The British Secret Service has been cloaked in secrecy and shrouded in myth since it was created a hundred years ago. A unique and unprecedented insight into this secret world and the reality behind the fiction.
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From the defining period of the early Cold War through to the modern day, MI6 has undergone a dramatic transformation from a gung-ho, amateurish organisation to its modern, no less controversial, incarnation. Gordon Corera reveals the triumphs and disasters along the way. For the first time, it is possible to draw a picture of what spies really get up to. Corera draws on the first-hand accounts of those who have spied, lied and in some cases nearly died in service of the state. They range from spymasters to the agents they ran, from the families of Britain's spies to their sworn enemies. Most of these accounts are drawn from interviews conducted by the author; many have chosen to speak on the record for the first time. From the Congo to Moscow, from Tehran to Hanoi, from post-war Vienna to the back streets of London, these are the voices of the people who have worked on the front line of Britain's secret wars. And the truth is often more remarkable than the fiction.