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MI5 Historian to give Public Lecture at Swansea University

MI5 historian Professor Christopher Andrew will give a free public lecture, sponsored by Swansea University’s Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH), on Wednesday 30 March.


Beginning at 6pm, the hour-long lecture on “MI5 and British History, 1909-2011”, by the University of Cambridge History Professor and presenter of the popular radio four series ‘What if?’, will be held in the University’s Wallace Lecture Theatre, Wallace Building.

Professor Andrew’s lecture will be based on information he recorded during his unique access to MI5 files during his seven year reign as the Security Service’s Official Historian.

Claiming that intelligence remains the missing dimension of much British political history and has much to contribute to a broad spectrum of historical research ranging from gender history to the end of Empire, his lecture will trace the role and influence of MI5 from German spies a century ago to the much more serious threat from today’s Islamist terrorists.

Because the context of current counter-terrorism is little understood, it is rarely realised that MI5’s first post-WW2 terrorist targets were not Islamists, but Zionist extremists.

Last year, Professor Andrew’s book – Defence of the Realm: The Authorised History of MI5 – was published in paperback by Penguin and achieved the status of number one best seller in the Politics category (2010).

The book was also chosen by the staff book club at Buckingham Palace and almost 200 members of the royal household attended a talk on the history of MI5 by Professor Andrew.  The Daily Telegraph reported that staff were “transfixed for an hour, the professor had us eating out the palm of his hand”.

Professor Christopher Andrew’s lecture on “MI5 and British History, 1909-2011” will be held in the Wallace Lecture Theatre, Wallace Building, Swansea University.  Light refreshments will be served from 5.15pm and the lecture will start at 6pm promptly. Admission to the lecture is free and all are welcome to attend.

For further information please contact RIAH on Tel: 01792 295190, or email: riah@swansea.ac.uk.

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