‘The Secret History of MI6’: A history of Britain’s spy agency
They had both dropped dead while at work. Since its conception SIS has had an interesting and chequered past. Here then, for the first time, is an officially sanctioned account, an opportunity for the myths to be dispelled and the hidden characters of its past to take centre stage.
It has been 20 years since the publication of the last official history of British intelligence and now, within the space of 12 months, two new books have appeared. There is a vast amount of organisational detail here, particularly on the early years and origins and growth of SIS.
Principal among the former are the vast networks of railway watchers in the First World War and the heroic exploits of both SIS officers and its agents in the Second. Although Mansfield Cumming might be turning in his grave at the thought of his exploits becoming public knowledge, surely he would welcome their successful telling with a twinkle behind his monocled eye.
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Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of espionage, the two world wars, modern British government and the conduct of international relations in the first half of the twentieth century, MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service is a uniquely important examination of the role and significance of intelligence in the modern world. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any newsletter.
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Related MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949
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