Her Majesty's Secret Service

Christopher Andrew, Author Viking Books $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-80941-7
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
Reviewed on: 02/01/1986
Release date: 02/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 619 pages - 978-0-14-009428-2
Show other formats
Discover what to read next