web site hit counter Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History

Availability: Ready to download

Step into the real world of the spy with this detailed and unforgettable tour of the millennia-long history and enduring legacy of espionage and covert operations. While most of us associate this top-secret subject with popular fiction and film, its true story is more fascinating, surprising, and important than you could possibly imagine. These 24 thrilling lectures survey Step into the real world of the spy with this detailed and unforgettable tour of the millennia-long history and enduring legacy of espionage and covert operations. While most of us associate this top-secret subject with popular fiction and film, its true story is more fascinating, surprising, and important than you could possibly imagine. These 24 thrilling lectures survey how world powers have attempted to work in the shadows to gain secret information or subvert enemies behind the scenes. Filled with stories and insights that will change the way you think about world history's most defining events, this course lets you peer inside a subject whose truths most people are unaware of. Professor Liulevicius introduces you to the inner workings of covert organizations, including the Oprichnina, a feared secret service established by tsar Ivan the Terrible in the 1500s in an effort to cleanse Russia of treasonous activities; the CIA, established in 1947 by President Truman to replace the Office of Secret Services to be in charge of all intelligence collection - and which had an embarrassing early history; and Mossad, Israel's version of the CIA, which won a series of key intelligence victories during the cold war and over terror attacks and hostage crises in the second half of the 20th century. You'll also meet famous - and infamous - spies, including Sir Francis Walsingham, Mata Hari, and Kim Philby. In this stirring series of lectures, you'll study the psychological motives behind spies, the ethics of cyber warfare and corporate espionage, the question of whether we now live in a surveillance society, and more.


Compare

Step into the real world of the spy with this detailed and unforgettable tour of the millennia-long history and enduring legacy of espionage and covert operations. While most of us associate this top-secret subject with popular fiction and film, its true story is more fascinating, surprising, and important than you could possibly imagine. These 24 thrilling lectures survey Step into the real world of the spy with this detailed and unforgettable tour of the millennia-long history and enduring legacy of espionage and covert operations. While most of us associate this top-secret subject with popular fiction and film, its true story is more fascinating, surprising, and important than you could possibly imagine. These 24 thrilling lectures survey how world powers have attempted to work in the shadows to gain secret information or subvert enemies behind the scenes. Filled with stories and insights that will change the way you think about world history's most defining events, this course lets you peer inside a subject whose truths most people are unaware of. Professor Liulevicius introduces you to the inner workings of covert organizations, including the Oprichnina, a feared secret service established by tsar Ivan the Terrible in the 1500s in an effort to cleanse Russia of treasonous activities; the CIA, established in 1947 by President Truman to replace the Office of Secret Services to be in charge of all intelligence collection - and which had an embarrassing early history; and Mossad, Israel's version of the CIA, which won a series of key intelligence victories during the cold war and over terror attacks and hostage crises in the second half of the 20th century. You'll also meet famous - and infamous - spies, including Sir Francis Walsingham, Mata Hari, and Kim Philby. In this stirring series of lectures, you'll study the psychological motives behind spies, the ethics of cyber warfare and corporate espionage, the question of whether we now live in a surveillance society, and more.

30 review for Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This 24 course lecture is a broad overview of espionage operations throughout history. It moves chronologically, beginning with accounts from the Bible and incidents in ancient Greece and Rome. Each course thereafter touches on espionage operations in various times throughout history including medieval times, the Elizabethan Age, The American Revolution and Civil War, WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. The course was entertaining and I picked up some interesting tid-bits along the way, discovering som This 24 course lecture is a broad overview of espionage operations throughout history. It moves chronologically, beginning with accounts from the Bible and incidents in ancient Greece and Rome. Each course thereafter touches on espionage operations in various times throughout history including medieval times, the Elizabethan Age, The American Revolution and Civil War, WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. The course was entertaining and I picked up some interesting tid-bits along the way, discovering some topics that I would like to dig into further (for example, Kim Philby and the Cambridge Five spy ring) But for the most part, it was too high-level to be of much value in learning about the topic.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brig

