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Shelves: biography. This book consists of short biographies of major American and European spies of the twentieth century and served mostly as a refresher. Jun 22, David rated it really liked it. He gives credit for the chinese building the a-bomb to a chinese, but the story I've read elsewhere is that the first thing Klaus Fuchs did after getting out of prison, was to go to the chinese embassy in east Germany and give them the plans.

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More likely I think, given that Fuchs was the one who gave that to the russians. Most of the stories were too short Feb 16, Dorothy Clark rated it liked it. Well written stories of spies east and west, primarily through the two world wars. The subjects range from the well-known such as Kim Philby and Reinhard Heydrich to names you've never heard and complete amateurs like Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene, and W. Somerset Maugham.

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Jul 22, Steven rated it it was amazing. This is one of my top favorite espionage non-fiction books. Anthony Blunt's decision to assist the KGB is particularly interesting. The author notes that "no official case could be brought against him", but does not explain the "why" of it. I can explain it here: It's because by law to be considered an "active" agent you have to be an employee.


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Anthony Blunt was officially resigned. Therefore, he has the constitutional protection of a citizen and not that of an employee.

The spying game: when has espionage changed the course of history?

Citizens have much more This is one of my top favorite espionage non-fiction books. Citizens have much more extensive rights than employees, because employees are held to oaths and waivers, and that they can be summoned at any time to be brought upon an inquiry of charges.


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As a citizen this cannot be done so easily. The law and defense was on his side. A reference and treasury of riveting true stories behind the greatest spies of the Twentieth Century. Features not only well-known but also obscure spies from around the world, each of whom had a major impact on global history. Covers the sometimes astounding tales of agents, dupes, moles and amateurs who people the world of espionage. Legend and myth are stripped away to A reference and treasury of riveting true stories behind the greatest spies of the Twentieth Century.

Legend and myth are stripped away to reveal the extraordinary human stories behind code names and aliases. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 8. Friend Reviews.

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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Spies , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Shelves: biography. This book consists of short biographies of major American and European spies of the twentieth century and served mostly as a refresher.

Jun 22, David rated it really liked it. He gives credit for the chinese building the a-bomb to a chinese, but the story I've read elsewhere is that the first thing Klaus Fuchs did after getting out of prison, was to go to the chinese embassy in east Germany and give them the plans. More likely I think, given that Fuchs was the one who gave that to the russians. Most of the stories were too short Feb 16, Dorothy Clark rated it liked it. Well written stories of spies east and west, primarily through the two world wars. The subjects range from the well-known such as Kim Philby and Reinhard Heydrich to names you've never heard and complete amateurs like Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene, and W.

Somerset Maugham. Jul 22, Steven rated it it was amazing. This is one of my top favorite espionage non-fiction books. He realised that, incredible as he found it, the Russians really did fear an unprovoked American attack. If that was paranoia, as Andrew suggests, there was plenty of it on both sides. Leaked American strategic documents, excitable policy discussion in Washington, deliberate American provocations around the Soviet border: all gave the Russians plausible cause for alarm.

But, unlike Stalin, he saw the real danger and changed his mind. He reached out to Mikhail Gorbachev. Between them, they brought the nuclear confrontation to an end. And there is another question. Why do governments abandon capabilities that they have already found useful?

Part of the answer is that an effective intelligence organisation requires the coordination and continuity of records, methodologies and networks. As long as it depends on brilliant individuals, such as Walsingham, it is vulnerable: the man changes; the organisation decays. So you need a permanent professional bureaucracy. But these did not emerge, in Europe at least, much before the 18th century. That still does not explain why the Americans, for example, ran down their infant intelligence agencies after the first world war. Money had something to do with it.

But Henry L.

SPIES: The Secret Agents Who Changed the Course of History by Ernest Volkman | Kirkus Reviews

Ethical issues do, however, arise. In the British closed down their highly successful decyphering branch following a passionate public debate about the conflict between the needs of national security and the rights of true-born Englishmen. The debate is legitimate, and it continues today, as we try to find the balance between preserving our democratic freedoms and letting the government use sophisticated systems of electronic surveillance to protect us from terrorists. Despite its length, The Secret World does not adequately tackle such matters of interpretation and judgment.

It is not the book one hoped for: a chronicle rather than a critical history.


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