Author(s): Max Hastings
Examining the espionage and intelligence stories of World War II, on a global basis, bringing together the British, American, German, Russian and Japanese histories. In 'The Secret War', Max Hastings examines the espionage and intelligence machines of all sides in World War II, and the impact of spies, code-breakers and partisan operations on events. Written on a global scale, the book brings together accounts from British, American, German, Russian and Japanese sources to tell the story of a secret war waged unceasingly by men and women often far from the battlefields but whose actions profoundly influenced the outcome.
'As gripping as any spy thriller. Hastings understands, better than any previous historian, that this is as much a story about human nature as it is about the mechanics of code-breaking or spycraft ... he has the novelist's eye for the telling detail ... this book works because Hastings is simply a very fine writer who is not afraid of making judgements ... Hastings's achievement is especially impressive, for he has produced the best single volume yet written on the subject' Lawrence Rees, Sunday Times 'A total thriller with a full cast of killers, swashbucklers and beautiful adventuresses. The best history of war intelligence yet' Simon Sebag Montefiore 'This is his war and he writes with an easy assurance, scatter-gunning opinions ... Hastings is on form. He has set out to provide thought and discussion and, with his familiar robustness, shotgun at side, he has succeeded' The Times 'Authoritative, exciting and notably well written' Daily Telegraph 'A serious work of rigorous and comprehensive history ... royally entertaining and readable' Mail on Sunday 'Vintage Hastings: a vivid cast of characters, social observation and opinions forcefully expressed ... Given the national fixation with spies and special forces, Hastings's book is a very necessary corrective' Evening Standard 'Lively and entertaining ... a rich gallery of rogues, eccentrics and brainstorming professors which ... Hastings can manipulate with wonderful deftness' Observer 'A compendious, crisply argued and witty assessment' Financial Times '[Hastings] writes with infectious relish ... a magnificent parade of crooks, alcoholics and fantasists ... [he] has drawn fascinating fresh material ... A book that pulses along, yet is filled with acute insight into human ingenuity, frailty, and the ironies of evil' Spectator 'Magisterial ... an author at the top of his game' Country Life 'Hastings deploys a formidable arsenal to tell his human stories, plus a refreshing degree of scepticism' Daily Telegraph
Max Hastings is the author of numerous books, many about warfare, including the bestselling and critically acclaimed 'All Hell Let Loose'. In his early career as a correspondent, he reported on the 1982 Falklands War, experiences which he described in his memoir 'Going to the Wars'. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Honorary Fellow of King's College London, he was knighted in 2002.