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Intelligence and the War against Japan: Britain, America and the Politics of Secret Service Hardcover – April 13, 2000

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521641869 ISBN-10: 0521641861 Edition: First Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...Aldrich provides an important supplemental history in an area that has been long dominated by a western focus on WWII's European theater." Kirkus Reviews

"The author examines the politics of the British and American intelligence services in the Far East where they became the key players in the struggle between Churchill and Roosevelt over postwar Asia... This book is not only fascinating but often amusing." Virginia Quarterly Review

"Richard J. Aldrich opens up an important new dimension to Pacific war studies with his revelations about the unfighting between the British and American allies to secure commercial hegemony in the post-war Far East." The London Times, military books of the year

"...significant contribution of this densely written work..." Choice

"...Richard J. Aldrich has done a superb job - his focus is clearly the politics of intelligence organizations and he leaves no stone unturned in significant British and US private and public despositories....Wellorganized and lucidly written....this is an important study and major contribution to the inteligence literature of the Second World War." Carl Bolyd The International History Review

"A comprehensive, scholarly history of the development of the British secret intelligence and its American counterparts during the war against Japan....He argues that from the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the Allies focused increasingly on each other's future ambitions, rather than the common enemy. Key players in this strtegic theme are Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt and their rivalry over the future of empire in Asia. Aldrich's cogent analysis of the role of intelligence in Far Eastern developments offers a through and incisve account of this high level maneuvering." Reviews and Things Cryptologic

"Intelligence and the War Against Japan is a much-needed addition to the literature on both intelligence and coalition warfare. it moves beyond the cloak-and-dagger anecdotes that all too often characterize intelligence studies to explore how intelligence service serve as instruments of politics....a highly worthwhile book." Jrnl of Military History

"...prodigiously researched and well-written..." Military Review

"... both works are valuable additions to the growing interplay between diplomatic history and intelligence history" The Journal of American History Dec 2001

Book Description

This is the first comprehensive history of the development of the British secret service and its relations with its American intelligence counterparts during the war against Japan. Richard J. Aldrich uses recently declassified files to examine the bitter and controversial politics of secret service: he argues that, from 1942, the Allies increasingly spied on each other's future ambitions, rather than the common enemy. Dr Aldrich's fluent analysis of the role of intelligence in Far Eastern developments is the most thorough and penetrating account of the period yet published.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 526 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; First Edition edition (April 13, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521641861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521641869
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,592,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Syphax on December 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book comes under the heading of "necessary reading" for anyone seriously interested in the war against Japan in general, or in intelligence during that war. The general reader will find the going rather tough as the writing is not carried out in the classic story telling line. But the information content is good and, since there are precious few books on this subject available, it will have to do. Also, it is written mainly from the point of view of British Intelligence in the East and therefore offers some interesting takes on US Intelligence activity and the sometime stormy relationship that existed, not only between US and British intelligence interests, but also between the various British intelligence organizations, themselves. Revealing information, if not gripping reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Press reviews of Intelligence and the War Against Japan -
Spying is never for its own sake; people spy because other people want to know something. Any consideration of secret intelligence that does not set it firmly in the bureaucratic context of that gave it birth and which consumes its product, is misleading. Richard J. Aldrich understands this very well. Aldrich calls his territory "the missing dimension of our understanding of intelligence during the Second World War" ... There are two kinds of book about intelligence: those that view it from the ground level, telling spy stories and generally panning or praising intelligence services; and those that, eschewing the stories, view it from the top down as part of a wider strategy, and look at the requirements, politics and bureaucracy, assessments and the use of secret information. This well-written, well-researched and thoughtful book is an excellent example of the later. As a contribution to its subject - and to Second World War studies generally - it is at least important; it may be a landmark.
Alan Judd, The Telegraph, 8 April 2000
Earl Mountbatten of Burma narrowly escaped a Japanese plot to ambush and shoot down his aircraft over China during the second world war, according to a new book that discloses untold secrets about the intelligence war in the Far East ... The Mountbatten story is amongst a host of secrets brought to light by Richard Aldrich ... in Intelligence and the War Against Japan, to be published by Cambridge University Press next month. It discloses embarrassing proof that British and American Secret Services often competed instead of fighting the Japanese.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By El Cutachero on June 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Having a long time interest in this subject, both vocational and avocational, I find this book to be a good summation of the conflicts generated by the varying war aims of the two major powers, that of FDR being to liberate captive nations, and that of Churchill to restore the empire, which of course, meant also setting the French and Dutch back in their old places.
There is little reason to go into much detail here, the subject has been covered in other books such as "Allies of A Kind" and "OSS in China" (c.f. my reviews).
One of the more interesting parts desribes the situation when the Australians realized that even though they hsd come to the aid of Britain in the Near East and Africa, when they needed help the British were unable to give it, and the Aussies had to turn eastward to the US as their principal ally and supplier.
To sum up, the title indicates what this is--a high level study at the governmental and theatre level and not a bunch of thrilling operational tales of behind the lines "sneak and peek."
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Intelligence and the War against Japan: Britain, America and the Politics of Secret Service
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