Customer Review

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MI6, 23 Oct 2010
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This review is from: MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949 (Hardcover)
Like its sister book on MI5 this is as detailed as it can be on such a subject as national security, however it is written in such a manner that it is fairly(!) easy to read. However my recommendation is not to try and read it all at once but to do it in bite-size chunks!! What does come through, as in the MI5 book, is that it is a wonder that we got any intelligence at all in the very early days where 'career' diplomats didn't think it was the done thing to spy on other people - much like those admirals who thought the use of submarines was underhand!! In view of the current fiscal problems it is interesting to note that there were money problems with financing MI6, and MI5, even back then. I have yet to finish the book but my impression so far is that the UK was very lucky to get any information at all in the early days and it was down to a very few people with the foresight to see that such an organisation was needed, both in war and in peace time. Also intriguing were the battles between the various factions to gain control of what would become MI6 - Foreign Office, Navy, Army being the main contestants - which took up a lot of time which could have been used more constructively. The book also shows where possible the courage of those actually gathering intelligence in hostile environments, but also where people were keen to sell information on their own country for cash.

A good informative read which gives some idea of what was/is involved in the gathering of intelligence.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Feb 2011 11:11:19 GMT
ArumLily says:
I would be grateful if the reviewer would be able to let me know the name of the sister book on MI5. There are two MI5 books on Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2011 17:50:51 BDT
Rodrigo y says:
The Defence of the Realm: The authorised history of M15 - Christopher Andrew

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2011 19:05:57 BDT
ArumLily says:
Thank you so much for your help. I will be ordering the Christopher Andrew book about MI5.
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