    Interesting Primer This lecture series is not a comprehensive "deep dive" into espionage and covert action. Rather, we are given a primer on the subject with significant historical context. The information was interesting and the data seemed carefully presented. Overall, the professor did an excellent job of puiqing my interest and illuminating avenues for further self-study. Interesting Primer This lecture series is not a comprehensive "deep dive" into espionage and covert action. Rather, we are given a primer on the subject with significant historical context. The information was interesting and the data seemed carefully presented. Overall, the professor did an excellent job of puiqing my interest and illuminating avenues for further self-study.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I'll never forget walking the halls of Langley when I was twenty years old. My Alias dreams were finally coming true! Any moment Michael Vartan was going to pull me out of this rote recruitment tour into a cramped closet and tell me my country needed me and that he needed me and was going to be my CIA handler and live happily ever after with me in a house on the beach. I was going to become a super badass spy. Unfortunately, I speak only one language, love to gossip, and would be so godawful and I'll never forget walking the halls of Langley when I was twenty years old. My Alias dreams were finally coming true! Any moment Michael Vartan was going to pull me out of this rote recruitment tour into a cramped closet and tell me my country needed me and that he needed me and was going to be my CIA handler and live happily ever after with me in a house on the beach. I was going to become a super badass spy. Unfortunately, I speak only one language, love to gossip, and would be so godawful and transparent about recruiting a source that it's kind of laughable. So I never saw much more of Langley than the Nathan Hale statue that was a replica of the one I already saw every day at Yale. But old dreams die hard. I found this series while doing research for my manuscript. Is it relevant to anything that I'm writing? Maybe if I squint I can convince myself of that. All the same, I enjoyed it a lot and finished it in the course of a weekend. I listened to this on Audible. Liulevicius is a great lecturer and he covered all of the parts of espionage that I would have wanted to hear about. It was comprehensive, entertaining, and taught me a great deal about pre-WWII spy tactics, in particular. I think espionage is mostly quite dull, painstaking work and Liulevicius does a good job of convincing you of this without ever being dull himself. He is a fantastic storyteller and I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in the history of spies and spying. 5 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tzu

    This is really just about HUMINT and spying as we know it in the more traditional sense. I expected less of that and more talk on covert operations from the likes done by the Mossad and the CIA.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alex Shrugged

