The Secret World



The History Of Espionage Is Far Older Than Any Of Today S Intelligence Agencies, Yet The Long History Of Intelligence Operations Has Been Largely Forgotten The First Mention Of Espionage In World Literature Is In The Book Of Exodus God Sent Out Spies Into The Land Of Canaan From There, Christopher Andrew Traces The Shift In The Ancient World From Divination To What We Would Recognize As Attempts To Gather Real Intelligence In The Conduct Of Military Operations, And Considers How Far Ahead Of The West At That Time China And India Were He Charts The Development Of Intelligence And Security Operations And Capacity Through, Amongst Others, Renaissance Venice, Elizabethan England, Revolutionary America, Napoleonic France, Right Up To Sophisticated Modern Activities Of Which He Is The World S Best Informed Interpreter What Difference Have Security And Intelligence Operations Made To Course Of History Why Have They So Often Forgotten By Later Practitioners This Fascinating Book Provides The Answers.The Secret World

Christopher Maurice Andrew is an historian at the University of Cambridge with a special interest in international relations and in particular the history of intelligence services.

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  • Paperback
  • 600 pages
  • The Secret World
  • Christopher M. Andrew
  • 20 March 2018
  • 9780140285321

10 thoughts on “The Secret World

  1. says:

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  2. says:

    This book is a history of intelligence work covering roughly 3000 years of human history It is a scholarly work 16% is notes, references lightened with quick moving, free flowing prose There is plenty of scope for further study, encouraged by the excellent bibliography, and there are lots of interesting facts, and some entertaining quotes, like this one the most distrustful persons are the biggest dupes I discovered that the history of intelligence is also a history of leakers of information important to governments and organizations.The introduction and conclusion were especially fascinating because they relate many current events to the premise of the book, and drive home the premise histories have been written without the inclusion of the key element of espionage and intelligence, creating mistaken interpretations of historical events, and that the lack of historical knowledge has caused mistaken interpretations of intelligence.The author makes a clear case for the importance of intelligence, both secret and that available from open sources, for positive actors on the world stage to avoid conflicts and wars, to win wars, to build alliances, to support allies, to have clarity when making momentous decisions, to undermine aggressors out to destabilize regions or countries.A group s use of intelligence for nefarious purposes is also presented in the book for the destruction of rivals, for financia...

  3. says:

    I came to this book, less from an deep interest in codebreaking or espionage, but because it falls into my favourite genre Histories of the World From some Interesting Perspective And of course, intelligence as a human endeavour is very interesting.This is a long book On the spectrum from shallow pop histories to dense dry names n dates, this lies closer to the latter than my usual fare But don t let that put you off this is a thoroughly entertaining list of names and dates And note that this book seems designed to allow you to consume its chapters independently, if there are some eras that interest you Sometimes I did get the feeling that it was moving too fast despite its depth there is of course a lot of history here to cover As such the book is interested in covering the territory in detail rather than trying to reveal grand themes and argue theses with the notable exception of the Introduction and Conclusion I ll try to summarize some of those themes here, and mention just a few of the many colourful episodes in the history of spycraft and international trickery described therein.One of the main aims of the book is to show that a lack of historical perspective on intelligence can be a key cause of its dysfunction in any particular era, including our own And as such the book is intended to help rectify that An recurring thread is Andrew s identification of a variety c...

  4. says:

    This is an ambitious and engrossing book, covering a large swathe of intelligence in human history It is wonderful for really digging into the role intelligence has played as part of larger contexts of human warfare and diplomacy.It is not perfect, however Barring a quick hop to Sun Tzu and to India in one of its opening chapters, and a review of Communist China in the conclusion, this book is predominantly focused on the Western World largely France, US, Russia, UK and Germany It misses opportunities to look at other areas of the world, Africa barely figures nor does South East Asia or South America beyond the involvement of the big five Perhaps simply acknowledgments at the difficulty of finding sources in these regions would be enough Equally, it misses out on some prime opportunities in the areas it covers For instance, the fifth column was a term coined in the Spanish Civil War, yet the war itself earns only a few lines I think...

