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    The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (Paperback) By (author) Christopher Andrew

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    DescriptionTo mark the centenary of its foundation, the British Security Service, MI5, has opened its archives to an independent historian. "The Defence of the Realm", the book which results, is an unprecedented publication. It reveals the precise role of the Service in twentieth-century British history, from its foundation by Captain Kell of the British Army in October 1909 to root out 'the spies of the Kaiser' up to its present role in countering Islamic terrorism. It describes the distinctive ethos of MI5, how the organization has been managed, its relationship with the government, where it has triumphed and where it has failed. In all of this, no restriction has been placed on the judgements made by the author. The book also casts new light on many events and periods in British history, showing for example that though well-placed sources MI5 was probably the pre-war department with the best understanding of Hitler's objectives, and had a remarkable willingness to speak truth to power; how it was so astonishingly successful in turning German agents during the Second World War; and, that it had much greater roles than has hitherto been realized during the end of the Empire and in responding to the recurrent fears of successive governments (both Conservative and Labour) and or Cold War Communist subversion. It has new information about the Profumo affair and its aftermath, about the 'Magnificent Five' and about a range of formerly unconfirmed Soviet contacts. It reveals that though MI5 had a file on Harold Wilson it did not plot against him, and it describes what really happened during the failed IRA attack in Gibraltar in March 1988.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Defence of the Realm

    The Defence of the Realm
    The Authorized History of MI5
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Christopher Andrew
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 1072
    Width: 129 mm
    Height: 198 mm
    Thickness: 47 mm
    Weight: 774 g
    ISBN 13: 9780141023304
    ISBN 10: 0141023309

    BIC E4L: POL
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T7.5
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DBK
    BIC subject category V2: HBT, JPSH
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15580
    DC22: 327.1241
    BISAC V2.8: POL036000, HIS000000
    BIC subject category V2: 1DBK
    Thema V1.0: JPSH, NHT
    Illustrations note
    Illustrations, col. map, ports.
    Penguin Books Ltd
    Imprint name
    Penguin Books Ltd
    Publication date
    03 June 2010
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History and former Chair of the Faculty of History at Cambridge University. He is also chair of the British Intelligence Study Group, Founding Co-Editor of Intelligence and National Security, former Visiting Professor at Harvard, Toronto and the Australian National University, and a regular presenter of BBC Radio and TV documentaries. His fifteen previous books include The Mitrokhin Archive volumes 1 and 2, and a number of path-breaking studies on the use and abuse of secret intelligence in modern history.