The Black Door: Spies, Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers

The Black Door Spies Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers The Black Door explores the evolving relationship between successive British prime ministers and the intelligence agencies from Asquith s Secret Service Bureau to Cameron s National Security Council

  • Title: The Black Door: Spies, Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers
  • Author: Richard Aldrich Rory Cormac
  • ISBN: 9780007555468
  • Page: 483
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Black Door: Spies, Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers

    The Black Door explores the evolving relationship between successive British prime ministers and the intelligence agencies, from Asquith s Secret Service Bureau to Cameron s National Security Council.At the beginning of the 20th Century the British intelligence system was underfunded and lacked influence in government But as the new millennium dawned, intelligence had b The Black Door explores the evolving relationship between successive British prime ministers and the intelligence agencies, from Asquith s Secret Service Bureau to Cameron s National Security Council.At the beginning of the 20th Century the British intelligence system was underfunded and lacked influence in government But as the new millennium dawned, intelligence had become so integral to policy that it was used to make the case for war Now, covert action is incorporated seamlessly into government policy, and the Prime Minister is kept constantly updated by intelligence agencies.But how did intelligence come to influence our government so completely The Black Door explores the murkier corridors of No 10 Downing Street, chronicling the relationships between intelligence agencies and the Prime Ministers of the last century From Churchill s code breakers feeding information to the Soviets to Eden s attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, from Wilson s paranoia of an MI5 led coup d tat to Thatcher s covert wars in Central America, Aldrich and Cormac entertain and enlighten as they explain how our government came to rely on intelligence to the extent that it does today.

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    One thought on “The Black Door: Spies, Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers

    1. Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)

      Compulsory reading for future Prime MinistersRichard Aldrich and Rory Cormac have put together an immensely readable and well researched book. Their style keeps the book from being a dry history and brings events to life and details many stories I hadn’t even heard of. The different “relationships” the various Prime Minister’s had with intelligence are fascinating and directly impact on their use and understanding of intelligence.Whilst the wartime sections covering World War 1 and 2 are [...]

    2. Tim Pendry

      The Black Door (a reference to the front door of 10 Downing Street and nothing more sinister) is not a conventional history of intelligence nor a work of straightforward political narrative, it is a review of the relationship between British Prime Ministers and their intelligence and security apparat.From this perspective, it is competent, useful if a little uninspiring, a combination of broadly sound summary analyses of the relationship at each stage in modern British history and a series of ex [...]

    3. Harry Buckle

      Excellent and very readable. As this is a chronological review of a fairly specialised subject it could could easily have been a predictable re-hash of much that is well known. But the author gives us the timeline, the back ground and the reasons for the approach used at the time. Much like Boris Johnsons recent book on Churchill it brings to life and fills in many answers about matters that changed history. Truly a good read.

    4. Erik Graff

      This is the story of the British espionage establishment (MI5, MI6, SAS etc.) told within the context of ministries from Asquith to Cameron. Written for a British public, American readers may be interested, as I was, in what is included, what excluded. I was particularly surprised at how little emphasis was put on the Cambridge spies, how much on U.S. intelligence leaks.

    5. Dоcтоr

      Excellent insight into history of the British Secret Services, their operations, and difficult decisions that Prime Ministers had faced. Well researched, and very well written. Highly recommended reading.

    6. Gareth

      An extremely well researched, written and referenced book which gives a thoroughly fascinating insight into the relationships between 20th and 21st century Prime Ministers and their security and intelligence organisations. The authors' writing style moved through what would possibly be a narrow and uninspiring subject, with remarkable interest. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in contemporary, political history.

    7. Outimb

      This book goes through every British prime minister from Asquith and David Lloyd George all the way to David Cameron. It gives a detailed description and quite juicy stories about each prime minister and their relationship with the "secret state". It covers everything from the times of amateur spies to the latest technology used to find out delicate secrets of allies and enemies alike, from covert operations to the problems of sharing information with friendly allies or in the House of Commons. [...]

    8. Peter Dunn

      This is a comprehensive examination of how UK prime ministers, from Asquith to Cameron, have interacted with intelligence. If there is one line of text from this book which sums up its analysis it is that “Above all prime ministers must not interpret “top secret” as meaning “true” “.d if you want a spoiler on which PM comes out best in this book then the answer is that it is Clement Attlee (who is credited for bringing intelligence into the framework of an “orderly system fit for t [...]

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