David Stafford

The Decryption Factor

The Secret War: Spies, Codes & Guerrillas 1939–45

By

William Collins 612pp £30 order from our bookshop

What’s not to like about a Max Hastings book? He’s a reliable brand after all. Once every year or so a new one hits the bookstores, a meaty five hundred pages or more, piled high on the front tables, wrapped in an embossed cover and bearing such eye-catching testimonies as ‘masterly’ or ‘magnificent’ and with dramatic titles like Armageddon, Nemesis or All Hell Let Loose. Last year’s contribution to the torrent of books marking the centenary of the First World War was Catastrophe. Now we have Hastings on the history of spies, codes and guerrillas during the Second World War. After the others, the title is disappointingly prosaic.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,