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Historical Dictionary of Signals Intelligence


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About the Author

Nigel West is currently the European Editor of the International Journal of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence and teaches the history of postwar intelligence at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies. He is the author of many books, including the Historical Dictionary of British Intelligence (Scarecrow, 2005), Historical Dictionary of International Intelligence (Scarecrow, 2006), Historical Dictionary of Cold War Counterintelligence (Scarecrow, 2007), and Historical Dictionary of Sexspionage (Scarecrow, 2009). In October 2003 he was awarded the U.S. Association of Former Intelligence Officers' first Lifetime Literature Achievement Award.


West is a noted writer on this topic. The sturdily bound book under review is suitable for the reference or circulating collections of academic and large public libraries, and especially those collections emphasizing military or intelligence history. * American Reference Books Annual *
This volume on signals intelligence-which includes wireless interception, electronic intelligence, cryptanalysis, and more-is the 16th in a series titled 'Historical Dictionaries of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence.' It features around 500 entries on topics ranging from the Falkland Islands to the only British MI5 officer during WW I who spoke Japanese. West (Centre for Counter Intelligence and Security Studies) covers the earliest times-the Boer War-up to the latest, with an article on social media. The dictionary also addresses some obscure aspects of the subject, such as Sand Island, HI. Aids to the reader include a list of abbreviations and acronyms, a chronology, several appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. This bibliography features English-language materials almost exclusively, even though its scope-and the dictionary's scope in general-is international. Also provided are links to a number of relevant websites, including some from Russia, Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe. The volume's index, cross-references and see also references are useful. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates, secondary school students, and general readers. * CHOICE *
The appendices. . . are especially notable, comprising a list of all the people (as far as known) referred to by code names in the 'Venona' transcripts of enciphered Soviet messages, which the author declares to have been 'the greatest secret of the Cold War', and the text of the agreement of 1946 between the United Kingdom and the United States on signals intelligence co-operation, which for many years was such a closely guarded secret that even its existence was not avowed. The provision of an index is uncommon in the Scarecrow series, and it is to be hoped that the general editors will continue this helpful feature. ... The Dictionary offers a window into an obscure, but highly significant, aspect of twentieth century history and of contemporary world affairs, and thus deserves a wide circulation both in academic and larger public libraries. * s *

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