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Intelligence Studies in Britain and the US

Historiography since 1945

Edited by Christopher R. Moran, Christopher J. Murphy

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The first introduction to writing about intelligence and intelligence services

Secrecy has never stopped people from writing about intelligence. From memoirs and academic texts to conspiracy-laden exposés and spy novels, writing on intelligence abounds. Now, this new account uncovers intelligence historiography’s hugely important role in shaping popular understandings and the social memory of intelligence.

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The Editors
The Contributors
List of Figures
Preface by Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones
Introduction: Intelligence Studies Now and Then, Christopher R. Moran and Christopher J. Murphy
Part I: American Intelligence Historiography
1. CIA History as a Cold War Battleground: The Forgotten First Wave of Agency Narratives, Richard J. Aldrich
2. The Culture of Funding Culture: The CIA and the Congress for Cultural Freedom, Eric Pullin
3. ‘Real Substance, Not Just Symbolism’? The CIA and the Representation of Covert Operations in the Foreign Relations of the United States Series, Matthew Jones and Paul McGarr
4. Bonum Ex Malo: The Value of Legacy of Ashes in Teaching CIA History, Nicholas Dujmovic
5. Narrating Covert Action: The CIA, Historiography and the Cold War, Kaeten Mistry
6. FBI Historiography: From Leader to Organisation, Melissa Graves
7. Reconceiving Realism: Intelligence Historians and the Fact/Fiction Dichotomy, Simon Willmetts
8. The Reality is Stranger than Fiction: Anglo-American Intelligence Cooperation from World War Two through the Cold War, Frederick P. Hitz
Part II: British Intelligence Historiography
9. A Plain Tale of Pundits, Players and Professionals: The Historiography of the Great Game, Robert Johnson
10. No Cloaks, No Daggers: The Historiography of British Military Intelligence, Jim Beach
11. The Study of Interrogation: A Focus on Torture, But What About the Intelligence?, Samantha Newbery
12. Whitehall, Intelligence and Official History: Editing SOE in France, Christopher J. Murphy
13. A Tale of Torture? Alexander Scotland, The London Cage and Post-War British Secrecy, Daniel Lomas
14. 1968 – ‘A Year to Remember’ for the Study of British Intelligence?, Adam D. M. Svendsen
15. Their Trade is Treachery: A Retrospective, Chapman Pincher
16. Intelligence and ‘Official History’, Christopher Baxter and Keith Jeffery

About the Author

Dr. Christopher R. Moran is an Assistant Professor of US National Security in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. He is also a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow. Previously, he was a research assistant on the AHRC-funded project, ‘Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA and the Contested Record of US Foreign Policy’. He is the author of Classified: Secrecy and the State in Modern Britain (2012).

Dr. Christopher J. Murphy is a Lecturer in Intelligence Studies in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences at the University of Salford, and Programme Leader for the MA in Intelligence and Security Studies. He is the author of Security and Special Operations: SOE and MI5 during the Second World War (2006).


A much-needed examination of the extensive and rapidly growing historiography of intelligence studies. It addresses the difficulties posed by official secrecy, how real world developments influenced historiography, and the recent trend toward state-sanctioned histories. Given the diversity of the literature examined, it is fitting that the contributors range from scholars to journalists and intelligence professionals … Summing Up: Recommended.

- Choice, P. C. Kennedy, York College of Pennsylvania

A fascinating collection of perspectives that chronicles the development of intelligence studies during the past 30 years from a 'missing dimension' of modern history to a mature discipline fully able to hold its own with its scholarly forbears.

- David Robarge, CIA Chief Historian