    I almost gave this course 3 stars, but I felt my complaints were minor and that most people would get a lot learning about the history of espionage. Please note that while Professor Liulevicius's last name suggests he might have a thick accent, in fact he sounds like most Americans... probably because he is an American. His voice is clear and strong. The history begins with the Egyptians, eventually moving into the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, World War I and World War II with Mata Hari, Kim Phi I almost gave this course 3 stars, but I felt my complaints were minor and that most people would get a lot learning about the history of espionage. Please note that while Professor Liulevicius's last name suggests he might have a thick accent, in fact he sounds like most Americans... probably because he is an American. His voice is clear and strong. The history begins with the Egyptians, eventually moving into the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, World War I and World War II with Mata Hari, Kim Philby, Hitler and Stalin. Then we get into the modern day with cyber-war. Now for my complaints: I was a little irked when the Professor suggested that Jews are a race. (I am Jewish, and I am also a Mexican-American straight out of the barrio. Jews are not a race. We are a tribal affiliation with an official religion.) To be fair, the Professor might have been trying to convey that the Nazis themselves thought of Jews as a race. He was not clear. Secondly, he seemed surprised that the German Nazis and Communist Russians would sign a non-aggression treaty. Granted, the Germans and Russians had had a bad history with each other up until then, but after all... the Nazis and the Communists had a big thing in common. They were both radical socialists. A lot of background context was left out to cover the espionage aspects of major events. I strongly suggest the reader/listener look further into those major events. Otherwise you might get the wrong impression of them. I might listen to these lecture again.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Liulevicius provides a solid overview of espionage and covert operations, with an emphasis on the 20th Century operations of World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. Liulevicius takes upon himself the complicated task of not only describing the history of HUMINT operations, but also briefly describing SIGINT and IMINT while describing the history of certain intelligence services and the ethics of spycraft. This course is well suited for somebody with an interest in intelligence, but who has Liulevicius provides a solid overview of espionage and covert operations, with an emphasis on the 20th Century operations of World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. Liulevicius takes upon himself the complicated task of not only describing the history of HUMINT operations, but also briefly describing SIGINT and IMINT while describing the history of certain intelligence services and the ethics of spycraft. This course is well suited for somebody with an interest in intelligence, but who has not read much of the literature. Most of the examples will be familiar and Liulevicius does an excellent job placing them in the broader context of intelligence and operations. At only 24 lectures, this course unfortunately is too broad and lacks enough focus on espionage and covert operations to be rewarding for more people more familiar with the history of intelligence operations. Liulevicius could have narrowed the focus in a longer course focused more narrowly on covert operations specifically, provided a broader overview of intelligence operations, or focused on one of the several other aspects of intelligence and espionage that he briefly covers in the course.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This is less of a book and more of a university course. I picked this up to help educate myself to write about spies and Espionage in my fantasy fiction. This has a lot of great anecdotes, but I never felt like I had an in-depth view on anything, but that's what happens when you go through an entire history of spying instead of focusing on a single era. It's also worth noting that while it's titled a "global history" it focuses very much on the western perspective, and only touches upon other cult This is less of a book and more of a university course. I picked this up to help educate myself to write about spies and Espionage in my fantasy fiction. This has a lot of great anecdotes, but I never felt like I had an in-depth view on anything, but that's what happens when you go through an entire history of spying instead of focusing on a single era. It's also worth noting that while it's titled a "global history" it focuses very much on the western perspective, and only touches upon other cultures. I'm interested in listening to more about this topic, but my next read would be a more focused one, but this gave a nice broad foundation, and I can always return to one lecture if it's particularly relevant to what I'm writing. Narrator The Narrator is also the Professor here, and he had a very clear voice and his passion for the subject really comes through, which is always nice.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pierre

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really loved my time with "Espionage and Covert Operations"! I found the portions on Soviet espionage to be the most memorable, so this lecture series pairs nicely with archival footage of the former USSR or simply watching Doctor Zhivago. Professsor Liulevicius is, as always, knowledgeable and engaging. Many lecturers in history reduce the subject to a recitation of facts but Liulevicius always strives to identify the major themes and common threads that put information in a larger context. T I really loved my time with "Espionage and Covert Operations"! I found the portions on Soviet espionage to be the most memorable, so this lecture series pairs nicely with archival footage of the former USSR or simply watching Doctor Zhivago. Professsor Liulevicius is, as always, knowledgeable and engaging. Many lecturers in history reduce the subject to a recitation of facts but Liulevicius always strives to identify the major themes and common threads that put information in a larger context. The exploration of espionage in the Nazi, American, British, and Soviet context are by far the standouts. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of the climate in the 1930s - the wave of extremism sweeping across Europe and the world, the search for alternatives to democracy and the trauma of past economic crises. It really makes one think that time must be cyclical, because so much of this is true of today as well. Hearing further details about the Cambridge Spy Ring and Kim Philby was another highlight. My main criticism of the series is that it spends too much time on espionage in the pre-modern era. I skimmed through these lectures. I'm sure they would be interesting to others, but I consider the 20th Century to be the meat-and-potatoes era of espionage.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Scott Wozniak

