Michael Burleigh

At Sixes & Fives

Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire


HarperPress 411pp £25 order from our bookshop

The British have some perennial obsessions, Nazis, the monarchy, class and spies being prominent among them. These themes exhaust what passes for seriousness on television, whether in dramas or documentaries, as well as the product of publishers. There is enough human anecdote and eccentricity in Empire of Secrets’s ‘high octane’ narrative to please even the most satiated consumer of such subjects. The book makes some large claims based on the fresh light supposedly shed on decolonisation by recently declassified intelligence reports. 

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