Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare (Paperback)
  • Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare (Paperback)
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Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare (Paperback)

(author)
£10.99
Paperback 528 Pages / Published: 05/08/2021
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We live in an age of subterfuge. Spy agencies pour vast resources into hacking, leaking, and forging data, often with the goal of weakening the very foundation of liberal democracy: trust in facts. Thomas Rid, a renowned expert on technology and national security, was one of the first to sound the alarm. Even before the 2016 election, he warned that Russian military intelligence was 'carefully planning and timing a high-stakes political campaign' to disrupt the democratic process. But as crafty as such so-called active measures have become, they are not new. In this astonishing journey through a century of secret psychological war, Rid reveals for the first time some of history's most significant operations - many of them nearly beyond belief. A White Russian ploy backfires and brings down a New York police commissioner; a KGB-engineered, anti-Semitic hate campaign creeps back across the Berlin Wall; the CIA backs a fake publishing empire, run by a former Wehrmacht U-boat commander that produces Germany's best jazz magazine.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781788160759
Number of pages: 528
Weight: 435 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 31 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
Mindbending... The Kremlin's renewed efforts will ensure that Active Measures appears on the reading list of government officials and security experts. But it would be a disservice to reduce it to such a narrow space. For this is a book about something much bigger: our relationship with truth and our desire for lies -- Peter Pomerantsev * Spectator *
In rich detail, Rid walks us through a hundred years of political warfare, recounting the exploits powers both major and minor inflicted on one another via the disinformation units of their intelligence agencies. Some of the stories are hair-raising -- Jonathan Freedland * NYRB *
Groundbreaking ... Thomas Rid looks deep into neglected East European State Security archives, tracks down Cold War-era active measures officers, and examines fresh digital forensics in order to tell the true history of what we now know as disinformation. Active Measures is full of great stories that give contemporary events the historical context that has, until now, been missing. -- Anne Applebaum * Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag: A History *
Clausewitz for the cyber era -- John S Gardner * Guardian *
Thomas Rid's timely Active Measures is an instant classic. He provides a comprehensive look at the political attacks we witnessed in 2016, and reminds us that deception and disinformation have deep historical roots. He also shows that the effects of active measures can be long-lasting, but can also boomerang on those who initiate them. As free societies look to defend against future deception campaigns, they will need to understand both the past and the new technologies that help to weaponize the practice in the present. Thomas Rid's excellent book is the best place to start. -- John Sipher * former member of the CIA's Senior Intelligence Service *
Thomas Rid, a recognized expert in information security, investigates the history of disinformation, taking us back to its modern origins. He tells a series of thrilling stories of how this subtle game was played by the founder of the Soviet secret police, his successors at the KGB, their Western counterparts, and contemporary Russian intelligence operators. Rid has produced a book that is destined to become a seminal work on the topic. -- Andrei Soldatov * coauthor of The Red Web: The Kremlin's War on the Internet *
Active Measures provides a comprehensive look at the disinformation game, from the 1920s through the digital revolution. Thomas Rid gives the reader an insider's view of how high-profile influence campaigns are designed and executed, thus providing historical perspective that can help us blunt the impact of disinformation. For that reason alone, Active Measures is a must-read. -- Nada Bakos * former analyst and targeting officer at the CIA *
Skillfully illuminates and demystifies this ballyhooed but much-misunderstood subject * Publishers Weekly starred review *
Engrossing ... invaluable -- James Gibney * The American Scholar *

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