  5. says:

    For those of you who may not know, Professor Andrew is one of if not the leading authorities in intelligence history, and I ve been reading his work since I was a baby undergrad who didn t know the difference between deception and denial The fact that I have the opportunity to read this book published September 2018, you can preorder here just made my week.As you can tell, this is going to be a sterling review And, honestly it would have to have been a truly atrocious book for me to have been unhappy while reading it Does that make my review biased ln one sense, probably On the other hand, having read Professor Andrew s work in the past and having studied intelligence for near on a decade myself, I am perhaps uniquely placed to critique such books Take it how you will.This book was an awesome read And I mean, awesome lntelligence history, despite what some may think or believe, is often stranger than fiction Professor Andrew has condensed an amazing amount of information into this text, and through an approachable writing style and impeccable use of anecdotal asides has written quite the enjoyable volume No Saha...

  6. says:

    This was a very, very detailed account of the history of intelligence that lacked a coherent narrative and had a lot of snippets of facts vaguely strung together by chronological order.Overall, I would say that unless one has a very good understanding of military history spanning from practically the beginning of man to about a decade ago, then you re going to end up quite lost, or at least Googling lots of things for clarification, which can be fun if you know that s what you re in for Places, names, events randomly pop up and a note about their spying or ability to gather intelligence is briefly mentioned before quickly moving onto the next place, person or random moment in time There were many times that I had to go back to see if I had skipped some transition in the text to see if the book had mo...

  7. says:

    Summary Statement This work is a huge contribution to the history of intelligence But this book is not to be read by the faint hearted It is clearly a labor of love to write, and for me it was a labor of love to read But I am glad I did For intellectual depth and detail this is a 5 star book For the issues sited below e.g Euro American centric, not enough summary compared with details , I will give it an overall rating of 4.5 Review Twenty first century intelligence suffers from long term historical amnesia Early in the Cold War, the historical Sherman Kent, founding father of US intelligence analysis, complained that intelligence was the only profession without a serious literature From my point of view, this is a matter of greatest importance As long as this discipline lacks a literature, its methods, its vocabulary, its body of doctrine, and even its fundamental theory run the risk of never reaching full maturity Kent, The Need for Intelligence Literature page 1 of The Secret World A History of Intelligence In this well researched and detailed book the author sets out to redress this need for a history of intelligence ,...

  8. says:

    By far the most interesting book I have read this year I borrowed it from the library and I only had 2 weeks to read such a massive text so I finished it in audiobook form This book is better read than heard, I found myself trailing off in the audiobook the narrator was a little monotone It is such a great encyclopedia of espionage but it will begin to get a bit repetitiv...

  9. says:

    Very good and yet This is excellent book about the history of intelligence It is a pleasure to read Nevertheless, there are some greeting issues the author is very fond of phrases like this is the first or only time such and such has happened When this is repeated time and again in every chapter, it becomes a little boring.Second, the author relies hea...

  10. says:

    I can sum up this book with two quotes To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history Marcus Tullius Cicero It is not difficult to think of current world leaders with little of no discernible historical interests Christopher M Andrew, The Secret World A History of Intelligence, Yale University Press, 2018, p 760Even though this book is as thick as a bible, unlike that so called collection of holy writ, I could not put the book down Certainly it has changed my opinion of espionage and surveillance I know I know 1984, Big Brother and all that However the West has not fallen into the paranoia of its own populace which characterized the old Soviet Union and the post World War II Eastern Bloc nations Ancient empires and modern despotic regimes have fallen where leaders scoffed at or misused or misunderstood intelligence gathering And after reading this tome, which primarily followed the history of SIGINT, or signals intelligence, plus the books about HUMINT, human intelligence, I recently read, I must conclude espionage is neither intrinsically evil nor good It just is Of course domestic surveillance in the hands of a paranoid, single party dictatorship has caused untold human suffering If anything intelligence in the hands of government leaders willing pay heed and digest informati...

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