An unprecedented publishing event: to mark the centenary of its foundation, the British Security Service, MI5, has for the first time opened its archives to an independent historian. The book reveals the precise role of the Security Service in twentieth-century British history, from its foundation by Captain Kell of the British Army in October 1909, through two world wars, up to and including its present roles in counterespionage and counterterrorism. The book describes how MI5 has been managed, what its relationship has been with government, where it has triumphed, and where it has failed. In all of this no restriction has been placed on the judgments made by the author. Defend the Realm also adds significantly to our knowledge of many celebrated events and notorious individuals and definitively lays to rest a number of persistent myths. Above all, it shows the place of this previously extremely secretive organization within the United Kingdom. Few books could make such an immediate and extraordinary increase to our understanding of British history over the past century.
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by Christopher Fowler
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"Andrew provides a fascinating, exhaustive history of the preeminent British counterintelligence and security agency from its inception to the present day. Despite its length--the book covers a hundred years--the text will hold listeners' attention, especially those interested in espionage and the preservation of national security. The audio production has the added advantage of the impeccably British Robin Sachs. Lucid, engaging, he's a narrator who knows how to handle cadence. His delivery reflects the gravitas of the subject: protecting the British realm from the likes of German spies, Communist insurgents, and IRA terrorists. There are many movies and radio dramas featuring fictional spy agencies--this one is the real thing. D.R.W. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine"
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