Title: The French Secret Services: From the Dreyfus...
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux, Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 1995
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good+
Edition: First Edition
623pp. The French intelligence services have played a significant role in the affairs of France throughout this century. They were among the most effective during the First World War, however, by the Second World War, they, like the French military, had suffered the effects of government neglect. De Gaulle recognized the value of espionage to France and relied on his intelligence network to aid the Resistance as well as to strengthen the position of France in its relationship with the Allies. Clean. Bookseller Inventory # 003976
Synopsis: A comprehensive history of French intelligence from the 1880s to the present tells the story of the transformation of France's spy networks into modern intelligence services and explains operations of French intelligence in the context of France's divided political culture.
From Booklist: Readers expecting a chronicle of daring escapades by spies and counterspies will be disappointed. Instead, Porch has detailed the steady growth and evolution of the French intelligence-gathering apparatus. If there are heroes here, they are the often faceless bureaucrats who labor in obscurity, generally known only to their colleagues. Porch traces the roots of the secret services back to the Thirty Years War; he shows how the process of intelligence gathering received structure and pervasiveness under Napoleon. Porch's analysis of the role of the infamous Statistical Section during the Dreyfus Affair is particularly interesting; he feels the section insisted on Dreyfus' guilt less for reasons of anti-Semitism and more for reasons of bureaucratic self-preservation. As Porch moves into the twentieth century, he provides fascinating tidbits on the services' search for "hidden" fascists, communists, and even environmental extremists. Porch is perhaps our nation's foremost scholar of French military history; he is also a highly skilled writer blessed with a sharp sense of irony and the ability to find interesting aspects in the seemingly mundane affairs of state. Jay Freeman
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