OVERVIEWS

General

1990s

I - Q

Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri, and Andrew Lownie, eds. North American Spies: New Revisionist Essays--Perspectives on Intelligence History. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press [from Edinburgh University Press], 1992.

Boyle, I&NS 8.2, comments that this compilation provides "useful substance ... on a number of issues in intelligence history." Because they were written "mainly by former postgraduate students who have taken the MSc in American Espionage at Edinburgh University..., [t]he essays show some signs of the rawness and immaturity of postgraduate work." In addition, it is a "somewhat disparate collection of relatively unconnected pieces." Nonetheless, it is a "very good pioneering effort." 0For Naeseth, MI 19.3, this "is not the best intelligence history book..., but it does have something for everyone.... This book is worth checking out at the local library, but save your money for a title with less academic overtures."

Jones, R.V. Reflections on Intelligence. London: Heinemann, 1989. [pb] London: Mandarin, 1990.

Surveillant 1.1 comments that Jones "comes up with a doctrine for the guidance of intelligence officers called 'minimum trespass,' which parallels the military doctrine of 'minimum force.'" For Jervis, IJI&C 4.4, "[e]ven when R.V. Jones is not at his best, he is still good." However, this book "could have benefitted from more careful editing to eliminate repetition." Petersen notes that Jones "addresses ethical concerns raised by intelligence operations," while Foot, I&NS 5.3, calls the essays "splendidly incisive."

See also, R.V. Jones, "Some Lessons in Intelligence: Enduring Principles," Studies in Intelligence 38, no. 5 (1995): 37-42. This is a speech Jones made at CIA Headquarters, 26 October 1993.

Knightley, Phillip. A Hack's Progress. London: Jonathan Cape, 1997.

Clark comment: Knightley, of course, is not an intelligence officer but a journalist; however, he is a journalist who has written extensively about intelligence. Beyond that, as Peake, History 26.2, points out, Knightley has also been involved in three lawsuits involving his writings on intelligence. It is not necessary to agree with Knightley's decidedly jaundiced views on intelligence to conclude that in his memoirs he, in Peake's words, "tells his story well and provides ample material for a reasoned judgment."

Kovacs, Amos.

1. "The Nonuse of Intelligence." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 10, no. 4 (Winter 1997-1998): 383-417

Kovacs suggests that while there are numerous reasons why intelligence may not be "used" in the decisionmaking process, the most important change that could be made would be to "close the gap between the two communities [intelligence and decisionmakers], and to effect a change in the basic mentality of intelligence agencies -- away from the theoretical and toward a more service-oriented approach."

2. "Using Intelligence." Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 4 (Oct. 1997): 145-164.

The author offers as a tentative conclusion that "[a]ll forms of intelligence are most successful at the level at which they are collected. In particular this means that much centrally-collected intelligence is difficult to utilize at the tactical level."

Laffin, John. Brassey's Book of Espionage. London: Brassey's, 1996.

To Chambers, there is "little to recommend in this book.... Laffin, a prolific writer on military history,... does not seem to have managed the transition from the structures of military operations to the more abstract and uncertain world of intelligence.... The book is largely dependent on secondary sources and the occasional confidential informant.... The style of writing is didactic and perhaps strident.... [And] Laffin's opinions about intelligence appear to have been formed in the 1970's and have not been altered or amended since then." Click for Chambers' full-length review.

Macartney, Intelligencer 9.2, is also unimpressed, noting that the book "will be of little interest to serious scholars." The author "doesn't know much about intelligence, and this volume was obviously dashed off quickly and contains numerous errors."

Lesce, Tony. Espionage: Down and Dirty. Townsend, WA: Loompanics Unlimited, 1991. [pb]

Surveillant 1.6 calls this a "breezy, informal book which touches on the famous, unusual, or dangerous aspects of intelligence work and cases.... This may be the title to suggest to those who have read little in the field looking for a quick review of a few fascinating cases and bits of tradecraft."

Mack, Jefferson. Running a Ring of Spies: Spycraft and Black Operations in the Real World of Espionage. Boulder, CO: Paladin, 1996. [pb]

From publisher: "Running a ring of spies is no mission impossible with this tell-all primer. Find out the secrets of the world's best spies and peep into the real world of ... spies." The author worked "in Latin America and Southeast Asia for 20 years with one of the many different intelligence agencies of the United States."

Mazower, Mark, ed. The Policing of Politics in the Twentieth Century: Historical Perspectives. Oxford: Berghahn, 1997.

Gill, I&NS 13.4, calls this "a fascinating collection of essays that explores a variety of, mainly European, political police agencies ... with particular reference to the period since 1920." The chapters include British colonial policing, France, Germany, Greece, Interpol, Italy, and Northern Ireland, along with studies focused on the American FBI and Japan.

O'Toole, George J.A. "Kahn's Law: A Universal Principle of Intelligence?" International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 4, no. 1 (Spring 1990): 39-46.

"Emphasizing the offensive tends toward a neglect of intelligence. The implicit First Corollary is...: Emphasizing the defensive tends toward an emphasis of intelligence.... Second Corollary: Emphasizing the offensive tends toward an emphasis of counterintelligence.... Third Corollary ... seems to be: In situations of stalemate, both sides tend to emphasize intelligence equally.... Fourth Corollary: An offensive operation that acquires defensive aspects tends to increase the emphasis on intelligence."

Peake, Hayden B., and Samuel Halpern, eds. In the Name of Intelligence: Essays in Honor of Walter Pforzheimer. Washington, DC: NIBC Press, 1994.

Clark comment: In the Name of Intelligence was issued as a tribute to Pforzheimer on his 80th birthday. It is a mixed bag in that it combines articles focused on Pforzheimer and substantive articles on intelligence history. This volume is clearly of more interest to those of us who bought one of the 400 copies than to the general reading public.

Periscope 19.5 notes that this compilation contains articles by 36 friends and authors in honor of their colleague. This is "a virtual international 'Who's Who' in intelligence literature and scholarship." Similarly Kruh, Cryptologia 19.1, refers to the volume as a "smorgasbord of elegant papers on intelligence topics by renown[ed] writers and professionals in the field."

Click for a listing of the contents of this volume.

Platt, Richard. Spy. New York: Knopf, 1996.

This 60-page picture-book is designed for juveniles; but Kruh, Cryptologia 21.3, suggests that it is such a high-quality production that it "should also appeal to many adults." It covers the world of espionage "from early spymasters to today's sophisticated electronic surveillance."

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