The renowned espionage historian offers “a gripping account of British intelligence during the last days of empire” (The Daily Telegraph).
Drawing on a wealth of newly declassified records and hitherto overlooked personal papers, intelligence expert Calder Walton offers a compelling and authoritative history of Britain’s espionage activities after World War II. A major addition to intelligence literature, this is the first book to utilize records from the Foreign Office’s secret archive, which contains some of the darkest and most shameful secrets from the last days of Britain’s empire.
Working clandestinely, MI5 operatives helped to prop up newly independent states across the globe against a ceaseless campaign of Communist subversion. Though the CIA is often assumed to be the principal actor against the Soviet Union through the Cold War, Britain plays a key role through its so-called “special relationship” with the United States.
In Empire of Secrets, Walton sheds new light on everything from violent counterinsurgencies fought by British forces in the jungles of Malaya and Kenya, to urban warfare campaigns conducted in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. The stories here have chilling contemporary resonance, detailing the use and abuse of intelligence by governments that oversaw state-sanctioned terrorism, wartime rendition, and “enhanced” interrogation.
“An important and highly original account of postwar British intelligence.” —The Wall Street Journal