OVERVIEWS

General

2010s

Andrew, Christopher, and Simona Tobia, eds. Interrogation in War and Conflict: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Analysis. London: Routledge, 2014.

Peake, Studies 59.1 (Mar. 2015), comments that the 14 case studies in this edited volume expresse "a wide range of views on the use of torture during interrogation." However, the book "makes a strong historical case for minimum coercion during interrogation because it is more effective."

Best, Richard A., Jr. "Intelligence and U.S. National Security Policy." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 28, no. 3 (Fall 2015): 449-467.

This article is focused and astute, as so much of Best's work for CRS as been over the years. It is highly recommended. His conclusion: "Intelligence agencies have left behind a public record of substantial support to national security policymaking that can, by no reasonable standard, be described as a legacy of ashes [footnote omitted]; they deserve honest treatment by historians and journalists."

Davies, Philip H. J., and Kristian C. Gustafson, eds. Intelligence Elsewhere: Spies and Espionage Outside the Anglosphere. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2013.

Heard, Studies 59.1 (Mar. 2015), calls this work "a remarkably ambitious, edited collection of essays on the intelligence activities and organizations of a dozen countries or regions of the world." The book is divided into two sections. "The first contains four studies of what might be called the 'deep history' of intelligence in ancient China, India, the Byzantine Empire..., and the Islamic world. The book's second section has chapters on contemporary intelligence issues in Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Ghana, Argentina, Sweden, and Finland."

Dear, Ian. Spy and Counterspy: A History of Secret Agents and Double Agents From the Second World War to the Cold War. Stroud: History Press, 2013.

For Peake, Studies 58.1 (Mar. 2014), and Intelligencer 20.3 (Spring-Summer 2014), this book "is well documented and will serve as a good starting point for those interested in WW II espionage." Although "it is not a comprehensive treatment of wartime espionage, the seven cases the book summarizes illustrate the full range of problems the Allies encountered." And the author supplies "additional material ... from Western and Russian sources" to the well-known cases.

Denécé, Eric. "The Revolution in Intelligence Affairs: 1989-2003." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 27, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 27-41.

The "'intelligence revolution' resulted from a combination of changes in international politics, information technologies, and socio-political context."

Díaz Matey, Gustavo. "Conceptions of Intelligence: Intelligence as a Democratic Indicator." RIEAS: Research Paper, No. 165. Athens, GR: RIEAS, Oct.-Nov. 2014.

Díaz Matey, Gustavo. Los servicios de inteligencia ante el siglo XXI. Madrid: D.V. Chavín, 2011.

Steele, http://www.phibetaiota.net, considers the author "to be one of the top authorities on intelligence writing in the Spanish language."

Duthel, Heinz.

1. Global Secret Service and Intelligence Service I: Hidden Systems That Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace, 2011.

2. Secret Intelligence Service—MI6: Codename MNL DCVR. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace, 2012.

Peake, Studies 56.4 (Dec. 2012), says that these two self-published volumes "set[] new lows in intelligence books.... [N]either volume is worth the price."

Duyvesteyn, Isabelle, Ben de Jong, and Joop van Reijn, eds. The Future of Intelligence: Challenges in the 21st Century. London: Routledge, 2014.

According to Peake, Studies 59.1 (Mar. 2015), this work is comprised of 11 "thought-provoking papers" from a 2011 conference hosted by the Netherlands Intelligence Studies Association. The book "raises important issues that deserve serious attention."

Gerolymatos, André. Castles Made of Sand: A Century of Anglo-American Espionage and Intervention in the Middle East. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2010.

Peake, Studies 56.2 (Jun. 2012), finds this work "chronologically disjointed." The author "never makes clear the reason for this confusing chronology and doesn't establish a smooth flow of events or ideas." Castles Made of Sand is "badly in need of a summary chapter," and is "[o]verall, a disappointing contribution."

Huband, Mark. Trading Secrets: Spies and Intelligence in an Age of Terror. London: I. B. Tauris, 2013.

Peake, Studies 57.3 (Sep 2013), and Intelligencer 20.2 (Fall-Winter 2013), finds that the auhtor's "suggestions point to the conclusion that he has not acquired sufficient understanding of the intelligence profession to be regarded as an expert."

Johnson, Loch K., and James J. Wirtz, eds.

1. Strategic Intelligence: Windows into a Secret World. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury, 2004.

Peake, Studies 48.4 (2004), finds that the editors "have assembled 35 articles on the major functions of the intelligence profession.... The purpose of creating this book was to fill a gap that has grown as more and more courses on intelligence matters have appeared in university curricula over the last 30 years.... What was needed ... was a reader with contributions by recognized professionals that covered the main issues of the profession ... from many points of view. This book meets that need."

