Spies is the book we have all been waiting for. Calder Walton is one of the leading intelligence historians of his generation, and his epic account - replete with human drama and tragedy - shows that Russia's struggle against the west neither began with the Cold War nor ended with the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This volume will engross the general reader and policy makers alike, not least because it provides an unsettling window into the behaviour of the second challenger, the People's Republic of China.
The big book has no longueurs, and even gains momentum as it turns to the present day. Mr Putin's invasion of Ukraine serves as a capstone to Mr. Walton's century long story, though he knows that the Cold War between Russia and America will not be the story of the 21st century. Accordingly, he looks to shed light on America's rivalry with China
An engrossing history of the century-long intelligence war between the US, Britain and Russia... crisp and authoritative
Calder Walton has written the definitive compendium of intelligence operations in the Cold War, and their critical, if hidden, influence in shaping events and outcomes
Walton seems to have rushed to every archive, East and West, just as the archivist turned the key in the lock so that he could blow the dust off long-held secrets. His pages crackle with the electric thrill of discovery... People may debate Walton's judgement on particular episodes in the cold war, but thanks to his astoundingly deep research they will do so armed with invaluable new information
Gripping as a spy thriller, accessible and well-researched as the best history, this is an epic account of the global espionage game between Russia and America from Lenin to Putin, a world history through spying
Spies grabs you from the opening page and never lets go. One of our foremost historians of the East-West intelligence war takes us deep inside this grand and often spine-chilling struggle, which predated the Cold War and still rages today. Authoritative, sweeping, chock full of fresh and riveting details, this is a gem of a book.
Walton engagingly charts the complex interactions between the intelligence services of the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union (and its successor, Russia) over more than a century... enlivened by original research and sharp writing
4 stars... The book goes from an age when the West saw spying as ungentlemanly, and was on the back foot, up to today - and warns we are already in a cold war with China and must act before it's too late
A vivid account of intelligence skulduggery... Walton is incisive in his analyses... A gripping, authoritative work
Spies is therefore not just a book about espionage or even intelligence, but also an ambitious and impressive account of the changing nature of information
Calder Walton's deeply researched and artfully crafted book offers a masterclass in twentieth-century and contemporary history. It is rich with trenchant analysis, surprising details, cautionary tales, and unique insight into the 'hundred years war' between American and Russian intelligence agencies. Spanning the Bolshevik Revolution to the war in Ukraine, it is essential reading for anyone trying to understanding the complicated trajectory of current events
Spies has scholarly clout as well as an insider feel... It is hardly news that the Soviet Union spied a lot. But there are few accounts as comprehensive as this one, spanning the Bolshevik revolution to the present day, while weaving in new archival material, some declassified as recently as 2022
A pioneering study of espionage from 1917 to the present day... Walton distinguishes himself from many other writers in the field of intelligence studies by scrutinising the real impact that espionage, whether Western or Soviet, had on international relations
A masterpiece! The intelligence report on Russia and Ukraine in February 1922 with which Spies begins could have been written on the eve of Putin's invasion a hundred years later in February 2023. A major obstacle to understanding the current crisis, triumphantly overcome by Calder Walton, is Historical Attention-Span Deficit Disorder. As Spies vividly demonstrates, we are living through the latest stage of an Epic Intelligence War Between East and West which began a century ago and shows no sign of ending.