In Spies We Trust: The Story of Western Intelligence

In Spies We Trust: The Story of Western Intelligence

by Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones
     
 

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In Spies We Trust reveals the full story of the Anglo-American intelligence relationship - ranging from the deceits of World War I to the mendacities of 9/11 - for the first time.

Why did we ever start trusting spies? It all started a hundred years ago. First we put our faith in them to help win wars, then we turned against the bloodshed and expense, and asked

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Overview

In Spies We Trust reveals the full story of the Anglo-American intelligence relationship - ranging from the deceits of World War I to the mendacities of 9/11 - for the first time.

Why did we ever start trusting spies? It all started a hundred years ago. First we put our faith in them to help win wars, then we turned against the bloodshed and expense, and asked our spies instead to deliver peace and security. By the end of World War II, Britain and America were cooperating effectively to that end. At its peak in the 1940s and 1950s, the "special intelligence relationship" contributed to national and international security in what was an Anglo-American century.

But from the 1960s this "special relationship" went into decline. Britain weakened, American attitudes changed, and the fall of the Soviet Union dissolved the fear that bound London and Washington together. A series of intelligence scandals along the way further eroded public confidence. Yet even in these years, the US offered its old intelligence partner a vital gift: congressional attempts to oversee the CIA in the 1970s encouraged subsequent moves towards more open government in Britain and beyond.

So which way do we look now? And what are the alternatives to the British-American intelligence relationship that held sway in the West for so much of the twentieth century? Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones shows that there are a number - the most promising of which, astonishingly, remain largely unknown to the Anglophone world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British and American intelligence services collaborate and compete to produce preeminent spies and surveillance tactics in this comprehensive account from Scottish historian Jeffreys-Jones (The FBI: A History). Beginning in WWI, upper-crust Brits and affluent Ivy Leaguers joined together and began “running espionage and secret diplomacy in such a manner that held at bay not only competing nations, but also what they viewed as repugnant elements in their own societies.” Neither nation had qualms about suppressing its own people, nor did either hide its disdain for the left-leaning French Maquis resistance in WWII. During the Cold War, however, the allied groups drifted apart: the British waned, while the U.S. rocketed to primacy, creating, en route, the agency that would become the model for those around the world—the CIA. The rivalry between the two countries’ espionage organizations even prompted the CIA to pursue an American answer to popular British spy-fiction writers like Ian Fleming. During this time, the goals of intelligence gathering also changed—rather than win wars, it was hoped that intel could be used to avoid them. Fascinating asides (and tales of notorious gaffes) abound, and Jeffreys-Jones displays a formidable knowledge of his subject throughout this impressive history. 15 b&w images. Agent: Sydelle Kramer, Susan Rabiner Literary Agency. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"Fascinating asides (and tales of notorious gaffes) abound, and Jeffreys-Jones displays a formidable knowledge of his subject throughout this impressive history." —Publishers Weekly

"An informal but well-informed, examination of the up and down relationship between US and UK intelligence.... [T]his is an enjoyable and information-loaded history that entertains the reader as it informs." —Frederick P. Hitz, former CIA Inspector General

"[An] authoritative book." —Military History Monthly

"[E]xtraordinarily detailed... [O]ne of the resounding lessons of Jeffreys-Jones's book is that both the UK and the US have to think long and hard about how their intelligence endeavours will evolve in the future." —The Sunday Herald

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199580972
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
09/02/2013
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

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