Scribblings, Special Events, The Features

Scribblings: Christopher Andrew

Photo courtesy of
‘MI5 Headquarters and Towers’
courtesy of ‘the grasshopper lies heavy’

This fall marks the 100 year anniversary of the founding of MI5, Britain’s counter-intelligence and security agency. As a celebration of the agency’s storied success since its inception at the turn of the 20th century, the service has authorized the publication of an official history by Professor Christopher Andrew of Cambridge University. This Thursday, November 12, the public is invited to meet with the author as he discusses his new book Defend the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (here’s the Kindle link) at the International Spy Museum from noon to 1 p.m. Attendance is free.

Prof. Andrew reveals the precise role of MI5 in twentieth-century British history: from its foundation in 1909, through two world wars, and its present roles in counterespionage and counterterrorism. He describes how MI5 has been managed, what its relationship has been with government, where it has triumphed, and where it has failed. Defend the Realm also reveals the identities of previously unknown enemies of the United Kingdom whose activities have been uncovered by the agency and adds significantly to our knowledge of many celebrated events and notorious individuals while laying to rest a number of persistent myths.

A brief chat with Professor Andrew after the jump. Continue reading