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MI6: The Real James Bonds 1909-39 Hardcover – May 24, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"In Six, Michael Smith takes a broad view, adding new stories, filling in details, using true names and dates, and perhaps most interesting, describing the reactions of government entities to the intelligence they received."—Hayden B. Peake, curator of the CIA Historical Intelligence Collection

About the Author

MICHAEL SMITH, former military intelligence officer and award-winning journalist, is one of the world’s leading experts on Britain’s spies. The defence correspondent of the Sunday Times, he is author of the number 1 bestseller, Station X: The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park as well as other acclaimed works including Foley: The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews; The Emperor’s Codes; and The Spying Game.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Dialogue; First edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906447004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906447007
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ESM517 on November 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love the history of secret service organizations and I had previously read one of MI5. This is the first volume in the history of MI6, running from 1909 through 1939. I did enjoy the history, but the autor too often gets bogged down in details, in particular names. Describing some kind of operation or agent network, he runs through sometimes 10 or more names in one paragraph. This is impossible for anyone to follow. At times, I was thoroughly lost as I felt he attempted to provide too much detail. The background on what went on within and outside the service was interesting, but could have been more so with simpler storylines. One additional caveat: his research of MI6 seems impeccable but alas not all the other parts were necessarily perfect. At one point, he describes Bayer as the largest chemical company in Germany in 1924. I researched this and found that in fact BASF was larger in 1924 with more than 2.5 times the sales. OK, this review is more negative than I wanted it to be. Overall well worth the read, but be prepared to slug through tons of details at times.
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MI6: The Real James Bonds 1909-39
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