Espionage relies on secrecy and show business on publicity, but both require high levels of creative thinking, improvisation, disguise and role-play. Stars and Spies is the first history of the lively crossover between the two, which has produced some of the most extraordinary undercover agents as well as dangerous failures.
From Tudor England and Tsarist Russia to the golden age of Hollywood and beyond – and with a cast including Harpo Marx, Voltaire, Mata Hari, John Le Carre and Noel Coward – Cambridge history professor Christopher Andrew joins intelligence expert and author Helen Fry to discuss his vastly entertaining and impeccably researched book.
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.
Historian Dr Helen Fry has written over 25 books on the Second World War with particular reference to British intelligence, espionage, prisoners of war and the secret war. She has also written a number of books about the 10,000 Germans who fought for Britain in WWII. Her acclaimed book The Walls Have Ears became a bestseller and was in the Daily Mail’s Top 8 Books of the Year on War. Her latest book MI9: A History of the British Secret Service for Escape and Evasion has attracted widespread media attention. Helen has appeared in numerous TV documentaries as well as live BBC news interviews. She is an Ambassador for The Museum of Military Intelligence and President of the Friends of the National Archives.