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Stars and Spies

Intelligence Operations and the Entertainment Business

Christopher Andrew Julius Green



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Bodley Head
19 October 2021
A vastly entertaining and unique history of the interaction between spying and showbiz, from the Elizabethan age to the Cold War and beyond.

Throughout history, there has been a consistent crossover between show business and espionage, often producing some of the most extraordinary undercover agents and occasionally leading to disastrous and dangerous failures. The fact that one relies on publicity and the other on secrecy might seem to rule out a successful symbiosis, but as both require high levels of creative thinking, improvisation, disguise and role-play, they inevitably attract some remarkably similar personalities.

Stars and Spies is the first history of the interplay between these two worlds. We travel back to the golden age of theatre and intelligence in the reign of Elizabeth I, where we meet the playwright and spy Christopher Marlowe. In the Restoration, we encounter in Aphra Behn the first professional female playwright and the first female spy to work for the British government. We visit Civil War America, Tsarist Russia and fin de si cle Paris where some writers, actors and entertainers became efficient and vital agents, while others are put under surveillance by the burgeoning intelligence services.

As the story moves through the 20th century and beyond, and the role of spying in world affairs becomes more significant, showbiz provides essential cover for agents to gather information, while hiding in plain sight. The astonishing array of those who were drafted into the intelligence services includes Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, Noel Coward and Alexander Korda. At the same time, spying enters mainstream popular culture, from the adventures of James Bond to the thrillers of John Le Carre and long-running TV series such as The Americans.

Written by two experts in their fields - Christopher Andrew, arguably the world's leading intelligence historian, and Julius Green, theatre producer and entertainment historian - Stars and Spies is a unique and highly entertaining examination of the fascinating links between the intelligence services and show business.
By:   ,
Imprint:   Bodley Head
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 38mm
Weight:   594g
ISBN:   9781847925299
ISBN 10:   1847925294
Pages:   352
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Chris Andrew (Author) Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Cambridge University, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, in-house historian for MI5, former Visiting Professor of National Security at Harvard University, and guest lecturer at numerous universities. With Oleg Gordievsky, he published KGB - The Inside Story, the book that revealed the identity of the fifth man. He is also the author of The Defence of the Realm- The Authorized Official History of MI5. Professor Andrew is also a frequent presenter of BBC TV and radio programmes on history and world affairs. Julius Green (Author) Dr Julius Green is an award-winning theatre producer and circus director, with over 250 productions to his credit. He is also an entertainment historian, who received an MA in History from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and was awarded his PhD by Goldsmiths, University of London. His books include How to Produce a West End Show and Agatha Christie- A Life in Theatre.

Reviews for Stars and Spies: Intelligence Operations and the Entertainment Business

A treasure trove of human ingenuity, and testament to our need to tell and believe stories, it deserves a front-row seat at any budding Bond's bedside -- James Owen * The Times *

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