'Almost every page includes a sizzling historical titbit ... captivating, insightful and masterly' (Edward Lucas, The Times)
The history of espionage is far older than any of today's intelligence agencies, yet the long history of intelligence operations has been largely forgotten. The first mention of espionage in world literature is in the Book of Exodus.'God sent out spies into the land of Canaan'. From there, Christopher Andrew traces the shift in the ancient world from divination to what we would recognize as attempts to gather real intelligence in the conduct of military operations, and considers how far ahead of the West - at that time - China and India were. He charts the development of intelligence and security operations and capacity through, amongst others, Renaissance Venice, Elizabethan England, Revolutionary America, Napoleonic France, right up to sophisticated modern activities of which he is the world's best-informed interpreter. What difference have security and intelligence operations made to course of history? Why have they so often forgotten by later practitioners? This fascinating book provides the answers.
To write a world history of intelligence, from the dawn of recorded history to the present day, is a daunting task. To make such a work accurate, comprehensive, digestible and startling, and all in a single volume, is a stellar achievement. But that is what Christopher Andrew has done in The Secret World.
Both brilliant in its sweep and near-miraculous in the detail and confident judgements provided on two and a half millennia of spying. It covers everything from the argument for a professional intelligence service in a second-century BC Indian treatise on government, the Arthashastra, to the growth of religiously based terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s ... a crowning triumph
The most comprehensive narrative of intelligence compiled: the author's breadth and depth of knowledge are unrivalled
The doyen of intelligence historians
A serious piece of scholarship ... a magisterial book. It is designed for the lay reader, as much as for the expert; the scale, breadth and depth of the work confirm Christopher Andrew's position as the great Yoda of intelligence studies
Full of intriguing facts and pleasing anecdotes ... the subject is important and perennially fascinating
There are important lessons for spymasters everywhere in this brilliant book. ... Christopher Andrew, who has spent a lifetime supervising the world's largest school of postgraduate research into intelligence history, delivers a stunning secret archaeology of a subject that he himself helped to create
The signal achievement of The Secret World is to illuminate how understanding the work of the cryptanalysts and intelligence officers - both past and present - is key to developing a granular understanding of historical events. It offers us a vital perspective