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Stars and Spies
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Stars and Spies (Hardback)

Pre-order for despatch on publication.


A hugely entertaining and original history of the interplay between spying and showbiz, featuring Marlowe and Shakespeare, but focusing mostly on the twentieth century, the golden era of the Cold War and up to the present day.

Throughout history, the crossover between thespians and secret agents has waxed and waned, often producing some of the most extraordinary undercover agents, and at others leading to disastrous and dangerous failures. The fact that one relies on publicity and the other on secrecy might at first appear to dictate against a successful symbiosis; however, as both involve advanced abilities in creative thinking, improvisation, disguise and role-play, they inevitably attract some remarkably similar personalities.

In this unique history of the interplay between the two worlds, we travel back to Elizabethan England and the works of playwright-come-spy Christopher Marlowe and to the Restoration era to encounter the first female playwright and first female spy Aphra Behn. We visit civil war America and turn of the century Paris to reveal a whole undercurrent of female spy roles as seducers and as efficient and vital agents, as well as inventing a string of exotic myths.

And as the story moves through the twentieth century and the role of spying in geopolitical affairs becomes more central and more dark and dangerous, showbiz provides essential cover for people to gather information, hiding in plain sight, including an astonishing array of famous writers and producers who were drafted into the spying business during wartime, from Maugham, Coward, Fleming, Korda and Graham Greene. Over the course of the century, spying becomes ever more mainstream in popular culture, both in the James Bond adventures, in the spy thrillers of le Carre and Deighton and recently in long-running TV series such as The Americans.

Written by two experts in their fields with unrivalled access to the papers of key players and agencies, Stars and Spies is a unique examination of the historic links between espionage and show business.

Film, TV & DramaFilms, cinemaHistory & PoliticsHistory: specific events & topicsHistory & PoliticsPolitics & governmentInternational relationsEspionage & secret services Publisher: Vintage Publishing Publication Date: 05/08/2021 ISBN-13: 9781847925282  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

Chris Andrew (Author) Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Cambridge University, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, in-house historian for MI5, former Visiting Professor of National Security at Harvard University, and guest lecturer at numerous universities. With Oleg Gordievsky, he published KGB - The Inside Story, the book that revealed the identity of the fifth man. He is also the author of The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized Official History of MI5. Professor Andrew is also a frequent presenter of BBC TV and radio programmes on history and world affairs. Julius Green (Author) Julius Green received an MA in history from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he studied under Professor Christopher Andrew. He went on to become one of the UK's most prolific theatre producers, and has served on the Board of Management of the Society of London Theatre and the Board of Directors of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. He is a Fellow of the Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, University of London, and has taught on MA Courses in producing at Birkbeck, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the National Film and Television School. He is the author of two books, How to Produce a West End Show and Agatha Christie; A Life in Theatre.

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