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MI6: Life and Death in the British Secret Service

Gordon Corera

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Prose: non-fiction, History, Espionage & secret services

The secret history of MI6 - from the Cold War to the present day. Published in hardback as THE ART OF BETRAYAL and fully updated for this edition.

Published in hardback as THE ART OF BETRAYAL and fully updated for the paperback edition.
The British Secret Service 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 James Bond and John le Carre. THE ART OF BETRAYAL provides a unique and unprecedented insight into this secret world and the reality that lies behind the fiction. It tells the story of how the secret service has changed since the end of World War II and by focusing on the people and the relationships that lie at the heart of espionage, revealing the danger, the drama, the intrigue, the moral ambiguities and the occasional comedy that comes 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 and after - 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 human stories of the individual spies whose stories form the centrepiece of the narrative. But 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 ran to their sworn enemies. Many of these accounts are based on exclusive interviews and access. From Afghanistan to the Congo, from Moscow to the back streets of London, these are the voices of those who have worked on the front line of Britain's secret wars. And the truth is often more remarkable than the fiction.

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Praise for MI6: Life and Death in the British Secret Service

  • His analysis is shrewd, his judgement sound...(the book's) strength is to present stories of the secret service's successes and failures within the political and strategic context of the times. - THE SUNDAY TIMES - Adam Sisman

  • THE ART OF BETRAYAL tells the history of MI6 in the words of real spies. - THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

  • A refreshing...(and) compelling read. - THE DAILY EXPRESS - Christopher Silvester

  • Corera, the BBC's security correspondent, has enjoyed privileged access to key spy players from the past few decades and, writing in an engaging style, he picks up the story of the MI6 at the point where the "official" history grinds to a halt after the Second World War. - THE SUNDAY EXPRESS - Annie Machon

  • As a good journalist and a reader of spy novels, Corera presents his material as fast-paced stories, from the covert diplomacy of the Cold War to recent and current security concerns in Afghanistan and the Middle East, and he humanises the grand dramas of a duplicitous trade. - THE TIMES - Iain Finlayson

  • Highly readable and well-researched account of the Service...Let's hope the current generation of spooks has learnt from past mistakes. - THE DAILY TELEGRAPH - Con Coughlin

  • Corera provides a unique insight into how British intelligence has changed since the Second World War and how our spymasters reacted to major crises such as the September 11 attacks and the Iraq war. A fascinating read. - THE PEOPLE

  • Superb new history of British intelligence - THE EVENING STANDARD

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Gordon Corera

Gordon Corera is a journalist and writer on intelligence and security issues. Since 2004 he has been a Security Correspondent for BBC News where he covers terrorism, cyber security, the work of intelligence agencies and other national security issues for BBC TV, Radio and Online. He has reported from across the United States, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and presented a number of programmes focusing on intelligence agencies including MI6, MI5, GCHQ, the CIA, NSA and Mossad. He is the author of SECRET PIGEON SERVICE, INTERCEPT, THE ART OF BETRAYAL (entitled MI6 in paperback), and SHOPPING FOR BOMBS.

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