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on December 2, 2017
Browsing through my Kindle, I found I had put this aside about halfway through the third chapter, probably in 2014 when I bought it. I had no recollection of it and so started again and, again, I gave up in the third chapter. The problem is the vast amount of detail given inside so little context. The third chapter should be about the intelligence services' activities during the ending of the Palestine Mandate and foundation of Israel. Instead, it comes across as a (far too condensed) account of Zionist activities against the UK with occasional comment on (principally) MI5's response. This chapter serves neither as a coherent account of MI5's response nor as an analysis of the effectiveness of the Zionist activities. I wanted to see the wood, but all I got was exposure to the trees.
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on March 18, 2014
British intelligence went from spying on revolutionaries to helping them set up their own surveillance once they became independent -- of course, if the Brits developed the systems they could also tap into them. Interesting on how the English spy teams often warned politicians that the revolutionaries were not communists, but nationalists, and made the transition easier. In some cases too much inside detail, but a fascinating book based on a huge amount of research on the role of secrets in the Empire.
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on March 20, 2014
good information if you like history. very dry prose. moves very slowly. may not be able to bring myself to finish it.
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on October 13, 2015
It is very interesting but considerably longwinded.
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on May 6, 2013
If you like reading the minutes of long meetings then this is the book for you. Its an academic work of research on a really interesting subject in a period of huge change. In the post war years, the British Empire closed in on itself giving independence to many societies who were clamouring of freedom, but with little idea of what to do with thath freedom and how to use it.

Through this period of huge upheaval for the societies concerned - and for the UK - the British intelligence community built up a system of state security and intelligence gathering which was really effective for the new states. Strangely it was implemented by very few people.

The legacy of that work is a system which is beneficial and effective to this day in almost all the countries concerned. I found however the book to be dry reading. Each chapter is about individual places - Kenya, Malaysia and so on. I wonder if that is the right construction.
6 people found this helpful
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on April 29, 2015
Good service. No problems.
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on February 10, 2014
"Twilight of Empire" sums it up! England, Gibraltar, and Northern Ireland are all that is left of the "Empire": Now they may lose Scotland. On the positive side they remain part of the "Five Eyes" agreement which includes US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
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on February 5, 2014
Very satisfied. I bought it as a present for my husband and he is ankious to read it, it was also a surprise.
One person found this helpful
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on June 27, 2014
"Highly readable" might be highly subjective, but I found Walton's account of Britain's withdrawal from its colonial holdings to be a persuasive and clear account of the end of Empire. It has the thorough documentation of an academic book, but is written engagingly, and makes its argument clearly enough to interest anyone curious about the history of intelligence gathering, the end of empire, and the role the British Intelligence operations played in the transition to self-rule for former British colonies. (Calder's take on the US-Britiain "special relationship" is also worth visiting.)
One person found this helpful
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on November 23, 2013
Walton's book is one of the most insightful--and entertaining--accounts of twentieth-century intelligence you can find. Espionage, counter-insurgency, terrorism, high politics, and intrigue -- it's all there. As a Cambridge scholar, Walton clearly knows his stuff, but he wears his scholarship lightly. Walton scours recently-declassified intelligence files to produce a gem, delivering a page-turning, behind-the-scenes look at some of the most pivotal events of our time. Highly recommended.
7 people found this helpful
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