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Summary

The secret history of MI6 - from the Cold War to the present day.

The British Secret Service has been cloaked in secrecy and shrouded in myth since it was created 100 years ago. Our understanding of what it is to be a spy has been largely defined by the fictional worlds of James Bond and John le Carre. MI6 provides a unique and unprecedented insight into this secret world and the reality that lies behind the fiction. It tells the story of how the secret service has changed since the end of World War II and by focusing on the people and the relationships that lie at the heart of espionage, revealing the danger, the drama, the intrigue, the moral ambiguities and the occasional comedy that comes with working for British intelligence. From the defining period of the early Cold War through to the modern day, MI6 has undergone a dramatic transformation from a gung-ho, amateurish organisation to its modern, no less controversial, incarnation. Gordon Corera reveals the triumphs and disasters along the way.

The grand dramas of the Cold War and after - the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 11 September 2001 attacks and the Iraq war - are the backdrop for the human stories of the individual spies whose stories form the centrepiece of the narrative. But some of the individuals featured here, in turn, helped shape the course of those events. Corera draws on the first-hand accounts of those who have spied, lied and in some cases nearly died in service of the state. They range from the spymasters to the agents they ran to their sworn enemies. Many of these accounts are based on exclusive interviews and access. From Afghanistan to the Congo, from Moscow to the back streets of London, these are the voices of those who have worked on the front line of Britain's secret wars. And the truth is often more remarkable than the fiction.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Gordon Corera (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about MI6

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A brilliant history.

Another great book from Gordon. The perfect mix of history and story telling. The early chapters on post-war Vienna I thought were especially detailed and really painted the picture so well. But throughout the book just rolls along brilliantly.

7 people found this helpful

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Gripping

History told in such an enjoyable way. Factual and could relate to current affairs also. Highly recommend

3 people found this helpful

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Probably my favourite book.

This was such an interesting, insightful ride. I'm sure I'll listen to this multiple times.

3 people found this helpful

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sounds like it was recorded in someone's bathroom

great book bad recording, good voice actor but the recording is quite echoey would enjoy more if the audio quality is better

2 people found this helpful

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Great story, terrible audio

For whatever reason, the producer has opted for Mr Corera to record this in his kitchen. The reverb is terrible. There is no sound treatment and so a great deal of clarity is lost in his voice. High end "hiss" is present only when he speaks which sounds like a rookie sound engineer has attempted to apply a noise gate using room ambience noise floor. In one of the earlier chapters there is a loud bang that escaped the edit! I'm amazed that this was missed by any quality control checks and wasn't spotted by the engineer before mixing down. If someone has been paid to produce this, it would surprise me.

Genuinely this production could have been much higher quality with some basic commercially available equipment and a working knowledge of sound frequencies and audio editing.

I am surprised and deeply disappointed by the poor quality recording of such a high profile author and authority on British intelligence. Freely available amateur podcasts generally have a higher audio quality than this recording.

The content of the book is excellent. I have purchased the physical book for a fraction of the price of this recording for the above reasons. I feel cheated by the producers of this audio recording as the sound quality is shamefully - and unnecessarily - poor.

1 person found this helpful

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Last 2 hours are the best!!

Only take this on if you have a lot of spare time or a historian.

1 person found this helpful

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Recorded in someone's kitchen?

Reading spoilt by tinny recording. Otherwise a fairly enjoyable listen with some interesting fine detail.

1 person found this helpful

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A very quick overview

This audiobook is a very general summary and doesn’t provides much new information that hasn’t been written about many, many times. However, his delivery and writing are good- sound improved when paired with a speaker.

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Not impressed.

Uninformative. Not easy to listen to and seems to have a political bias. Don’t bother.

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Good history.

I found the most interesting part was about the Iraq war. But the whole book is very good covering the most interesting parts of the history. Well narrated.