The Rise and Fall of Intelligence: An International Security History

Michael Warner. Georgetown Univ., $49.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-6261-6103-0
Warner, historian for the Department of Defense and author of both unclassified and classified histories of the CIA, presents a timely, well-sourced, and thoughtful study of intelligence gathering. Opening with a discussion of the history of intelligence gathering, whose origins he places roughly around 2000 B.C.E., Warner moves on to WWI and the roots of modern information gathering. As Warner traces the role and mechanisms of intelligence through wars and domestic terror challenges, it becomes clear that the history of intelligence holds a central position in the history of Western wars and ideological clashes. Warner offers provocative ideas—Espionage gave Stalin the atomic bomb—as well as learned analyses of intelligence failures, the current Iraq conflicts, and weapons of mass destruction. His efforts cover much ground, from infamous spies of the past, Julius Rosenberg and Kim Philby, to legendary covert organizations including the CIA and KGB. He also comments on the promise and threat of the internet, as well as the WikiLeaks/NSA controversy. Warner directly confronts the future of intelligence given its now "vast and ubiquitous" powers, posing a final question for society and government: Does it try to deal in truth, or does it serve lies? (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 424 pages - 978-1-62616-047-7
Paperback - 424 pages - 978-1-62616-046-0
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