On Intelligence

Standalone title

From the ancient Greek and Roman origins of human intelligence to its use in the Catholic church to Francis Walsingham’s Elizabethan secret service to the birth of the surveillance state in today’s digital hi-tech age, Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, professional military-intelligence officer and author of the bestselling Military Intelligence: Blunders and Cover-Ups, gives an extraordinarily broad and wide-reaching perspective on intelligence, providing an up-to-date analysis of the importance of intelligence historically and in the recent past. Drawing upon a variety of sources, ranging from first-hand accounts to his own personal experience, Hughes-Wilson covers everything from undercover agent handling to photographic reconnaissance to today’s much misunderstood cyber welfare.

This book stands apart from the rest in that it tells the real inside story from a controversial insider’s point of view, lifting the veil on what really happened behind the scenes in the intelligence world during some of the most well-known military events that have shaped our lives. On Intelligence is looking for hard answers – there are some tough lessons to be learned from both intelligence failures and successes – why is crucial intelligence so often ignored, misunderstood or spun by politicians and seasoned generals alike?

One of the leading military experts of our time, Colonel John Hughes-Wilson skilfully weaves together an accessible and readable narrative on intelligence, accompanied by his unrivalled professional insight.

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Book reviews

‘There should be a well-thumbed copy on every general’s and every officer’s bedside table’ Professor M R D Foot, British military historian and former military-intelligence officer

Reader reviews

‘It’s a comprehensive book that observes, interprets and critiques the whole intelligence gathering cycle. The author deals with the evolvement of this cycle from the earliest of times in history to very recent developments. John Hughes-Wilson has a very engaging writing style, and the information he imparts is both illuminating and thought-provoking.’

‘This is one of those books that, once you start reading it, you can’t put it down. Beautifully crafted and a fascinating insight the various international intelligence agencies get up to, (or should I say get down to), in our name. I enjoyed reading this book immensely and, like other books by Hughes-Wilson, it is very readable.’