Behind the Enigma: The Authorised History of GCHQ, Britain's Secret Cyber-Intelligence Agency (Paperback)John Ferris (author)
- Coming soon
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 848
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
In Ferris we have a shrewd and scrupulous historian ... The references to individual people at all levels of the service are many and illuminating ... Small details can bring a nod or a smile when one is reading ... GCHQ shows it is alert to the role of a security and defence agency in a modern democracy, and Ferris is to be congratulated for shedding so much light upon it -- Vin Arthey * Scotsman *
The book is at its best when sifting the role of signal intelligence (Sigint) in the Falklands war and other late imperial conflicts such as Indonesia and Palestine ... Comprehensive -- Luke Harding * Guardian *
GCHQ emerges from the shadows ... The story of the codebreakers is in fact a parallel history of the entire twentieth century ... There is intriguing detailing of the organisation's structure and systems ... Illuminating ... Absorbing -- Sinclair McKay * Spectator *
What happens when a tiny caste, so obsessed with keeping thing hidden that it speaks its own language of Ultra, Venona or Zircon, opens up? ... The answer - not withstanding significant restriction on what Ferris was allowed to publish - is a book of revelation ... Although he spent months sifting the papers in a high-security Cheltenham vault, [Ferris] does not lose sight of the big picture ... There is much in the book that illuminates other aspects of postwar history, from the struggle against the Jewish underground in Palestine to the 1982 Falklands conflict ... Today, [Ferris] argues, greater openness about intelligence gathering does not affect its relevance and power. His book is an example of this, and shows that the abandonment of Cold War levels of secrecy about GCHQ benefits us all -- Mark Urban * Sunday Times *
There is so much more to this secrecy-shrouded outfit, reveals Canadian historian John Ferris ... Fielding formidable research, Ferris tells a global tale of mathematics, engineering, data sciences and linguistics in the service of politics, diplomacy, war and security -- Andrew Robinson * Nature *
[Ferris] has written a deeply learned, comprehensive account of [GCHQ's] achievements and occasional failures -- Saul David * Daily Telegraph *
A fascinating tale ... It takes us with the codebreakers - mathematicians, linguists, teachers and philosophers and eccentrics - through the ages of radio, telegrams telephone and satellites to the digital present -- Philip Stephens * Financial Times *
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“Fascinating but confusing”
This substantial book seems to me to need a good editor. At times it is difficult to follow, with too many commas. It needs a glossary of all the TLA, ETLA and FETLA* only a few of which appear in the index. However... More
“Turgid is almost an anagram of turgid”
This is a hefty tome though some of it is repetitious and the level of detail is, in places, a bit much for the general reader. Also there is a tendency to use abbreviations and jargon that I found confusing -... More
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