Book review: On Intelligence: The History Of Espionage And The Secret World

IT’S hard to lose a game of cards when you can see the other fellow’s hand — a great way of breaking down the importance of intelligence gathering.

John Hughes-Wilson

Constable, €31.40;

ebook, €16.30

This book by colonel John Hughes- Wilson, a leading commentator and author in the field, does a fine job of explaining the intelligence world, looking at its origins and analysing the ongoing developments.

An informative and interesting read, this is a weighty book that is fascinating, if at times taxing to process as a layman.

That, though, is only because On Intelligence is so impressively detailed, brimming with examples, anecdotes and insight.

The stories of real-life agents involved in human intelligence make particularly enjoyable reading, even if it makes you realise how fanciful James Bond is.

The author’s knowledge and passion for the subject is palpable, while his scrutiny and explanations make this a thoroughly enjoyable read.


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