Espionage  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Espionage (colloquially, spying) is the obtaining of information considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage can be committed by an individual or a spy ring (a cooperating group of spies), in the service of a government or a company, or operating independently. The practice is inherently clandestine, as it is by definition unwelcome and in many cases illegal and punishable by law. Espionage is a subset of "intelligence" gathering, which includes espionage as well as information gathering from public sources.

Espionage is often part of an institutional effort by a government or commercial concern. However, the term is generally associated with state spying on potential or actual enemies primarily for military purposes. Spying involving corporations is known as industrial espionage.

One of the most effective ways to gather data and information about the enemy (or potential enemy) is by infiltrating the enemy's ranks. This is the job of the spy (espionage agent). Spies can bring back all sorts of information concerning the size and strength of enemy forces. They can also find dissidents within the enemy's forces and influence them to defect. In times of crisis, spies can also be used to steal technology and to sabotage the enemy in various ways. Counterintelligence operatives can feed false information to enemy spies, protecting important domestic secrets, and preventing attempts at subversion. Nearly every country has very strict laws concerning espionage, and the penalty for being caught is often severe. However, the benefits that can be gained through espionage are generally great enough that most governments and many large corporations make use of it to varying degrees.

Further information on clandestine HUMINT (human intelligence) information collection techniques is available, including discussions of operational techniques, asset recruiting, and the tradecraft used to collect this information.

Contents

Spy fiction

An early example of espionage literature is Kim by the English novelist Rudyard Kipling, with a description of the training of an intelligence agent in the Great Game between the UK and Russia in 19th century Central Asia. An even earlier work was James Fenimore Cooper's classic novel, The Spy, written in 1821, about an American spy in New York during the Revolutionary War.

During the many 20th century spy scandals, much information became publicly known about national spy agencies and dozens of real-life secret agents. These sensational stories piqued public interest in a profession largely off-limits to human interest news reporting, a natural consequence of the secrecy inherent to their work. To fill in the blanks, the popular conception of the secret agent has been formed largely by 20th and 21st century literature and cinema. Attractive and sociable real-life agents such as Valerie Plame find little employment in serious fiction, however. The fictional secret agent is more often a loner, sometimes amoral—an existential hero operating outside the everyday constraints of society. Loner spy personalities may have been a stereotype of convenience for authors who already knew how to write loner private investigator characters that sold well from the 1920s to the present.

Johnny Fedora achieved popularity as a fictional agent of early Cold War espionage, but James Bond is the most commercially successful of the many spy characters created by intelligence insiders during that struggle. His less fantastic rivals include Le Carre's George Smiley and Harry Palmer as played by Michael Caine. Most post-Vietnam era characters were modeled after the American, C.C. Taylor, reportedly the last sanctioned "asset" of the U.S. government. Taylor, a true "Double 0 agent", worked alone and would travel as an American or Canadian tourist or businessman throughout Europe and Asia, he was used extensively in the Middle East toward the end of his career. Taylor received his weapons training from Carlos Hathcock, holder of a record 93 confirmed kills from WWII through the Viet Nam conflict. According to documents made available through the Freedom of Information Act, his operations were classified as "NOC" or Non-Official Cover.

Jumping on the spy bandwagon, other writers also started writing about spy fiction featuring female spies as protagonists, such as The Baroness, which has more graphic action and sex, as compared to other novels featuring male protagonists.

It also made its way into the videogame world, hence the famous creation of Hideo Kojima, the Metal Gear Solid Series.

Espionage has also made its way into comedy depictions. The 1960s TV series Get Smart portrays an inept spy, while the 1985 movie Spies Like Us depicts a pair of none-too-bright men sent to the Soviet Union to investigate a missile.

