College, Cambridge, he was one of the principal researchers on Christopher Andrew's unprecedented authorised history of MI5. He lives in London, where he works as a barrister. This is his first book.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The winner of the 2013 Longman-History Today Book Prize is the gripping and largely untold story of the role of the intelligence services in Britain s retreat from empire. Against the background of the Cold War, and the looming spectre of Soviet-sponsored subversion in Britain s dwindling colonial possessions, the imperial intelligence service MI5 played a crucial but top secret role in passing power to newly independent national states across the globe. Mining recently declassified intelligence records, Calder Walton reveals this missing link in Britain s post-war history. He sheds new light on everything from violent counter-insurgencies fought by British forces in the jungles of Malaya and Kenya, to urban warfare campaigns conducted in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. Drawing on a wealth of previously classified documents, as well as hitherto overlooked personal papers, this is also the first book to draw on records from the Foreign Office s secret archive at Hanslope Park, which contains some of the darkest and most shameful secrets from the last days of Britain s empire. Packed with incidents straight out of a John le Carre novel, Empire of Secrets is an exhilarating read by an exciting new voice in intelligence history. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007457977

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The winner of the 2013 Longman-History Today Book Prize is the gripping and largely untold story of the role of the intelligence services in Britain s retreat from empire. Against the background of the Cold War, and the looming spectre of Soviet-sponsored subversion in Britain s dwindling colonial possessions, the imperial intelligence service MI5 played a crucial but top secret role in passing power to newly independent national states across the globe. Mining recently declassified intelligence records, Calder Walton reveals this missing link in Britain s post-war history. He sheds new light on everything from violent counter-insurgencies fought by British forces in the jungles of Malaya and Kenya, to urban warfare campaigns conducted in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. Drawing on a wealth of previously classified documents, as well as hitherto overlooked personal papers, this is also the first book to draw on records from the Foreign Office s secret archive at Hanslope Park, which contains some of the darkest and most shameful secrets from the last days of Britain s empire. Packed with incidents straight out of a John le Carre novel, Empire of Secrets is an exhilarating read by an exciting new voice in intelligence history. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007457977

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire, Calder Walton, The winner of the 2013 Longman-History Today Book Prize is the gripping and largely untold story of the role of the intelligence services in Britain's retreat from empire. Against the background of the Cold War, and the looming spectre of Soviet-sponsored subversion in Britain's dwindling colonial possessions, the imperial intelligence service MI5 played a crucial but top secret role in passing power to newly independent national states across the globe. Mining recently declassified intelligence records, Calder Walton reveals this 'missing link' in Britain's post-war history. He sheds new light on everything from violent counter-insurgencies fought by British forces in the jungles of Malaya and Kenya, to urban warfare campaigns conducted in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. Drawing on a wealth of previously classified documents, as well as hitherto overlooked personal papers, this is also the first book to draw on records from the Foreign Office's secret archive at Hanslope Park, which contains some of the darkest and most shameful secrets from the last days of Britain's empire. Packed with incidents straight out of a John le Carre novel, Empire of Secrets is an exhilarating read by an exciting new voice in intelligence history. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007457977

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