The Enemy Within: A History of Espionage

Terry Crowdy, Author . Osprey $24.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-84176-933-2

Crowdy, who has previously written for Osprey on the uniforms and organizations of French revolutionary armed forces, reflects his publisher's expanding horizons in this survey of espionage from ancient times to America's invasion of Iraq. Since Egypt fought the Hittites, he observes, secret agents have been dispatched to spy and perform other deeds that may be against the law but are perceived to be in the country's best interest. Though Crowdy is familiar with standard sources, this is a work of narrative and anecdote rather than analysis, and succeeds within that context. He discusses the role of intelligence collecting in creating and sustaining the Persian, Roman and Mongol empires, offering Judas as an early example of a double agent. The development of professional secret services in early modern Europe segues into the often-overlooked role of intelligence in the Revolutionary/Napoleonic era, making for tales of spy and counterspy that are the most interesting in the book. As Crowdy moves into more recent times, he stresses increasing technological competition, reflecting the increasing difficulty of mounting human intelligence operations in modern national security states. His conclusion is a paradox: secret services must be kept under control, yet be effective enough "to make a difference." (Oct. 31)

Reviewed on: 06/19/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-84603-217-2
Open Ebook - 203 pages - 978-1-78096-224-5
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