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The State of Secrecy

Spies and the Media in Britain

Richard Norton-Taylor

(author)

Hardback
Provocative, and rich in anecdotes, The State of Secrecy is an illuminating, critical and, at times, provocative account of the author's experiences investigating the secret world.
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SKU
9781788312189
Price £21.75 RRP £25.00

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"a tribute to our better natures"

The Guardian

The State of Secrecy: Spies and the Media in Britain A01 By (author) N Richard Norton-Taylor 234 156 686 BB Hardback 352 I.B. Tauris Bloomsbury Publishing PLC United Kingdom JPSH Espionage & secret services JP Politics & government KNT Media, information & communication industries 1.3 NHWR9 JW NHD KNTP2 JBCT4 Military history: post-WW2 conflicts Warfare & defence European history News media & journalism Media studies: journalism 1FBQ 3MRB 1DDU 3MP Iraq Early 21st century c 2000 to c 2050 United Kingdom, Great Britain 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999 Richard Norton-Taylor reveals the secrets of his forty-year career as a journalist covering the world of spies and their masters in Whitehall. Early in his career, Norton-Taylor successfully campaigned against official secrecy, gaining a reputation inside the Whitehall establishment and the outside world alike for his relentless determination to expose wrongdoing and incompetence. His special targets have always been the security and intelligence agencies and the Ministry of Defence, institutions that often hide behind the cloak of national security to protect themselves from embarrassment and being held to account. Encouraged by his trusted contacts in intelligence agencies and Whitehall departments, Norton-Taylor was among the first of the few journalists consistently to attack the planned invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequently covered for the Guardian the devastating evidence of every witness to the Chilcot inquiry. He also enjoyed unique access to a wide array of defence sources, giving him a rare insight into the disputes among top military commanders as they struggled to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with under-resourced and ill-equipped troops. Described by a former senior Intelligence official as a 'long-term thorn in the side of the intelligence establishment', and winner of numerous awards for his journalism, Norton-Taylor is one of the most respected defence and security journalists of his generation. Provocative, and rich in anecdotes, The State of Secrecy is an illuminating, critical and, at times, provocative account of the author's experiences investigating the secret world. An entertaining and timely book, written by a fine reporter who has made a habit of speaking unwelcome truth to power. * The Observer * Fans of Norton-Taylor's reporting will enjoy The State of Secrecy, which reprises and updates his admirably determined efforts on these and other topics. Vivid vignettes depict the blunders and quirks of the secret world. He excoriates attempts to suborn friendly journalists with thrills and scoops, and to smear or bully those who write "unhelpful" articles. * Financial Times * When it comes to matters of defence and security Norton-Taylor is probably Britain's most perceptive, persistent and best informed commentator ... He has succeeded (in exposing the mindset which encourages the fetishisation of official secrecy) brilliantly. * The Irish Times * Readable, well-structured ... [A] well-timed book. * Standpoint Magazine * Lively and revealing. * CHOICE * A lifetime of experience in why, when and how officials prevaricate or lie has trained [Norton-Taylor] to make proper use of an investigative journalist's best source: the leak. * London Review of Books * A hugely welcome contribution from Richard Norton-Taylor ... providing a richly informed discussion of the relationship between the British security system and the press. * openDemocracy * In a finely written memoir that every student and observer of British politics and journalism must read, Norton-Taylor rightly identifies secrecy as the British disease which stifles and undermines democracy in this country. It's a classic of telling truth to power from a formidable journalist of real integrity. Uniquely, among British journalists, Norton-Taylor had access to sources at the highest levels of the civil service and the intelligence services but didn't fall for their blandishments and lies. Often faced with deliberate official obstruction and, sometimes, employer indifference, he doggedly pursued stories when the media circus had moved on. In forensic detail and with controlled anger Norton-Taylor revisits the stories, scandals and events which have now drifted back into history but which illustrate the enduring power of secrecy to deny citizens access to truth. * Dr Stephen Dorril, author of MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations * Richard Norton-Taylor writes for the Guardian on defence and security and the paper's Security Editor. He joined the Guardian in 1973 as the newspaper's first European correspondent based in Brussels and returned to Britain in 1975 to report on issues of intelligence and security. He won the Freedom of Information Campaign Award in 1986 and in 1994, and Liberty's Human Rights Award for journalism in 2010. He currently co-edits the Guardian Defence and Security blog and is a regular broadcaster. 23012020 02 RRP including tax GB GBP 25.00 0.00 25.00 This price includes a tax element GB 20 Available 20 BERT GARD Y Richard Norton-Taylor reveals the secrets of his forty-year career as a journalist covering the world of spies and their masters in Whitehall. Early in his career, Norton-Taylor successfully campaigned against official secrecy, gaining a reputation inside the Whitehall establishment and the outside world alike for his relentless determination to expose wrongdoing and incompetence. His special targets have always been the security and intelligence agencies and the Ministry of Defence, institutions that often hide behind the cloak of national security to protect themselves from embarrassment and being held to account. Encouraged by his trusted contacts in intelligence agencies and Whitehall departments, Norton-Taylor was among the first of the few journalists consistently to attack the planned invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequently covered for the Guardian the devastating evidence of every witness to the Chilcot inquiry. He also enjoyed unique access to a wide array of defence sources, giving him a rare insight into the disputes among top military commanders as they struggled to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with under-resourced and ill-equipped troops. Described by a former senior Intelligence official as a 'long-term thorn in the side of the intelligence establishment', and winner of numerous awards for his journalism, Norton-Taylor is one of the most respected defence and security journalists of his generation. Provocative, and rich in anecdotes, The State of Secrecy is an illuminating, critical and, at times, provocative account of the author's experiences investigating the secret world.
More Information
Book publisherBloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date23 Jan 2020
FormatHardback
Pages352
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