‘The further back you look’, Winston Churchill is said to have said, ‘the further forward you can see.’ Neglect of his maxim helps to explain why British counter-terrorism was less successful in the 1980s than in the 1580s. Understanding Putin’s current intelligence offensive in the West and Ukraine, as well as the ten Iranian assassination attempts in Britain during 2022, also requires a very long-term perspective.


Christopher Andrew is Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College (former Senior Tutor and President), Emeritus Professor of Modern & Contemporary History, Cambridge University, and a founding convenor of Cambridge Intelligence Seminar.

His latest work, ‘Secret World: A History of Intelligence’, presents a detailed, comprehensive look into the world of intelligence throughout human history. The book’s been translated into a variety of languages, including Romanian, Hungarian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Other recent books (available in paperback and Kindle) are ‘The Mitrokhin Archive (2 vols)’; ‘The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5’;  and ‘Stars and Spies: Intelligence Operations and the Entertainment Business’ (with Julius Green).

The talk will be followed by a drinks reception.



Diplomacy, Security

Global Germany

Monday 10th June, 2024

Global Germany


Geopolitical risk analysis study group