The British public-school system, with its hidden homosexuality and feelings of loneliness, encouraged subterfuge and led to a generation of great spy writers and spies, suggests author and journalist Ben Macintyre. He picks the best books on spies.
Covert Action: Central Intelligence Agency and the Limits of American Intervention in the Post-War World
by Gregory Treverton
Executive Secrets: Covert Action and the Presidency
by William J Daugherty
MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949
by Keith Jeffery
The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West
by Christopher Andrew & Vasili Mitrokhin
Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations
by Ronen Bergman
Many of us live in democracies and believe in government transparency, but the truth is our leaders have considerable scope to engage in secret operations overseas. Rory Cormac talks us through five books on ‘covert action,’ and some of the countries that have embraced it as a policy tool.
The former foreign correspondent takes us on a gloriously anecdotal ramble through the history of war reporting, espionage and journalistic half-truths, and recalls his encounters and friendship with “the third man” Kim Philby