Share this

The Rise and Fall of Intelligence: An International Security History, Michael Warner

Reviewed by James J. Wirtz



Although the art of espionage is timeless, the practice of “intelligence” is a relatively recent phenomenon. By the middle of the nineteenth century, spies had begun undertaking new police and surveillance missions while also adopting new analytic techniques that produced reports containing more than just stolen secrets. By the early twentieth century, these developments had coalesced to form professionalized, government organizations that engaged in many of the functions—code making and breaking, scientific and social analysis, data “fusion,” surveillance, and counterintelligence—that we associate with modern intelligence institutions. Today, individuals use information technologies to undertake activities that were once limited to the great powers. State domination of intelligence might in fact be waning as various nonstate actors, virtual organizations, and individuals play an ever more active role in an emerging digital age of surveillance.

In this lively history, Michael Warner describes how modern intelligence organizations emerged from the social, political, economic, and technological developments that occurred during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and how these same organizations have, in turn, shaped these very same developments. Warner is not particularly interested in providing the details of famous,

To continue reading, see options above.

More by This Author

The Statebuilder's Dilemma: On the Limits of Foreign Intervention, David A. Lake Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

The Global Village Myth: Distance, War, and the Limits of Power, Patrick Porter Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community, AMY B. ZEGART Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

Things Fall Apart: Containing the Spillover from an Iraqi Civil War, Daniel L. Byman and Kenneth M. Pollack Reviewed by James J. Wirtz more by this author

The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End, Peter W. Galbraith
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

A Review Essay of H. R. McMaster's "Dereliction of Duty", James J. Wirtz

Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, P. W. Singer
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

Hit to Kill: The New Battle over Shielding America from Missile Attack, Bradley Graham
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

When America Fights: The Uses of U. S. Military Forces, Donald M. Snow
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

The Nuclear Turning Point: A Blueprint for Deep Cuts and De-Alerting of Nuclear Weapons, Harold A. Feiveson, ed.
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam, H. R. McMaster
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

Tonkin Gulf and the Escalation of the Vietnam War, Edwin E. Moise
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

Clinton and Post-Cold War Defense, Stephen J. Cimbala, ed.
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

The Logic of Accidental Nuclear War, Bruce G. Blair
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

Weapons Don't Make War: Policy, Strategy, and Military Technology, Colin S. Gray
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

The Shattered Crystal Ball: Fear and Learning in the Cuban Missile Crisis, James G. Blight
Reviewed by James J. Wirtz

Intelligence to Please? The Order of Battle Controversy during the Vietnam War, James J. Wirtz

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Developments in Beijing

The Varieties of Collective Financial Statecraft: The BRICS and China

Chinese Thinking on the South China Sea and the Future of Regional Security

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS