Association of Former Intelligence Officers

COUNTERFEIT SPIES: Genuine or Bogus? by Nigel West, Little Brown, London 1999. ISBN 0 7515 2670 3. Subtitled "An astonishing Investigation into Secret Agents of the Second World War," this latest book by the master of British authors on espionage takes a different cut at the history of espionage - an analysis of how spy stories have been manipulated - some used to provide plausible cover for other types of intelligence operations and methods that needed protection, others forgeries to support propaganda themes, and yet others manufactured by journalists and others and foisted off on a gullible public. Nigel West evaluates the claims and the stories - sorting the wheat from the chaff in a fascinating recital of cases

Among others he examines the remarkable mythology about the French resistance -- - after the war DeGaulle's people were astonished to find that an extraordinary sixteen million French people had been in the resistance, a peculiar post-liberation phenomenon to which I can also attest from personal experience in a different country. And there are some remarkable facts about Sir William Stevenson, celebrated in "A Man Called Intrepid. But read it for yourself. And incidentally, you will note that in the acknowledgment section the author cites AFIO member Hayden Peake at the top of the list, for his "encyclopedic knowledge of the subject." If espionage literature is your game, this is a "must read." (RoyJ)

Reviewed in AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #09-99, 3 March 1999

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