2. Intelligence and National Security: The Secret World of Spies -- An Anthology. 2d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), notes the name change in this edited work, as well as the substitution of some new material on additional topics. Regrettably, the index does not reflect the new material; and some of the articles left unchanged need to be updated.. Nevertheless, this anthology "lay[s] the foundation for sensible discussion, and that argues strongly for reading it closely."

3. Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies -- An Anthology. 3d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

For Peake, Studies 56.1 (Mar. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), this "is a positive contribution" and "a real help to teachers and those seeking to expand their knowledge of the profession.... Twenty-four of this edition's 39 articles are new." This work is "well documented and well written." Peake, Studies 59.1 (Mar. 2015), notes that the fourth edition "has 40 articles, six of which are new." This "is a good introduction to the topic and a valuable contribution."

Omand, David [Sir]. Securing the State. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

A reviewer in The Economist, 8 Jul. 2010, calls this "a timely book." Omand, "a former director of GCHQ ... [and] Tony Blair's intelligence and security coordinator from 2002 until his retirment in 2005,... has produced an invaluable handbook" for anyone "who wants to know what should and should not be done in the name of securing the state." Peake, Studies 55.1 (Mar. 2011) and Intelligencer 19.1 (Winter-Spring 2012), notes that this work reflects the author's "unique background and commands serious attention.... Throughout Securing the State, Omand applies his perceptive analysis to both the British and American intelligence communities in a narrative that demands a reader's close attention."

Phythian, Mark, ed. Understanding the Intelligence Cycle. London: Routledge, 2013.

Peake, Studies 59.1 (Mar. 2015), says that "[e]ach of the contributions to this book suggests variations of the basic model. None presents a system that will work in all circumstances." Nevertheless, the book "provides a better understanding of the problem and should help professionals at all levels."

Sanders, E.L. Spy Chronicles: Adventures in Espionage from the American Revolution to the Cold War. E. L. Sanders, 2013 (Kindle ebook only).

For Peake, Studies 58.2 (Jun. 2014), this self-published book is "[u]nhampered by scholarship." The author "relies entirely on secondary sources -- unattributed quotes are frequent -- with the predictable results: well-known errors are perpetuated." This book "should have been fact-checked. Caveat lector!"

Simpson, Paul. A Brief History of the Spy: Modern Spying from the Cold War to the War on Terror. London: Constable and Robinson, 2013.

For Peake, Studies 57.3 (Sep 2013), and Intelligencer 20.2 (Fall-Winter 2013), "[d]espite the absence of source notes, there are relatively few errors, and most are minor.... For a single book, Simpson has provided a very good introduction to modern intelligence."

Trenear-Harvey, Glenmore S. Historical Dictionary of Intelligence Failures. Lanham, MD: Roman & Littlefield, 2014.

Peake, Studies 59.2 (Jun. 2015), notes that most of the failures the author includes "are those based on faulty conclusions drawn from sound data, failure to disseminate intelligence properly, or failure to connect the dots." The absence of sourcing and an index "substantially reduces" the book's "scholarly value," although it can be used as a starting point.

Warner, Michael. The Rise and Fall of Intelligence: A International Security History. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2014.

For Maffeo, Proceedings 140.7 (Jul. 2014), the author provides "a marvelous historical sweep, ranging from Sumer in 3,200 BCE to Edward Snowden." Warner focuses on "the revolution in information accessibility." From this, he builds his thesis of the "fall" of the "state monopoly on sophisticated intelligence capabilities, surveillance, and espionage.... [T]he Internet and other technological advancements have made intelligence power vast and ubiquitous."

Peake, Studies 59.1 (Mar 2015), notes that in his discussion of "the dramatic expansion of intelligence services among the major participants during the First World War," Warner "spends little time on  specific intelligence operations.... [H]is is a top-down view of how intelligence influences geopolitical and economic maneuvering among the major powers." This book is "[e]xtensively documented," and provides the reader "important context about the role of intelligence in international relations." Díaz, IJI&C 28.3 (Fall 2015), sees this as "a valuable addition to the literature of Intelligence Studies."

Zurcher, Anthony. "Roman Empire to the NSA: A World History of Government Spying." BBC News Magazine, 31 Oct. 2013. [http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24749166]

A light-weight walk through surveillance history.

Return to General Overviews Table of Contents