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GCHQ: The Uncensored Story of Britain's Most Secret Intelligence Agency Paperback – 1 Jul 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; UK ed. edition (1 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007312660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007312665
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


‘Thoroughly engaging’ Daily Telegraph

‘Skilfully weaves together the personal, political, military and technological dimensions of electronic espionage’ Economist

‘Aldrich packs in vast amounts of information, while managing to remain very readable. He paints the broad picture, but also introduces fascinating detail.’ Literary Review

‘Richard J. Aldrich is an outstanding analyst and historian of intelligence and he tells this story well…an important book, which will make readers think uncomfortably not only about the state’s power to monitor our lives, but also the appalling vulnerability of every society in thrall to communications technology as we are.’ Max Hastings, Sunday Times

‘This is a sober and valuable work of scholarship, which is as reliable as anything ever is in the twilight world of intelligence-gathering. Yet there is nothing dry about it. Aldrich knows how to write for a wider audience, while avoiding the speculations, inventions, sensationalism and sheer silliness of so much modern work on the subject’ Spectator

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

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