Fully Updated Centenary Edition
GCHQ is the largest and most secretive intelligence organisation in the UK, and has existed for 100 years - but we still know next to nothing about it.
In this ground-breaking book - the first and most definitive history of the organisation ever published - intelligence expert Richard Aldrich traces GCHQ’s development from a wartime code-breaking operation based in the Bedfordshire countryside into one of the world-leading espionage organisations.
Packed with dramatic spy stories, GCHQ also explores the organisation’s role behind the most alarming headlines of our time, from fighting ISIS to cyber-terrorism, from the surveillance state to Russian hacking.
Revelatory, brilliantly written and fully updated, this is the crucial missing link in Britain’s intelligence history.
"Richard J. Aldrich is an outstanding analyst and historian of intelligence and he tells this story well...an important book, which will make readers think uncomfortably not only about the state’s power to monitor our lives, but also the appalling vulnerability of every society in thrall to communications technology as we are." (Max Hastings, Sunday Times)
"An intriguing history of covert surveillance...thoroughly engaging." (Daily Telegraph)
"Skilfully weaves together the personal, political, military and technological dimensions of electronic espionage" (Economist)