Author(s): Calder Walton
A brilliant exploration of the role of the intelligence services at the end of Britain's empire. Empire of Secrets is the gripping and largely untold story of the role of the intelligence services in Britain's retreat from empire. Against the background of the Cold War, and the looming spectre of Soviet-sponsored subversion in Britain's dwindling colonial possessions, the imperial intelligence service MI5 played a crucial but top secret role in passing power to newly independent national states across the globe. Mining recently declassified intelligence records, Calder Walton reveals this 'missing link' in Britain's post-war history. He sheds new light on everything from violent counter-insurgencies fought by British forces in the jungles of Malaya and Kenya, to urban warfare campaigns conducted in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. Drawing on a wealth of previously classified documents, as well as hitherto overlooked personal papers, this is also the first book to draw on records from the Foreign Office's secret archive at Hanslope Park, which contains some of the darkest and most shameful secrets from the last days of Britain's empire. Packed with incidents straight out of a John le Carre novel, Empire of Secrets is an exhilarating read by an exciting new voice in intelligence history.
Calder Walton is a leading expert among a new generation of intelligence historians. He has published widely on intelligence history, reviewing books for the Times Literary Supplement, and contributing to a number of books on British foreign policy and international relations. For six years, between 2003 and 2009, he was one of the principal researchers on Christopher Andrew's unprecedented authorised history of MI5. This is his first book.