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Rupert Allason

Autor(a) de A Matter of Trust: MI5, 1945-72

58+ Works 1,134 Membros 10 Reviews

About the Author

Também inclui: Nigel West (1)

Obras de Rupert Allason

Molehunt (1987) 51 cópias
Games Of Intelligence (1989) 42 cópias
MI5 in the Great War (2014) 30 cópias
The Faber Book of Espionage (1993) 22 cópias
The Blue List (1989) 19 cópias
The Illegals (1993) 15 cópias
Cuban Bluff (1990) 14 cópias
Murder in the Lords (1994) 11 cópias
Murder in the Commons (1992) 10 cópias
The Faber Book of Treachery (1995) 9 cópias
The A to Z of Sexspionage (2009) 9 cópias
Garbo: The Spy (2014) 2 cópias
Krigens myter - i sset (1989) 1 exemplar(es)

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‘Nigel West’ is the pen name of Rupert Allason, who was a Conservative MP between 1987 and 1997, and under his pseudonym wrote several books about the security services. He also wrote two novels: this one, and a companion volume called, perhaps predictably, ‘Murder in the Lords’.

As someone whose work takes me into parliament (both Houses) two or three times a week I was intrigued to read this. While the plot is decidedly unrealistic, and unnecessarily over-complicated, the insights into parliamentary procedures are very well drawn and accurate. I was very impressed to see a fleeting reference to the work of my own department, although sadly it was clear that the specific subject (‘export credit guarantees’) was chosen by the protagonist as one likely to make the eyes of the person he was addressing glaze over in incomprehension. All too often those words have that effect on me, too.

The plot is rather ridiculous, and clearly just a vehicle for a lurid and scurrilous novel set in parliament, and it was no less enjoyable for that! Set during the 1990s (during the final parliament of John Major’s government), it follows the investigation into the death of little-known Welsh Labour MP, Alun Rees. Bizarrely, the principal investigator is Conservative MP Philip North, who had been Rees’s ‘pair’. While the investigation is conducted by the metropolitan police, as Rees died within the precincts of parliament, it is actually the responsibility of the Speaker of the House. He commissions North to accompany the police,, and to keep him informed of any developments that might reflect embarrassingly upon Parliament.

West writes in an amusing way, and manages to convey a huge amount of information about some of the more quirky aspects of life in the Palace of Westminster. The plot is ridiculous, but presumably deliberately so, and I found it a pleasantly diverting, if insubstantial, read.
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Eyejaybee | Jan 11, 2023 |
Spies Who Changed History by Nigel West is a very interesting look at many of the most important spies of the 20th century.

Because so much has already been written, and has been known for some time now, some of the names that immediately come to mind are absent here, for good reason. With little new about them it would just be rehashing already available material. Instead, we are introduced to many operatives we may not have heard of (I personally had only heard of a few and even then, very little) who each contributed to history writ large, spy history in particular, or both.

While many of these individuals would probably be great candidates for full biographies, this book is about the intelligence community so sticks to the activities that pertain to that. While there are some comments about what may have led a particular person to be a spy or a double spy, that is more an aside than a focus. For me, this is a positive of the book. I liked reading about a number of spies and their activity rather than fewer of them but with more biography.

Readers who like to read true espionage as well as those who like to supplement their fiction reading with some real-world spies will find a lot to enjoy here. The writing keeps the reader engaged yet covers the available documentation in good detail.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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pomo58 | Jul 26, 2022 |
West's book is a fairly comprehensive history of SIGINT and the intel business from the British side, from the earliest days of radio and Marconi, through both World Wars and the Cold War. As an American reader, I was especially interested in what he had to say about GCHQ's long alliance with the National Security Agency, from the 50s onward. Accounts of little known, early spy plane shootdowns by the Soviets are revealed, as well as the more famous U2 incident and the capture of Francis Gary Powers. Various spies and turncoats are discussed, both from England and the United States. West gives espionage aficionados much to chew on here. Makes me want to take another look at James Bamford's PUZZLE PALACE and its sequel. Highly recommended for history buffs.

Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, SOLDIER BOY: AT PLAY IN THE ASA
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TimBazzett | Feb 17, 2020 |
Mi5 British Security Service Operations 1909-1945

Spies are nothing new, the monarchies of Europe have had them for centuries, bring information of varying importance to their masters. Like today, some of that information will be on the money, there will be other times they are passing on nothing more than fake news and information.

Famed intelligence expert, Nigel West has written what has to be one of the best histories of the early years of Mi5. Drawing on source material and former spies (spooks), what we get is an excellent view of what the service was and is about. Just reading where West gained some of his source material is like a who’s who of people and places that have used the service in the past.

Mi5 is the service that is the most misunderstood in the country, a branch of the government we think we know, but actually have no idea about. Many Britons have an idea mainly raised from fiction and tv about what they think Mi5 does. Quite simple West reminds us that Mi5’s job is counter-intelligence and espionage to protect the realm from attacks up on the country.

This is one of best histories of Mi5 that I have read in recent years, accurate, informative and something new on every page. While this book covers the years 1909 until 1945, important formative years, it excels in the work before and during World War Two.

I found the chapter on Aliens the Enemy within, fascinating as this is dealing directly with what Mi5 is about. Keeping the nation safe, so we can sleep safely at night. As cliched as it sounds does not make it wrong.

This is an excellent history from which we learn about one of the most secretive arms of the government. If you want to know about how intelligence works then this book is an absolute must.
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atticusfinch1048 | 1 outra resenha | Sep 29, 2019 |

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58
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10
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