The New Spymasters: Inside Espionage from the Cold War to Global Terror by Stephen Grey - review by Alan Judd

Alan Judd

Cloak & Data

The New Spymasters: Inside Espionage from the Cold War to Global Terror

By

Viking 349pp £20 order from our bookshop
 

Stephen Grey is a well-informed writer and broadcaster who used to head the Sunday Times Insight team and has published on CIA rendition and on the fighting in Helmand. He has walked the ground and has sand in his shoes. He writes here about the evolution of the post-Cold War intelligence world and the changes wrought upon it by the focus on counterterrorism.

Drawing on published and unpublished sources (many of the latter anonymous), he describes what he sees as the recent downgrading of ‘humint’ (human intelligence or classic espionage) in favour of ‘techint’ (technical intelligence) and covert action. He asks whether spying is actually any use at all and concludes that it is, provided it is set in an appropriate political context and

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter