Christopher Andrew discusses his book on the History of Intelligence

by Ashley Catania  |  November 27, 2018  |  PAST EVENTS

On November 13, 2018, The Institute of World Politics hosted distinguished historian and author, Christopher Andrew for a discussion of his recently released book, The Secret World: A History of Intelligence.  

His presentation focused on Russian intelligence, its history, and how it was influenced by leaders like Stalin. Prof. Andrews noted that the Russian intelligence system was founded by Lenin, not Stalin. He described the interconnection between the Russian Church and Russian intelligence. He also noted that the book Official History of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service goes back to Ivan the Terrible, a period which must be encompassed in discussion of the beginnings of Russian intelligence.

Prof. Andrews then discussed the life and rise of Josef Stalin, which he has studied in depth. Eventually, Stalin became the leader of the Soviet Union, which became known for training its people as professionals in electronic bugging. For instance, the Russians hid 120 microphones throughout the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; these bugs were discovered at the end of World War II.  

Prof. Andrews then discussed Vladimir Putin and his leadership in the intelligence realm. Andrews mentioned that Putin honored a Soviet intelligence officer who infiltrated the Manhattan Project, calling him a "Hero of Russia." Prof. Andrews also noted that Russia has been involved in assassinations. He provided the example of Sidney Reilly, British "master spy" who was lured to Russia to be killed.

Prof. Andrews concluded his lecture at IWP in the Cold War time period when Ronald Reagan was the first U.S. President to visit the Soviet Union.

This lecture was part of the Global Impact Discussion Series at IWP and was organized and moderated IWP alumna Patricia Schouker.

Please click here to purchase the book.

Christopher Andrew discusses his book on the History of Intelligence