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Books

Bletchley Park was decades ahead of Silicon Valley. So what happened?

Two new books on intelligence — Intercept by Gordon Corera and Why Spy? by Brian Stewart and Samantha Newbery — find that had Britain been less hidebound by secrecy it could have led the world in computer science

25 July 2015

9:00 AM

25 July 2015

9:00 AM

Intercept: The Secret History of Computers and Spies Gordon Corera

Weidenfeld, pp.431, £20, ISBN: 9780297871736

Why Spy? The Art of Intelligence Brian Stewart and Samantha Newbery

Hurst, pp.216, £25, ISBN: 9781849045131

Gordon Corera, best known as the security correspondent for BBC News, somehow finds time to write authoritative, well-researched and readable books on intelligence. Here he explores the evolution of computers from what used to be called signals intelligence to their transforming role in today’s intelligence world. The result is an informative, balanced and revealing survey of the field in which, I suspect, most experts will find something new.

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'Intercept', £16.50 and 'Why Spy?', £20 are available from the Spectator Bookshop, Tel: 08430 600033. Alan Judd is the author of C: Mansfield Cumming and the Founding of the Secret Service.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first month for free, then just $2 a week for the remainder of your first year.


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