No cloaks, no daggers: the historiography of British Military Intelligence

Jim Beach, Christopher R Moran (Editor), Christopher J Murphy (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


How academics, novelists, conspiracy theorists and former spies write about intelligence. Secrecy has never stopped people from writing about intelligence. From memoirs and academic texts to conspiracy-laden exposes and spy novels, writing on intelligence abounds despite the intelligence services' reluctance to open their activities up to public scrutiny. Now, this new account uncovers intelligence historiography's hugely important role in shaping popular understandings of intelligence. In this, the first introduction to these official and unofficial histories, a range of leading contributors narrate and interpret the development of intelligence studies as a discipline. Each chapter showcases new archival material, looking at a particular book or series of books and considering issues of production, censorship, representation and reception. It explores topics such as CIA historiography, MI5/MI6 historiography, the literature of eavesdropping and the importance of film in constructing proto-or counter-histories of intelligence. It offers original insights into intelligence through an engagement with its past formulation and emerging patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligence Studies in Britain and the US: Historiography Since 1945
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages336
ISBN (Print)9780748646272
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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