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Intelligence and the War against Japan: Britain, America and the Politics of Secret Service Hardcover – 13 Apr 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 526 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (13 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521641861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521641869
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,157,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Review of the hardback: '… well-written, well-researched and thoughtful … As a contribution to its subject - and to Second World War studies generally … it may be a landmark.' The Daily Telegraph

Review of the hardback: 'Gripping and comprehensive … this is a book that has to be welcomed.' The Sunday Times

Review of the hardback: '… an important supplemental history in an area that has been long dominated by a western focus on WWII's European theater.' Kirkus Reviews

Review of the hardback: '… [a] rich study … [an] invaluable account'. The Spectator

From the hardback review: 'The real fascination of this book lies in the proof that all the hard-won intelligence wrung from the airwaves and the nigh impenetrable Japanese codes often could not prevail against human frailty. Churchill completely mis-read the Eastern crisis in 1941, Aldrich points out.' Independent on Sunday

'Richard J. Aldrich opens up an important new dimension to Pacific war studies with his revelations about the infighting between the British and American allies to secure commercial hegemony in the post-war Far East.' The Sunday Times (military books of the year)

'… a necessary read for all those interested in both intelligence history and, more importantly, Anglo-American relations generally.' Defence Studies

'Professor Aldrich has given us a pioneering, ground-breaking study based on unknown materials culled from British and American archives which have only been declassified in the 1990s … the author deploys his narrative with great skill and clarity … he is judicious in his judgements which are carefully documents. All in all, this is important reading for all students of Japan.' The Japan Society Proceedings

'Intelligence and the War against Japan is one of the best books yet written in intelligence history, and essential to students in several fields … a triumph of research and analysis.' Defense Analysis

'It is a necessary read for all those interested in both intelligence history and, more importantly, Anglo-American relations generally.' Journal of Defence Studies

Book Description

British secret service and its controversial relations with its American allies are the focus of this study of the war against Japan. Richard J. Aldrich uses declassified files to produce a thorough and penetrating account of this crucial subject.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Reviewer: A reader from UK
Alan Judd, The Telegraph, 8 April 2000
Spying is never for its own sake; people spy because other people want to know something. Any consideration of secret intelligence that does not set it firmly in the bureaucratic context of that gave it birth and which consumes its product, is misleading. Richard J. Aldrich understands this very well. Aldrich calls his territory "the missing dimension of our understanding of intelligence during the Second World War" ... There are two kinds of book about intelligence: those that view it from the ground level, telling spy stories and generally panning or praising intelligence services; and those that, eschewing the stories, view it from the top down as part of a wider strategy, and look at the requirements, politics and bureaucracy, assessments and the use of secret information. This well-written, well-researched and thoughtful book is an excellent example of the later. As a contribution to its subject - and to Second World War studies generally - it is at least important; it may be a landmark.
Michael Sheridan, Sunday Times, 27 January 2000
Earl Mountbatten of Burma narrowly escaped a Japanese plot to ambush and shoot down his aircraft over China during the second world war, according to a new book that discloses untold secrets about the intelligence war in the Far East ... The Mountbatten story is amongst a host of secrets brought to light by Richard Aldrich ... in Intelligence and the War Against Japan, to be published by Cambridge University Press next month. It discloses embarrassing proof that British and American Secret Services often competed instead of fighting the Japanese.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x96595af8) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9659ee7c) out of 5 stars Not the Best, But Necessary 1 Dec. 2000
By Michael B. Syphax - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book comes under the heading of "necessary reading" for anyone seriously interested in the war against Japan in general, or in intelligence during that war. The general reader will find the going rather tough as the writing is not carried out in the classic story telling line. But the information content is good and, since there are precious few books on this subject available, it will have to do. Also, it is written mainly from the point of view of British Intelligence in the East and therefore offers some interesting takes on US Intelligence activity and the sometime stormy relationship that existed, not only between US and British intelligence interests, but also between the various British intelligence organizations, themselves. Revealing information, if not gripping reading.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9659eedc) out of 5 stars Press reviews 29 Dec. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Press reviews of Intelligence and the War Against Japan -
Spying is never for its own sake; people spy because other people want to know something. Any consideration of secret intelligence that does not set it firmly in the bureaucratic context of that gave it birth and which consumes its product, is misleading. Richard J. Aldrich understands this very well. Aldrich calls his territory "the missing dimension of our understanding of intelligence during the Second World War" ... There are two kinds of book about intelligence: those that view it from the ground level, telling spy stories and generally panning or praising intelligence services; and those that, eschewing the stories, view it from the top down as part of a wider strategy, and look at the requirements, politics and bureaucracy, assessments and the use of secret information. This well-written, well-researched and thoughtful book is an excellent example of the later. As a contribution to its subject - and to Second World War studies generally - it is at least important; it may be a landmark.
Alan Judd, The Telegraph, 8 April 2000
Earl Mountbatten of Burma narrowly escaped a Japanese plot to ambush and shoot down his aircraft over China during the second world war, according to a new book that discloses untold secrets about the intelligence war in the Far East ... The Mountbatten story is amongst a host of secrets brought to light by Richard Aldrich ... in Intelligence and the War Against Japan, to be published by Cambridge University Press next month. It discloses embarrassing proof that British and American Secret Services often competed instead of fighting the Japanese.
Michael Sheridan, Sunday Times, 27 January 2000
The distorted sense of priorities prevailing in the London War Rooms which condemned the foot-sloggers of the Burmese jungle campaign to being dubbed "the forgotten Army" was reflected in the war of Intelligence, as this important overview makes clear. The Far Eastern Intelligence War has been a closed chapter until relatively recently, with the opening of a certain amount of classified material in the Public Record Office augmenting a mass of top-secret files in the American National Archives ... As Richard Aldrich ... makes clear, a sharp division of long-term aims divided the Allies in this theatre - a fact excised from Churchill's war memoirs.
John Crossland, The Independent, 2 July 2000
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96578474) out of 5 stars Specialized Study of Secret Strivings 7 Jun. 2001
By El Cutachero - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Having a long time interest in this subject, both vocational and avocational, I find this book to be a good summation of the conflicts generated by the varying war aims of the two major powers, that of FDR being to liberate captive nations, and that of Churchill to restore the empire, which of course, meant also setting the French and Dutch back in their old places.
There is little reason to go into much detail here, the subject has been covered in other books such as "Allies of A Kind" and "OSS in China" (c.f. my reviews).
One of the more interesting parts desribes the situation when the Australians realized that even though they hsd come to the aid of Britain in the Near East and Africa, when they needed help the British were unable to give it, and the Aussies had to turn eastward to the US as their principal ally and supplier.
To sum up, the title indicates what this is--a high level study at the governmental and theatre level and not a bunch of thrilling operational tales of behind the lines "sneak and peek."
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