The Secret History of MI6: 1909-1949

The Secret History of MI6: 1909-1949

2.8 24
by Keith Jeffery
     
 

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"Jeffery's book is perhaps the most authentic account one will ever read about how intelligence really works." —The Washington Times

Britain 's Special Intelligence Service, commonly called MI6, is not only the oldest and most storied foreign intelligence unit in the world-it is also the only one to open its archives to an outside

Overview

"Jeffery's book is perhaps the most authentic account one will ever read about how intelligence really works." —The Washington Times

Britain 's Special Intelligence Service, commonly called MI6, is not only the oldest and most storied foreign intelligence unit in the world-it is also the only one to open its archives to an outside researcher. The result, in this authorized history, is an unprecedented and revelatory look at an organization that essentially created, over the course of two world wars, the modern craft of spying. Examining innovations from invisible ink and industrial-scale cryptography to dramatic setbacks like the Nazi sting operations to bag British operatives, this groundbreaking history is as engrossing as any thriller-and much more revealing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143119999
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/27/2011
Pages:
832
Sales rank:
749,466
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Keith Jeffery is a professor of British history at Queen's University, Belfast, and has written or edited thirteen books.

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The Secret History of MI6 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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willyvan More than 1 year ago
This is a very detailed history of MI6, Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, based on access to MI6's archives. The author is Keith Jeffery, Professor of British History at Queen's University Belfast. The foreword is by the Chief of the SIS and the project was approved by the Foreign Secretary. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, it is far less revealing than Stephen Dorril's more critical book, MI6: fifty years of special operations, which Jeffery doesn't even note in his bibliography. Sir Henry Wilson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, said at the end of World War One, "our real danger now is not the Boch but Bolshevism." This view determined British foreign policy, and MI6's activities, for decades. In 1921, Foreign Secretary George Curzon, on the basis of SIS reports, protested against alleged Soviet intervention in Ireland and India. The Soviet government calmly exposed the supposed documentary proof as 'elementary fabrications', much to Curzon's embarrassment. On 9 October 1924, the SIS said of the forged 'Zinoviev letter', "the authenticity of the document is undoubted." A top official wrote after the resulting Conservative victory, "As you know the civil service has no politics, but I fancy they would contribute heavily to a statue to Zinovieff and Mr Campbell, for the effect they had on the election." For more than 50 years, the Foreign Office absurdly carried on claiming that the letter was genuine. On 12 May 1927, the government conducted the infamous raid on ARCOS, the All-Russian Cooperative Society, but, as Jeffery notes, "No significant evidence of Soviet espionage was discovered." Jeffery points out, "During the 1930s attention was directed far too late to the coinciding threats posed by German rearmament and the rise of the Nazis." This was largely because of the British ruling class's anti-communist obsession. Jeffery details SIS espionage in the Soviet Union from 1917 onwards, SIS's interwar 'anti-Bolshevik' operations, its operations in the Soviet Union during World War Two and its postwar counter-revolutionary operations against the Soviet bloc. For instance, Operation Valuable, a 'covert action actively supported by Bevin and Attlee', was carried out against Albania in 1948-49. But Jeffery omits all mention of MI6's longstanding collaboration with the anti-communist terrorist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, which does not even figure in his index. This is very much an official history of MI6, but it is certainly not what it claims to be, the history of MI6.
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riobravo4242 More than 1 year ago
it is so useful book