News and events archive 2004 - 2013


Learning from the Secret Past - Cases in British Intelligence History

Learning from the Secret Past - Cases in British Intelligence History, written by Leicester graduate Michael Goodman.

Learning from the Secret Past - Cases in British Intelligence History

Leicester graduate co-edits new book on intelligence successes, failures and more

Identifying "lessons learned" is not new—the military has been doing it for decades. However, members of the worldwide intelligence community have been slow to extract wider lessons gathered from the past and apply them to contemporary challenges. Learning from the Secret Past is a collection of ten carefully selected cases from post-World War II British intelligence history. Some of the cases include the Malayan Emergency, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Northern Ireland, and the lead up to the Iraq War. Each case, accompanied by authentic documents, illuminates important lessons that today's intelligence officers and policymakers—in Britain and elsewhere—should heed.

Written by former and current intelligence officers, high-ranking government officials, and scholars, the case studies in this book detail intelligence successes and failures, discuss effective structuring of the intelligence community, examine the effective use of intelligence in counterinsurgency, explore the ethical dilemmas and practical gains of interrogation, and highlight the value of human intelligence and the dangers of the politicization of intelligence. The lessons learned from this book stress the value of past experience and point the way toward running effective intelligence agencies in a democratic society.

Scholars and professionals worldwide who specialize in intelligence, defense and security studies, and international relations will find this book to be extremely valuable.

Robert Dover is a senior lecturer in international relations at Loughborough University (UK) and the author of The Europeanization of British Defence Policy, 1997-2005.

Michael S. Goodman is a graduate of the University of Leicester and is a senior lecturer in the Department of War Studies at King's College London, official historian of the Joint Intelligence Committee (UK), and author of Spying on the Nuclear Bear: Anglo-American Intelligence and the Soviet Bomb.


"All professions, maybe especially the intelligence profession, must be aware of and learn from their history. British Intelligence has been a major player throughout the past one hundred years. There are important lessons to be drawn from their varied experiences as set down in this often thought-provoking study." — Sir John Scarlett, former chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee and former chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

"Learning from the Secret Past is an admirably executed combination of important case studies, apt primary-source material, and illuminating analysis. Each example has clear contemporary relevance and I commend the book to policymakers and scholars, as well as to anyone interested in the myriad significant ways intelligence has impinged on modern British history and politics." — Keith Jeffery, Queen's University Belfast, and author of MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service, 1909-1949

  • Title: Learning from the Secret Past - Cases in British Intelligence History
  • Editors: Robert Dover and Michael S. Goodman
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Published: November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781589017702 (eBook ISBN: 9781589017955)
  • Pages: 336
  • Price: £20.75

Click here for more information on the publisher's website.


- Leicester Alumnus Thriller Writer Signs Deal With US Publisher

- Competition for Vietnamese students: 'UK in my Eyes'

- Last chance to see? New book on museum disposals

- Alumni events that bring past and future together

- Leicester graduate Mark Smulian writes on the Percy Gee Development

[University Home]. [eBulletin]. [University Index A-Z]. [University Search]. [University Help]
Managed by Press Office
[Copyright] and [Disclaimer]