Dorril, Stephen. Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism. London: Viking/Penguin, 2006.
Grant, I&NS 22.3 (Jun. 2007), says this work "is an often frustrating read ... as many of Dorril's assertions about the role of Security Service agents within the Fascist fringe ... are difficult to trace to a particular source." In addition, "much of what Dorril concludes about the role of the Security Service during World War II is based on the work" of other authors. Nevertheless, the author does offer "new insight into questions about the nature of the threat posed by the British Fascists."
Dorril, Stephen. MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations. London: Fourth Estate, 2000. MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service. New York: Free Press, 2000.
Knightley, Sunday Times (London), 19 Mar. 2000, says that Dorril's "huge book" on MI6's history since World War II "is an ambitious project.... Dorril paints a disturbing picture of a secret service whose power and wideranging activities make it more a government within a government, shaping and implementing British foreign policy towards the image of the world it wants to see.... Dorril says [that today MI6] is actually stronger and better funded than ever. Only its targets have changed."
For Andrew, Times (London), 30 Mar. 2000, this is "a mostly rather plodding history -- occasionally enlivened ... by picturesque episodes and eccentric touches." Dorril's coverage "is strikingly uneven," his interpretation is "lop-sided," and he "is quick to believe [MI6's] critics." As his "endnotes show, there is little here that has not been published previously." Publishers Weekly, 12 Jun. 2000, comments that although it is "[d]ense even for an intelligence history, the work is carefully organized to avoid overwhelming the more casual reader, while providing both in-depth research for the serious student and entertainment for the well-informed spy buff."
The reviewer in Economist, 15 Jul. 2000, notes that the secrecy surrounding his subject means that the author "has had to collect whatever he could from a thousand secondary sources. Some of his material is common, or at least accessible, knowledge. Some is fair inference, some is malicious, quite possibly baseless, gossip. If there is a way of sorting the one from the other, Mr Dorril does not seem to have found it."
Jensen, I&NS 16.1, believes that Dorril's work is "well-written, interesting and thought provoking." Nonetheless, "it can be uneven at times," and "should not be seen as the final word on the SIS during the period covered." Mawby, I&NS 17.3/127/fn1, calls Dorril's work "a comprehensive (if occasionally impenetrable) overview." To Unsinger, IJI&C 15.1, this work "provides valuable insight into the U.K.'s sub rosa activities.... [I]t provides a fine starting point for inquiries into MI6's accomplishments and shortcomings. On the downside is the feeling that Dorril occasionally slides toward the conspiracy side of history."
Dorril, Stephen. The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s. London: Heinemann, 1993.
According to Peake, FILS 12.5, Dorril presents a "comprehensive though sometimes repetitive view" of the British intelligence services, "but not from the inside." The book cites predominantly media sources. Overall, this is an "exaggerated, poorly documented assessment." Surveillant 3.4/5 calls the book a "contemporary view of the British intelligence services in the 1980s as seen by the media and interpreted as a journalist." The book includes "interesting portraits of each of the heads of MI5 in the 1980s."
Defty, I&NS 11.1, is less than enthusiastic about either the author's central thesis ("the silent conspiracy ... is something of a myth"), his basic approach to his subject (the book "is not about the intelligence services as such, nor is it largely concerned with the 1990s"; it "amounts to little more than a promenade through the alleged misdoings of MI5"), or his research ("the ... narrative suffers from all the distracting flaws of a hastily written newspaper article"). Predictably, Weir, New Statesman & Society, 18 Jun. 1993, has a different view: "The nub of Dorril's tale is how the secret services have resisted two decades of attempts to reform them.... It is a tale of cock-ups and scandals.... Dorril sensibly advocates abolishing MI5."
Dorril, Steve, and Robin Ramsey. Smear! Wilson and the Secret State. London: Fourth Estate, 1991. London: Grafton, 1992. [pb]
According to Surveillant 1.6, the authors conclude that "plots against the Labour Party by MI5 and MI6 -- and Wilson in particular -- were far more extensive than anyone realized at the time." Peake, FILS 12.6, adds that "the authors [generally] do not see any evidence of Soviet subversion and tend to belittle those who do.... [The] implications ... of a coordinated smear campaign against Wilson are not persuasive.... Notwithstanding sinister claims..., what Smear conveys is better explained as politics as usual."
NameBase calls Smear "the best-documented and most detailed history of the British secret state from 1964-1979 that is currently available." The authors "also founded Lobster magazine in 1983, which continues to cover intelligence issues in Britain and the U.S." It is precisely the latter connection that Robert Cecil, I&NS 7.4, gently suggests should be the first warning to the "prudent reader." He notes that the "authors do not seem to think it would have been helpful to interview Wilson," and that their sources are mainly "the press and fellow journalists, salted by extracts from the diaries or memoirs of those who ... believed themselves to be the victims of 'the secret state.'"
Dorsett, David J. ("Jack") [RADM/USN] [VADM Dorsett is the first three-star DNI]
1. "Transforming Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 19, nos. 1 & 2 (Jun. 2003): 20-23.
"America's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities are undergoing a profound transformation. Within the U.S. Navy nothing less than a revolution in ISR is underway."
2. "Dominating the Battlespace with World Class Intelligence: The Evolution of Pacific Theater Intelligence." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 20, no. 4 (Dec. 2004): 15-18.
Dorwart, Jeffrey M. Conflict of Duty: The U.S. Navy's Intelligence Dilemma, 1919-1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1983.
For Petersen, this is a "[c]ontroversial account emphasizing alleged questionable activities, some of which purportedly originated with President Roosevelt." Pforzheimer notes that Dorwart's "intelligence dilemma" is the Office of Naval Intelligence's dual "roles in both positive and counter-intelligence." His view is that "the latter interferes with the former which [he] feels is ONI's 'primary obligation.'" This "purported imbalance is well supported."
Dorwart, Jeffrey M. Eberstadt and Forrestal: A National Security Partnership, 1909-1949. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1991.
Sokolsky, I&NS 10.1: "Eberstadt, though never holding high public office, had a profound impact upon American national security policy through his personal and professional friendship with James Forrestal.... [I]t was from the activities of these two men that the 'concepts and forms laid out in the National Security Act of 1947 derived.'... [And] it was Eberstadt ... who provided most of the ideas making him 'perhaps the single most important organizer of the American national security establishment.'... Dorwart's excellent book shows us how two dedicated men prepared America for leadership in the nuclear age."
See also, Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley, Driven Patriot: The Life and Times of James Forrestal (New York: Knopf, 1992).
[GenPostwar/40s/Gen & NatSec/90s]
Dorwart, Jeffrey M. The Office of Naval Intelligence: The Birth of America's First Intelligence Agency 1865-1918. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1979.
Constantinides says the author did "a fine job and set the pace for further research on the subject." This well-organized book presents ONI's background "in a balanced and perceptive manner." Dorwart's work is "far superior" to Green's The First Sixty Years. To Pforzheimer, Dorwart has conducted a "seemingly exhaustive search of published [and] unpublished archival material"; however, "some of his final conclusions are debatable."
Dorwart, Jeffery M. "The Roosevelt-Astor Espionage Ring." New York History: Quarterly Journal of New York State Hstorical Association 62, no. 3 (Jul. 1981): 307-322. [http://cryptome.info/0001/fdr-astor/fdr-astor.htm]
The author tracks the relationship between FDR and Vincent Astor, including Astor's role as an independent collector of intelligence for the President.
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