Secret History: Writing the Rise of Britain’s Intelligence Services
Simon Ball, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020, $34.95
How did Britain’s intelligence agencies, famously fictionalized by Ian Fleming and John le Carré, rise to prominence in real life? In Secret History: Writing the Rise of Britain’s Intelligence Services, historian Simon Ball tells the story through the agencies’ own case histories, constructed internal narratives that shaped British intelligence culture and helped elevate MI5 and MI6 from small, scrappy agencies to the heart of the British state.
Simon Ball is a professor of international history and politics at the University of Leeds, and he joins host Richard Aldous this week to discuss the book. Be sure to tune in for a fascinating discussion of espionage history—and don’t forget to subscribe to the show on your podcast provider, and follow @aminterest on Twitter.