Her Majesty's Secret Service

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9780670809417: Her Majesty's Secret Service
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Chronicles the history of the British secret service, probing its influence on foreign and military policy and profiling its key personalities

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From Publishers Weekly:

Andrew, Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, who has been dubbed by the London Times "the leading unofficial historian of British Intelligence," here achieves an impressive analysis of those servicesan especially notable accomplishment since, as he explains, "the entire archives of the intelligence services must remain closed indefinitely." His focus is strategic rather than tactical, scanning the emergence of secret intelligence policy before and during WW I, the intelligence response to the Bolshevik Revolution, undercover operations between world wars against the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and the invaluable work of the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) during WW II. A parade of remarkable and sometimes notorious figures marches vividly throughout these lively pages, including Mansfield Cumming, in whose honor the present head of MI6 is still known as "C" (not "M," as in Ian Fleming's novels), master spy Sidney Reilly and Soviet double agent Kim Philby. But the dominating figure, surprisingly, is Winston Churchill, whose faith in and fascination for secret intelligence manifested itself fruitfully from his tenure as home secretary before World War I to his days as prime minister in World War II. A masterful work. January
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This lengthy but wonderfully detailed and researched book describing the emergence of the British intelligence community (MI5, SIS, and all that) could not come at a more opportune time. Never mind that it is replete with pilot plots for a rich Masterpiece Theatre series, it has a lot to say about intelligence services, ideological politics, spy mania (real, fictional, and imagined), national character, and bureaucracy. For American readers, Andrew's tale, and his wise remarks on accountability, are sobering. Who, after all, watches the watchman of the secrets? Who in fact are these watchmen and what is their character and allegiance? Andrew's interesting work guarantees that the "great game" will never seem the same again. Henry Steck, Political Science Dept., SUNY Coll. at Cortland
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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