Top positive review
What we overhear is usually more important than what we're told
on 2 March 2013
The pleasure of this magnificent book lies not only in the stream of fascinating stories and facts, but in the way that these are woven into political history and occurrences around the world at the time. One might have been tempted to suspect that comint, sigint and elint were natural followers of Parkinson's Law, but constant references in the book to both failures and successes illustrate well the need to be ahead of the curve in our permanently troubled times. The book is littered with stories of inter-service rivalry, here and abroad. Awareness of others' intelligence gathering capabilities and endless horse-trading appear to have greatly contributed to the maintenance of balance of power. The ever-changing relationship between the UK and US intelligence communities and the so-called `special relationship' is covered to the extent that the book's title could well have integrated this aspect. We all know how often information we were not supposed to learn is usually more important than that which we are told; this book explains why.