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21.08.2013
The year 2013 will be remembered for the revelations of the incredible scale of Internet surveillance maintained by the National Security Agency in the US and GCHQ in Britain. Walton begins by tracing the development of the domestic and overseas intelligence networks that became MI5 and MI6 in the years before and during the First World War, despite the attitude in Whitehall at the time that there was something distinctly un-British about ‘espionage’ as gentlemen ‘did not read each others mail’. But it is the years after the Second World War that provide most of the dark secrets of Walton’s book. With Empire of Secrets, Calder Walton has produced a scholarly and highly readable book that provides a fascinating background to the development of the secret intelligence networks in Britain. Consumed with their own affairs and agendas, the Great Clans of Rokugan rarely pay attention to the goings on of the other groups that share the Empire with them. Secrets of the Empire presents, in great detail, information concerning these groups, including an exhaustive list of Rokugan’s Minor Clans, the political intrigue of the Imperial families, and much more detail on the workings of the Empire’s wave men and the ubiquitous Brotherhood of Shinsei, not to mention the mysterious Spirit Realms that lay just beyond the reach of the mortal world.
It is the first book to reveal the largely untold activities of British intelligence in the last days of the British empire— the largest empire in world history, the decline and fall of which was pivotal not only in British history, but also in the history of international relations in the Cold War. As well as adding a new dimension to our understanding of Britain’s imperial history, the book also has striking resonances for the world today. Calder Walton was a Research Assistant on Christopher Andrew’s unprecedented book The Defence of the Realm. Calder Walton, ‘British intelligence and the Mandate of Palestine: threats to British national security after the Second World War’, Intelligence and National Security 23 no. Calder Walton, ‘Torture and intelligence gathering in western democracies’, History and Policy (2008). Christopher Andrew and Calder Walton, ‘The Gouzenko Case and British Secret Intelligence’, in J.L. Calder has also reviewed books for The English Historical Review, The Historical Journal, German History and other leading academic journals. Since 2002, Calder has given a number of papers at the Cambridge University Intelligence Seminar.
He has also given papers at a variety of Cambridge and Oxford Colleges, as well as Harvard University, Warwick University, Trinity College, Dublin, The University of Wales (Aberystwyth), the Royal United Services Institute London, and the UK Ministry of Defence. Calder Walton was born in California, raised in England, and educated at Cambridge, Trinity College Dublin and Harvard Universities. Between 2006 and 2009, Calder also helped to coordinate the Cambridge University Intelligence Seminar, which is arguably the most active academic intelligence seminar in the world.


Between 2003 and 2009, Calder was a Research Assistant on Christopher Andrew’s unprecedented authorized official history of MI5, Defence of the Realm, published by Penguin in 2009. The Empire State would be incomplete without this building, but what you don’t know about the famous landmark might surprise you.
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The 10 US Cities with the Most Eligible Millionaires Where do the most single millionaires live? Whether you regard the disclosures of Edward Snowden as the work of a heroic whistleblower or an evil traitor, it is entirely appropriate that this year’s Longman-History Today Book Prize should go to an intelligent, highly readable and fascinating historical account of the emergence of the secret state in Britain, Empire of Secrets.
He was Christopher Andrew’s research associate on the writing of the first authorised history of MI5. Although the security services had a ‘good war’, postwar cutbacks reduced them to shoestring operations. From a 1931 agreement, MI5 officially had responsibility for counter-espionage within the Empire.
In the twilight years of Empire counter-espionage became counter-terrorism, especially in Palestine in 1947-48, in the jungles of Malaya in the 1950s, and around the Gulf in the early 1960s. One that clearly comes across is the progression from the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park to the postwar GCHQ.
The Minor Clans, ronin, the Brotherhood of Shinsei, and even the Imperial families themselves are often overlooked in the schemes of the Great Clans, and often to the detriment of those who fail to take them into account. British Intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire, was published in hardcover in the UK by HarperPress in January 2013. It reveals the use and abuse of intelligence by governments in the past, ‘rendition’ during the Second World War, the use of torture during interrogations in counter-insurgencies, threats of terrorism and counter-terrorism, and the balance that western countries struck between security and civil liberties. The Authorized History of MI5 (London: Penguin, 2009) Available in hardback and paper back.
His most recent review, published in The Times Literary Supplement (15 Feb 2013) was of Ian Cobain’s book Cruel Britannia.
The conference, which was held at King’s College, Cambridge, was the first of its kind, and brought together leading experts on the history of empire and the history of intelligence. In 2006 he completed a PhD in History at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a Research Scholar, and where his PhD was fully funded with a Scholarship from the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council.


He works in the Litigation and Arbitration Department in the London office of the international law firm White & Case. Built in 1931, this building stands at 1,454 feet tall and is best known for its glowing lights, which change color every night. The number of officers grew, especially MI5 officials working in the key imperial cities from Trinidad to Jerusalem to Delhi. As Cold War tensions grew, there were fears of communist subversion in many of the colonies facing independence. Under the terms of a UK-US Agreement brokered in 1946 (the text of which was only publicly disclosed in 2011) GCHQ and the NSA agreed to share much of their intelligence.
He has used with great flair a mountain of top secret records that were only recently declassified and these include some of the Foreign Office’s hidden archive held at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire, a secret storage depot where records were held for 50 years until the High Court forced their release in April 2012. The Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, spent most of its time worried about the international activities of the Soviet Union, so that when war came with Nazi Germany, Britain was woefully ignorant about the state of the country’s real enemy.
And to what extent does it create a small, inward-looking magic circle, hung up on its own obsessions and unable to see the bigger picture? It is due to be published in paperback in the UK by William Collins at the end of January 2014. He has lectured and supervised in the Faculty of History, Cambridge University, particularly on an undergraduate paper on intelligence history, which between 2002 and 2010 was persistently one of the most popular undergraduate History papers at Cambridge University. While offering to handle the security interests of the newly independent states, they would keep a watch on what was happening. The principal narrative of Empire of Secrets ends in the mid 1960s, not because the story ends then but because the records beyond this point have not yet been declassified. Although they claimed to share all intelligence with the new regimes, much information would be sent to London marked ‘UK Eyes Only’. The intelligence establishment tried to hide these incriminating records showing how they plotted and deceived the new leaders. But MI5 was so successful in securing deals with newly independent governments that many of them willingly adopted a sort of UK ‘intelligence culture’, creating a vast pro-western intelligence bulwark against Sino-Soviet propaganda and infiltration right into the heyday of the Cold War.



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