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The Black Door

The Black Door

Spies, Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers

by Richard Aldrich


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From a seasoned and well-respected British journalist comes an exploration of the evolving relationship between successive British governments and intelligence agencies, from Asquith’s Secret Service Bureau to Cameron’s National Security Council.

At a time when state-run intelligence services are more and more coming under public microscope, The Black Door explores the history of the UK’s various agencies and their relationship with the Prime Ministers.At the beginning of the 20th Century the British intelligence system was underfunded and lacked influence in government. But as the new millennium dawned, intelligence had become so integral to policy that it was used to make the case for war. Now, covert action is incorporated seamlessly into government policy, and the Prime Minister is kept constantly updated by intelligence agencies. But how did intelligence come to influence our government so completely?

Behind the Black Door explores the murkier corridors of No. 10 Downing Street, chronicling the relationships between intelligence agencies and the Prime Ministers of the last century. From Churchill’s code-breakers feeding information to the Soviets to Eden’s attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, from Wilson’s paranoia of an MI5-led coup d’état to Thatcher’s covert wars in Central America, Aldrich and Cormac entertain and enlighten as they explain how our government came to rely on intelligence to the extent that it does today.

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