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The Art of Betrayal: The Secret History of Mi6by Gordon Corera
Synopses & Reviews
MI6 has been cloaked in secrecy and shrouded in myth since it was created a hundred years ago. Our understanding of what it is to be a spy has been largely defined by the fictional worlds of Ian Fleming and John le Carré. Gordon Corera provides a unique and unprecedented insight into this secret world and the reality that lies behind the fiction. He tells the story of how the secret service has changed since the end of the Second World War and, by focusing on the people and the relationships that lie at the heart of espionage, illustrates the danger, the drama, the intrigue, and the moral ambiguities that come with working for British intelligence.
From the defining period of the early Cold War through to the modern day, MI6 has undergone a dramatic transformation from a gung-ho, amateurish organisation to its modern, no less controversial, incarnation. Gordon Corera reveals the triumphs and disasters along the way. The grand dramas of the Cold War, the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 11 September 2001 attacks, and the Iraq War are the backdrop for the individual spies whose stories form the centrepiece of the narrative. And some of the individuals featured here, in turn, helped shape the course of those events. Corera draws on the first-hand accounts of those who have spied, lied, and in some cases nearly died in service of the state. They range from the spymasters to the agents they controlled to their sworn enemies. And the truth is often more remarkable than the fiction.
"With exotic locales, global intrigue, and state secrets at stake, Corera, a security correspondent for BBC News, highlights the successes and failures of the British Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6, from the chaotic years immediately after WWII through the reorganization of the post-9/11 new age of espionage. The author goes for the details with the recruiting of double agents, purchases of top secrets, and key defections in such places as Berlin, Vienna, London, and Moscow, all in a lower dramatic tone than Ian Fleming's Agent 007 or Graham Greene's spy exploits. Corera pays much attention to theÂ huge betrayal of MI6 by Kim Philby and his shrewd KGB handlers; spy queen Daphne Park and her astute Congo-Lumumba connection; the dismal Iraq failure; and the British support of American strikes against al Qaeda . With an update on the revamped MI6 bureau still in 'knowledge management,' Corera's impressive, solid volume about the British spy agency shows there's still some bite and verve in the old dog yet. 16 pages of b&w photos." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Berlin to the Congo, from Moscow to the back streets of London, these are the stories of the agents on the front lines of British intelligence. And the truth is often more remarkable than fiction.
About the Author
Gordon Corera is a security correspondent for BBC News. In that role, he covers the work of Britain's intelligence agencies. His documentary series 'MI6: A century in the Shadows' was broadcast in the summer of 2009. His series 'The Real Spooks' on MI5 was broadcast in December 2007. He was educated at Oxford and Harvard Universities and joined the BBC in 1997.
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History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
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History and Social Science » World History » England » General