    This was another survey course (overview of a lot of ideas and events). Not only was this a fun topic (spies and covert missions) but he managed to identify big ideas and thread them throughout the course. So while we constantly changed the details we discussed, it didn't feel disconnected, it felt like one larger story. Loved this one. This was another survey course (overview of a lot of ideas and events). Not only was this a fun topic (spies and covert missions) but he managed to identify big ideas and thread them throughout the course. So while we constantly changed the details we discussed, it didn't feel disconnected, it felt like one larger story. Loved this one.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Fate's Lady

    Very interesting material with decent presentation. I had no idea Ian Flemming was actually a spy before he was am author, so that's cool. I wish the presentation was newer since there's a LOT of espionage going around, but he only gets as far forward as Snowden and didn't even mention him by name. I'd recommend this for anyone interested in spy craft. Neat stuff! Very interesting material with decent presentation. I had no idea Ian Flemming was actually a spy before he was am author, so that's cool. I wish the presentation was newer since there's a LOT of espionage going around, but he only gets as far forward as Snowden and didn't even mention him by name. I'd recommend this for anyone interested in spy craft. Neat stuff!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sean Lynn

    A shallow dive into the history of espionage, but a fun one. These lectures give a glimpse into the the evolving world of spies, traitors, and saboteurs, from ancient times to the present day. Whether you're into spy novels, or are a history buff, Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History is worth a listen. A shallow dive into the history of espionage, but a fun one. These lectures give a glimpse into the the evolving world of spies, traitors, and saboteurs, from ancient times to the present day. Whether you're into spy novels, or are a history buff, Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History is worth a listen.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    For anyone who's read history or lots of true/fictional espionage stories, this was awful dry. The prof gets fairly wrapped up in his stories, but failed to provide much of real interest beyond some specific examples that I hadn't read about. None of which struck me as significant he felt they were. No bad, if you need a general history. For anyone who's read history or lots of true/fictional espionage stories, this was awful dry. The prof gets fairly wrapped up in his stories, but failed to provide much of real interest beyond some specific examples that I hadn't read about. None of which struck me as significant he felt they were. No bad, if you need a general history.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Liulevicious is the best Great Courses lecturer that I’ve come across. I’ve listened to everything by him that I can get my hands on, even courses that I was uninterested in the subject of (like this one!) He just makes it all interesting, and he has such an enthusiasm for his subject matter! I highly recommend his A History of Eastern Europe.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Renny

    I felt the presentation was informative plus energetically and brilliantly presented. Some information was review of areas I was aware of while other parts gave new data and perspectives. Listening and reading the pdf that came with the course is a real learning experience. I am sure there is more that could be said but a lot of territory was covered in a way that kept me engaged throughout.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matt Hope

    Finished a couple weeks ago. Having had some time to think about it, I can say that it’s a great overview of the subject but left me wanting more. This is not a negative. It made me curious to explore the topic more in the future.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Really, this is 4/5 four star and 1/5 two star. The early 20th century section is first rate, as is the medieval and early american section. The others are packed with stereotyped anecdote and credulous biblical citations.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tania

    I really enjoyed this audio class. It is always interesting to me when events discussed in one book intersect with events or people I have read about in other books in other contexts. Good instructor - interesting subject - presented well.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sigma

    A rapid and brief overview of some famous spies and covert operations. Interesting but not very substantial.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sean Callaghan

    Not what I expected. Not quite so much about craft as a series of stories strung together.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Steven West

    Excellent history replete with details. I especially enjoyed the sections on Casanova flirting with life as a spy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    CuriousKey

    A history of espionage told through a series of anecdotes of significant people and operations. Very light on the technical side, but a good primer on the subject.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Hoehne

    Very well written! It’s brief, but contains great stories and information about spying through the ages.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Manli Davis

    Great lecture. Very informative and entertaining.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beyonder

    Solidly entertaining as lectures go. Sally this is from 2015 and cuts off with Snowden and Gitmo controversies. I'd love to hear the update that this lecture must need after 2026-2020 world events. Solidly entertaining as lectures go. Sally this is from 2015 and cuts off with Snowden and Gitmo controversies. I'd love to hear the update that this lecture must need after 2026-2020 world events.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    An excellent overview of espionage over the course of history. I learned a lot and it gave me a lot to think about.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Postlewaite

