Buy Used
£4.12
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex Library Book with usual stamps and stickers. Good reading copy. A slight tan to the page edges. Minor Shelfwear. Over 2 million items sold. Fast dispatch and delivery. Excellent Customer Feedback. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

GCHQ Hardcover – 10 Jun 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£74.54 £4.12
Available from these sellers.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress; First Edition edition (10 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007278470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007278473
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.6 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for ‘The Hidden Hand: Britain, America and Cold War Secret Intelligence’:

‘Rivetting, and essential reading not only for intelligence specialists but for everyone interested in the Cold War and in British-American relations.’ Christopher Andrew

‘A triumph of assiduous research and cogent analysis.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Aldrich's meticulously factual account of British and American spookery…is hugely impressive.’ John Booth, Tribune

‘A truly brilliant book…this is intelligence for adults, and all the more enthralling for it.’ George Walden, Evening Standard

From the Back Cover

A gripping exploration of the last great unknown realm of the British secret service: Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ).

GCHQ is the successor to Bletchley Park and is the largest and most secretive intelligence organisation in the country. Since the end of the Cold War, it has played a pivotal role in shaping Britain's secret state. Still, we know almost nothing about it.

In this ground-breaking new book, Richard Aldrich traces GCHQ's evolution from a wartime code-breaking operation based in the Bedfordshire countryside to one of the world’s leading espionage organisations.

Packed to the brim with dramatic spy stories – including secret submarine missions, hidden tunnels dug to tap phones and Soviet moles – GCHQ also explores the organisation’s role in tackling some of the most troubling issues of our time: Al Qaeda, privacy and surveillance. Revelatory and brilliantly written, this is the crucial missing link in Britain’s intelligence history.

‘Richard J. Aldrich is an outstanding analyst and historian of intelligence … an important book’ Sunday Times

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
GCHQ, by Richard J Aldrich

Like most former employees of GCHQ, I did not have much idea of what went on outside my particular section. To satisfy my curiosity I have read all three recently published volumes on this notorious establishment, of which this, as a serious history, is the most weighty. That such a detailed account was needed is undeniable, considering the major contribution to our national survival made by this band of dedicated codebreakers, as we now know them to be, coupled with its reputation as "The last British secret".

Every significant event in its development is charted, from its beginnings in 1919 as the Government Code and Cypher School, through the years of the second world war when a massively expanded team at Bletchley Park cracked the Nazi Enigma code, to modern times when the former business of monitoring foreign states has to a large degree been overtaken by the need to combat terrorism and international crime.

The extent to which information derived by GCHQ has played a part in international happenings will be a revelation to many. It is plain that in the modern world this country still needs effective monitoring, or Sigint as it is known, to protect its interests. However not all will approve the way in which the emphasis is now on recording details of all electronic communications, and of the individual citizens who send and receive them, enabled by astronomical computing power. There are moral questions here, as well as our willingness to devote serious resources to acquiring the technology, much of which already exists. In this respect it is fortunate that the British have long enjoyed a policy of sharing Sigint with the United States, and it could well be that we will ultimately be dependent on it.
Comment 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The great thing about this book is that it isn't a sensationalist revelation from an ex. member of the intelligence services, but a research based book using open sources. The line 'there are no secrets, just lazy researchers' is very apt.

The information about some of the big stories of the last century are fascinating - the General Belgrano where SIGINT had picked up a command for it to proceed to task force and sink British ships, and its zig zag course meant that it was true when the Argentinians said it was outside exclusion zone, and sailing away from Falkland islands at the time it was hit. There was no other real decision for the British commanders to take.

As someone who lives in Cheltenham, it is great to see some of the big episodes of GCHQ, and also the relationship with the US.

First class book and to be recommended for anyone with an interest in this area!
Comment 56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Aldrich traces the development of GCHQ and it's predecessors from the 1940's when the focus was on Germany to 2010 and the "War on Terror". In between he covers a lot of ground showing how the organisation grew and adapted to changing threats and new technologies. It is interesting to see how the need and desire for more and better intelligence has influenced foreign policy decisions since the end of the Second World War. I am interested in history and in particular military history so I was pleased to find information in this book which I had not previously read about intelligence activities surrounding major historical events. Given the close (and sometimes tricky) relationship between British and American intelligence services there is quite a lot of information about the NSA (the US version of GCHQ) and it's occasionally difficult relationship with the CIA.
What I liked in particular was how easy the book is to read; not at all bogged down in detail as some books on intelligence services can be. Indeed it is written in quite a lively style which makes it easy to cover the ground quickly.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of the role of communications and signals intelligence in the events of the decades since the end of the war.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very interesting. Enough information to make it very worthwhile. Having some experience in the intelligence/security business I have always been surprised at the level of secrecy that continues to surround matters that have well passed their need to be classed secret or above. I appreciate that the UK secerity/secret services are governed by treaty obligations. I also appreciate that there are people that wish to expose matters of importance purely for the sake of doing so and that this has an adverse effect on disclosures by the intelligence services. This book has taken us a big step forward in understanding the valus of sigint.
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I was immediately immersed in this admirable book which I found joined up a great number of dots from previously published literature on the topic. I do, however, that Aldrich or his proof-readers have devoted just a few seconds to UK locations; Chicksands is not near Baldoch (which is in Hertfordshire), rather Bedford. Likewise, Bletchley somehow landed up in Bedfordshire. Small criticisms, though. The notes and bibliography are breath-taking - and will keep me busy for years to come!
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This is a readable and factual book, which contains a series of accounts of episodes in the history of GCHQ and its associated organisations. The first chapters are a little slow, reading as a list or organisational changes, and I was surprised there were not more pages on the work at Bletchley Park in the Second World War. However, the sections on the Cold War, the Falklands and more recent events are gripping.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback