A Century of Spies: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century

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Oxford University Press, Jul 17, 1997 - History - 544 pages
Here is the ultimate inside history of twentieth-century intelligence gathering and covert activity. Unrivalled in its scope and as readable as any spy novel, A Century of Spies travels from tsarist Russia and the earliest days of the British Secret Service to the crises and uncertainties of today's post-Cold War world, offering an unsurpassed overview of the role of modern intelligence in every part of the globe. From spies and secret agents to the latest high-tech wizardry in signals and imagery surveillance, it provides fascinating, in-depth coverage of important operations of United States, British, Russian, Israeli, Chinese, German, and French intelligence services, and much more. All the key elements of modern intelligence activity are here. An expert whose books have received high marks from the intelligence and military communities, Jeffrey Richelson covers the crucial role of spy technology from the days of Marconi and the Wright Brothers to today's dazzling array of Space Age satellites, aircraft, and ground stations. He provides vivid portraits of spymasters, spies, and defectors--including Sidney Reilly, Herbert Yardley, Kim Philby, James Angleton, Markus Wolf, Reinhard Gehlen, Vitaly Yurchenko, Jonathan Pollard, and many others. Richelson paints a colorful portrait of World War I's spies and sabateurs, and illuminates the secret maneuvering that helped determine the outcome of the war on land, at sea, and on the diplomatic front; he investigates the enormous importance of intelligence operations in both the European and Pacific theaters in World War II, from the work of Allied and Nazi agents to the "black magic" of U.S. and British code breakers; and he gives us a complete overview of intelligence during the length of the Cold War, from superpower espionage and spy scandals to covert action and secret wars. A final chapter probes the still-evolving role of intelligence work in the new world of disorder and ethnic conflict, from the high-tech wonders of the Gulf War to the surprising involvement of the French government in industrial espionage. Comprehensive, authoritative, and addictively readable, A Century of Spies is filled with new information on a variety of subjects--from the activities of the American Black Chamber in the 1920s to intelligence collection during the Cuban missile crisis to Soviet intelligence and covert action operations. It is an essential volume for anyone interested in military history, espionage and adventure, and world affairs.

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A CENTURY OF SPIES: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century

User Review  - Kirkus

A dispassionate reference work on modern intelligence gathering. Rather than a romantic or riveting story about espionage, Richelson (American Espionage and the Soviet Target, 1987), a senior fellow ... Read full review

A century of spies: intelligence in the twentieth century

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this ambitious book, Richelson (America's Secret Eyes in Space, HarperBusiness, 1990) surveys the growth, development, and transformation of intelligence (a.k.a., "spying") in the 20th century. The ... Read full review


The Second World War
The Cold War Era and Beyond
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About the author (1997)

Jeffrey T. Richelson is a Senior Fellow of the National Security Archive and the author of many books on espionage and intelligence, including America's Secret Eyes in Space, The U.S. Intelligence Community, and Sword and Shield: The Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus.

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