The most detailed and authoritative history of the first forty years (1909-1949) of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, is published today by the London publishers, Bloomsbury and in the USA by Penguin.
This unique publication, written by Professor Keith Jeffery, of Queen’s University, Belfast, is based on his unrestricted access to SIS archives of the period. The result is an 800-page story of the world’s oldest continuously operating foreign intelligence service from its birth, in 1909, to the beginning of the Cold War.
Throughout the pages of this history, the values of courage and dedication held by the men and women who served in SIS are graphically displayed. The history also underscores another constant theme, that of the Service’s accountability to government for its actions both in peace and war.
The plan to write the definitive history of SIS began five years ago when Sir John Scarlett, the then Chief of SIS, set the project in motion.