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The first volume of Spy Chiefs broadens and deepens our understanding of the role of intelligence leaders in foreign affairs and national security in the United States and United Kingdom from the early 1940s to the present. The figures profiled range from famous spy chiefs such as William Donovan, Richard Helms, and Stewart Menzies to little-known figures such as John Grombach, who ran an intelligence organization so secret that not even President Truman knew of it. The volume tries to answer six questions arising from the spy-chief profiles: how do intelligence leaders operate in different national, institutional, and historical contexts? What role have they played in the conduct of international relations and the making of national security policy? How much power do they possess? What qualities make an effective intelligence leader? How secretive and accountable to the public have they been? Finally, does popular culture (including the media) distort or improve our understanding of them? Many of those profiled in the book served at times of turbulent change, were faced with foreign penetrations of their intelligence service, and wrestled with matters of transparency, accountability to democratically elected overseers, and adherence to the rule of law. This book will appeal to both intelligence specialists and general readers with an interest in the intelligence history of the United States and United Kingdom.
The second volume of Spy Chiefs goes beyond the commonly studied spy chiefs of the United States and the United Kingdom to examine leaders from Renaissance Venice to the Soviet Union, Germany, India, Egypt, and Lebanon in the twentieth century. It provides a close-up look at intelligence leaders, good and bad, in the different political contexts of the regimes they served. The contributors to the volume try to answer the following questions: how do intelligence leaders operate in these different national, institutional and historical contexts? What role have they played in the conduct of domestic affairs and international relations? How much power have they possessed? How have they led their agencies and what qualities make an effective intelligence leader? How has their role differed according to the political character of the regime they have served? The profiles in this book range from some of the most notorious figures in modern history, such as Feliks Dzerzhinsky and Erich Mielke, to spy chiefs in democratic West Germany and India.