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World History of Espionage: Agents, Systems, Operations

NCJ Number
Janusz Piekalkiewicz
Date Published
865 pages
This book traces the history of the nature and the tasks of the spy, from the kingdom of the pharaohs of Egypt to espionage in the electronic age.
Following a general discussion of the nature and tasks of espionage, the book shows how various nations and cultures from ancient times to the present have used espionage as a means of protection from and advantage over a perceived enemy. The historical review notes that even in earliest times, military operations required a reconnaissance or scouting system. Military commanders advancing with their armies into unknown regions required at least a cursory knowledge of geographic conditions, of the number and kinds of inhabitants in the land, and of the strategic possibilities available to them. Early examples of espionage encompass the kingdom of the pharaohs, Phoenicians and Hittites, Babylonians and Assyrians, the Trojan War, The Chinese Sun Tzu, Persia, and the Greeks. Espionage in the period of Roman rule focuses on the Punic Wars and the period from Julius Caesar to Caesar Augustus. This is followed by descriptions of espionage in the Byzantine Empire, China, "The Great Age of Islam," the Mongols, espionage by the Vatican, and spies and informers for kings in London and Paris. Other chapters focus on particular types of espionage, such as cryptography and codebreakers, secret diplomacy, clandestine mail interception, and equipment for espionage. The origins and activities of various contemporary espionage agencies of major world powers are described, and the activities of particularly effective espionage agents are profiled. One chapter discusses the development of espionage between 1945 and today. Separate chapters cover industrial espionage and espionage in the electronic age. A 1,260-item bibliography and appended dictionary of espionage terms


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