World War II: 1939–1945

Author(s) Title Publisher Date Notes
Babington-Smith, Constance Air Spy: The Story of Photo Intelligence in World War II 1957
Bryden, John Best-Kept Secret: Canadian Secret Intelligence in the Second World War Lester 1993
Hinsley, F. H. and Alan Stripp Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park 2001
Hinsley, F. H. British Intelligence in the Second World War 1996 Abridged version of multivolume official history.
Hohne, Heinz Canaris: Hitler's Master Spy 1979
Jones, R. V. The Wizard War: British Scientific Intelligence 1939–1945 1978
Kahn, David Hitler's Spies: German Military Intelligence in World War II 1978
Kahn, David Seizing the Enigma: The Race to Break the German U-Boat Codes, 1939–1943 1991 FACE
Kitson, Simon The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France2008
Lewin, Ronald The American Magic: Codes, Ciphers and the Defeat of Japan 1982
Masterman, J. C. The Double Cross System in the War of 1935 to 1945 Yale 1972
Persico, Joseph Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage 2001
Persico, Joseph Casey: The Lives and Secrets of William J. Casey-From the OSS to the CIA 1991
Ronnie, Art Counterfeit Hero: Fritz Duquesne, Adventurer and Spy 1995 Template:ISBN
Sayers, Michael & Albert E. Kahn Sabotage! The Secret War Against America 1942
Smith, Richard Harris OSS: The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency 2005
Stanley, Roy M. World War II Photo Intelligence 1981
Wark, Wesley The Ultimate Enemy: British Intelligence and Nazi Germany, 1933–1939 1985
Wark, Wesley "Cryptographic Innocence: The Origins of Signals Intelligence in Canada in the Second World War" in Journal of Contemporary History 22 1987
West, Nigel Secret War: The Story of SOE, Britain's Wartime Sabotage Organization 1992
Winterbotham, F. W. The Ultra Secret Harper & Row 1974
Winterbotham, F. W. The Nazi Connection Harper & Row 1978
Cowburn, B. No Cloak No Dagger Brown, Watson, Ltd. 1960
Wohlstetter, Roberta Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision 1962

Cold War era: 1945–1991

Author(s) Title Publisher Date Notes
Ambrose, Stephen E. Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Intelligence Establishment 1981–
Andrew, Christopher and Vasili Mitrokhin The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB Basic Books 1991, 2005 Template:ISBN
Andrew, Christopher, and Oleg Gordievsky KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev 1990
Aronoff, Myron J. The Spy Novels of John Le Carré: Balancing Ethics and Politics 1999
Bissell, Richard Reflections of a Cold Warrior: From Yalta to the Bay of Pigs 1996
Bogle, Lori, ed. Cold War Espionage and Spying 2001– essays
Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World
Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West Gardners Books 2000 Template:ISBN
Colella, Jim My Life as an Italian Mafioso Spy 2000
Craig, R. Bruce Treasonable Doubt: The Harry Dexter Spy Case University Press of Kansas 2004 Template:ISBN
Dorril, Stephen MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service 2000
Dziak, John J. Chekisty: A History of the KGB 1988
Gates, Robert M. From The Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story Of Five Presidents And How They Won The Cold War 1997
Frost, Mike and Michel Gratton Spyworld: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments Doubleday Canada 1994
Haynes, John Earl, and Harvey Klehr Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America 1999
Helms, Richard A Look over My Shoulder: A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency 2003
Koehler, John O. Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police 1999
Persico, Joseph Casey: The Lives and Secrets of William J. Casey-From the OSS to the CIA 1991
Murphy, David E., Sergei A. Kondrashev, and George Bailey Battleground Berlin: CIA vs. KGB in the Cold War 1997
Prados, John Presidents' Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations Since World War II 1996
Rositzke, Harry. The CIA's Secret Operations: Espionage, Counterespionage, and Covert Action 1988
Srodes, James Allen Dulles: Master of Spies Regnery 2000 CIA head to 1961
Sontag Sherry, and Christopher Drew Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage Harper 1998
Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies and Secret Operations Greenwood Press/Questia 2004
  • Anderson, Nicholas NOC Enigma Books 2009 – Post Cold War era
  • Ishmael Jones The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture Encounter Books 2008, rev. 2010
  • Michael Ross The Volunteer: The Incredible True Story of an Israeli Spy on the Trail of International Terrorists McClelland & Stewart 2007, rev. 2008
  • Jean-Marie Thiébaud, Dictionnaire Encyclopédique International des Abréviations, Sigles et Acronymes, Armée et armement, Gendarmerie, Police, Services de renseignement et Services secrets français et étrangers, Espionnage, Contrespionnage, Services de secours, Organisations révolutionnaires et terroristes, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2015, 827 p

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Espionage" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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