on 6 January 2011
The title provides nice story about the past and current incidents where espionage, strategy and military intelligence are playing the main role. The book gives easy to follow overview of history, staring in the ancient ages and landing at cold war and current years. It describes plot and historical background for many actions of spies, with detailed view of historical figures, that put all the espionage theory in to life, with better or worse outcome. As espionage was important for each and every great nation and empire, we can read stories where action is taken place in Europe, India, MiddleEast. Reading the book gives nice refresh for main historical events with focus on story behind the scenes. If anyone seeks some knowledge about the true espionage tactics taken by Napoleon, WWII main strategist, great emperors of ancient times, that book is that what it needs to be read.
on 10 April 2013
Crowdy's book is a mine of information describing espionage and intelligence work from ancient times and onwards through and after the Cold War. The scope of the book is vast, spanning the ancient and biblical world to the Cold War with WW1 and WW2,(the XX Committee and the Japanese spies are particularly fascinating), Roman speculatores and frumentarii, Thomas Cromwell's Tudor agents and Walsingham's Elizabethan spy rings, Cassanova's escapades, spy rings in the American War of Independence and Civil War, Napoleonic spies and Wellington's exploring officers, Stieber's far reaching 19th century spy service and the Russian spy service in between.
This is no dry history to be doggedly ploughed through; instead it is filled with fascinating descriptions of the people involved, the events they manipulated and their sometimes unsavoury ends. There are the greedy, the power hungry, the patriots and the manipulators spread across time altering events. But equally this is no lightweight series of anecdotes; it is meticulously researched and leads the reader through the maze of shadows with erudition.
The impression one is left with is that the clandestine activities of these shadowy individuals has fundamentally changed the outcomes of the confrontations and wars that make up our military history.
on 21 September 2006
Having just finished the book "The enemy within", I must congratulate the author on an excellently researched and meticulously arranged novel. The breadth of the subject matter is confidently handled by Terry Crowdy, and my interest was sustained through the court intrigues and clandestine operations. The conclusions he makes and parallels he draws are believable, and they are bound up in a succession of ever fascinating incidents. I look forward to some more work by this author. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in this subject or just wanting a damn good read.