    Fun and interesting anecdotes, doesn't link the details in any interesting way, pretty shallow. Fun and interesting anecdotes, doesn't link the details in any interesting way, pretty shallow.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nick Weil

    I was hoping to learn about the complex intelligence agencies we have today: the CIA, the NSA, Mossad, MI6 etc. They are so prevalent in our modern society so I wanted to understand how they actually function. This course did not offer much in that vein. It spent more time talking about fictional characters like James Bond than real-life modern spycraft. It was a disappointment.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Keith Swenson

    Really wonderful overview of espionage, starting with the earliest recorded historical evidence (bible) and presenting a clear explanation of how it changed over history. Many surprising details like: George Washington was agent number 711 - he actually had a number - in the revolutionary war. Rudyard Kipling was a spy. Julie Child met her husband, while both were in the service of the American spy organization. Rudyard Kipling's notable book "Kim" (1901) shaped the future course of spying in ma Really wonderful overview of espionage, starting with the earliest recorded historical evidence (bible) and presenting a clear explanation of how it changed over history. Many surprising details like: George Washington was agent number 711 - he actually had a number - in the revolutionary war. Rudyard Kipling was a spy. Julie Child met her husband, while both were in the service of the American spy organization. Rudyard Kipling's notable book "Kim" (1901) shaped the future course of spying in many way, including a mention by Baden Powell (another spy) in the first Boy Scout manual which was patterned after good spy behavior. Mata Hari was really more of a misunderstanding than a master spy. Many spys, like Ian Flemming, went on to a career of writing novels about the subject, but one spy novelist went the other way to later become a spy. Highly recommend this entertaining and enlightening lecture series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Icyfarrell

    Very interesting lectures. Light but not shallow. It is a good start point to go further in this area. The author gave a few books might interest the audience of these lectures. It narrates the general western history of spy and covert operation with a few distinctive figures, providing enough references to get 'multiple confirmation'. Although the author mentioned some early spy theory/institution in Eastern history, the development of it was completely ignored afterwards. Europe and America, a Very interesting lectures. Light but not shallow. It is a good start point to go further in this area. The author gave a few books might interest the audience of these lectures. It narrates the general western history of spy and covert operation with a few distinctive figures, providing enough references to get 'multiple confirmation'. Although the author mentioned some early spy theory/institution in Eastern history, the development of it was completely ignored afterwards. Europe and America, a little bit about Japan during WWII, one lecture about new powers as China, Pakistan, Israel. That's about it. Maybe it's just Asia has been too isolated from that part of the world but if the lecture is entitled 'global', some efforts should be made to include them as well. However, it's also possible that the secret documents in these countries are much more difficult to get and study, therefore can not be responsibly described.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bill Glover

    Not essential, but a fun once over on spy craft. Interesting that a book on the political economy of information acquisition and usage described the lead up to the Iraq war as a simple short coming in spy craft. A false report was passed to US intelligence by the Italian intelligence agency supposedly proving the Iraqis bought yellow cake uranium in Niger, and the course take away is that US intelligence dropped the ball by not independently confirming the report through other sources. After 20 Not essential, but a fun once over on spy craft. Interesting that a book on the political economy of information acquisition and usage described the lead up to the Iraq war as a simple short coming in spy craft. A false report was passed to US intelligence by the Italian intelligence agency supposedly proving the Iraqis bought yellow cake uranium in Niger, and the course take away is that US intelligence dropped the ball by not independently confirming the report through other sources. After 20 or so lectures on Machiavellian machinations through history, are we asked to believe they didn't know bullshit like this when it slide across the desk? Was it just coincidence that the false report that supported the goal of the current administration wasn't vetted the way so much other information was? Anyway, I'm off to read some more spy novels.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.