Intelligence And National Security

Title:                      Intelligence And National Security

Author:                 William R. Harris

Harris, William R. (1968). Intelligence And National Security: A Bibliography With Selected Annotations. rev. ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ., Center for International Affairs

LCCN:    68005163

Z6724.I7 H3


Date Updated:  March 1, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

This is divided into two sections. The first is Harris’ ninety-two-page introductory essay. The remainder is the bibliography itself, broken up into twenty-seven categories. Included are titles of books, government studies and publications, articles, theses, and research monographs. Items are listed in as many categories as are applicable, sometimes on the basis of only one pertinent section. The research, therefore, is impressive. The initial bibliographic essay is striking for its candidness and its observations. Harris modestly explains that he lacks background or experience in intelligence and thus the expertise to evaluate any of the works. He also concedes that the work is unwieldy, is largely unplanned, and thus is of complex organization. He has excellent and telling comments to make on the general quality of works of nonfiction and the uncritical recommendations and comments of many reviewers, some of whom are not familiar with intelligence. There is a valuable discussion of deception, a specialty of his. The introduction allows us to understand the reasons for and to be more tolerant of the weaknesses in the bibliography. Among these: annotations are few and those that are to be found are brief; annotations are not always indicative of a thorough knowledge of the work commented on; some categories are inexplicably lacking obvious works (such as the important works on the FBI not to be found in the category of security and counterespionage); covert political action is not one of the categories. The impression left is that of an archival and technical effort on which much time and effort was expended and that serves as one of the guides to the growing literature on intelligence and national security. Harris makes it clear that he deliberately chose to leave more thorough annotation to subsequent bibliographers.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[2]

“With 838 pages covering several thousand books, articles, and papers, this is the most comprehensive bibliography of the subject publicly available. The author’s 92-page introductory bibliographic essay is the only such guide into the labyrinthine literature of intelligence.”[3]

The work is divided into three volumes: a 92-page volume which contains a critique of the literature, and two supplements in which the titles are listed—an extremely awkward arrangement described by the author as “unwieldy and unplanned.”

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 227-228

[2] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 3

[3] Whaley, Barton (1973), op. cit., p. 330


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2 Responses to Intelligence And National Security

  1. Pingback: The Secret Wars, A Guide to Sources in English | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  2. Pingback: Pearl Harbor Warning and Decision | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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