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Spies

Calder Walton

The riveting story of the hundred-year intelligence war between Russia and the West with lessons for our new superpower conflict with China



'A masterpiece' CHRISTOPHER ANDREW, author of The Defence of the Realm: The Authorised History of MI5

'The book we have all been waiting for' BRENDAN SIMMS, author of Hitler: A Global Biography

'Gripping, authoritative... A vivid account of intelligence skulduggery' Kirkus

Espionage, election meddling, disinformation, assassinations, subversion, and sabotage - all attract headlines today about Putin's dictatorship. But they are far from new. The West has a long-term Russia problem, not a Putin problem. Spies mines hitherto secret archives and exclusive interviews with former agents to tell the history of the war that Russia and the West have been waging for a century. Espionage dark arts were the Kremlin's means to equalise the imbalance of arms between the East and West before, during and after the Cold War. There was nothing 'unprecedented' about Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. It was business as usual, new means for old ends.

The Cold War started long before 1945. Western powers gradually fought back after the Second World War, mounting their own shadow war, deploying propaganda, recruiting intelligence networks and pioneering new spy technologies against the Soviet Union. Spies is an inspiring, engrossing story of the best and worst of mankind: bravery and honour, treachery and betrayal. The narrative shifts across continents and decades, from the freezing streets of St. Petersburg in 1917 to the bloody beaches of Normandy; from coups in faraway lands to present-day Moscow, where troll farms weaponise social media against Western democracies. This fresh reading of history makes Spies a unique and essential addition to the story of the unrolling conflict between Russia, China and the West that will dominate the twenty-first century.

  • Classification : HISTORY
  • Pub Date : MAY 2, 2024
  • Imprint : Abacus
  • Page Extent : 640
  • Binding : PB
  • ISBN : 9780349145013
  • Price : INR 899
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Calder Walton

Calder Walton is one of the world's leading intelligence historians. He is editor-in-chief of the Cambridge History of Espionage and Intelligence, to be published by Cambridge University Press in three volumes, which will be a landmark study in the global history of intelligence. Currently the Assistant-Director of the Applied History Project at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Calder holds a PhD in History from Trinity College Cambridge, where he wrote his first, award winning, and widely acclaimed book, Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, Cold War, and the Twilight of Empire (Harper Press 2013). While pursuing a PhD and postdoctoral fellowship at Cambridge, Calder was a principal researcher on Christopher Andrew's unprecedented, authorized, centenary history of the British Security Service, Defence of the Realm (Penguin 2009). This research position provided Calder, for six years, with unique access to British intelligence records. Calder is a regular commentator on intelligence and national security matters in news and media outlets both sides of the Atlantic. Calder is also a qualified English barrister and has worked on several high-profile litigation cases involving defence and security matters, providing him with expertise in the legal issues of intelligence.

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