Spy Chiefs: Volume 2

Intelligence Leaders in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia

Paul Maddrell, Christopher Moran, Ioanna Iordanou, and Mark Stout, Editors
Foreword by Richard Dearlove

"Broadens and deepens our understanding of the role of intelligence leaders in foreign affairs and national security."
+ Add to Cart Preorder


Request Print Exam Copy

Request Digital Exam Copy

Throughout history and across cultures, the spy chief has been a leader of the state security apparatus and an essential adviser to heads of state. In democracies, the spy chief has become a public figure, and intelligence activities have been brought under the rule of law. In authoritarian regimes, however, the spy chief was and remains a frightening and opaque figure who exercises secret influence abroad and engages in repression at home. 

This second volume of Spy Chiefs goes beyond the commonly studied spy chiefs of the United States and the United Kingdom to examine leaders from Renaissance Venice to the Soviet Union, Germany, India, Egypt, and Lebanon in the twentieth century. It provides a close-up look at intelligence leaders, good and bad, in the different political contexts of the regimes they served. The contributors to the volume try to answer the following questions: how do intelligence leaders operate in these different national, institutional and historical contexts? What role have they played in the conduct of domestic affairs and international relations? How much power have they possessed? How have they led their agencies and what qualities make an effective intelligence leader? How has their role differed according to the political character of the regime they have served? The profiles in this book range from some of the most notorious figures in modern history, such as Feliks Dzerzhinsky and Erich Mielke, to spy chiefs in democratic West Germany and India.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Sir Richard Dearlove, KCMG, OBE

Introduction: Leading in Secret
Paul Maddrell

1. What Is Intelligence Leadership? Three Historical Trends
Paul Maddrell

2. The Spy Chiefs of Renaissance Venice: Intelligence Leadership in the Early Modern World
Ioanna Iordanou

3. Laying Hands on Arcana Imperii: Venetian Baili as Spymasters in Sixteenth-Century Istanbul
Emrah Safa Gürkan

4. A Perfect Spy Chief? Feliks Dzerzhinsky and the Cheka
Iain Lauchlan

5. The Consummate Careerist: Erich Mielke, the German Democratic Republic’s Minister for State Security
Paul Maddrell

6. Markus Wolf: From the Shadows to the Limelight
Kristie Macrakis

7. “The Dossiers”: Reinhard Gehlen’s Secret Special Card File
Bodo Hechelhammer

8. India’s Cold War Spy Chiefs: Decolonizing Intelligence in South Asia
Paul M. McGarr

9. Emir Farid Chehab: “Father of the Lebanese Sûreté Générale”
Chikara Hashimoto

10. Egypt’s Spy Chiefs: Servants or Leaders?
Dina Rezk

Conclusion: Government Men
Paul Maddrell

List of Contributors


"Spy Chiefs: Volume 2 is a finely-crafted book which adds a critical depth to current literature on intelligence leaders across the globe. With case studies ranging from the early-modern to the recent past it covers a broad swath yet with excellent detail over its ten well-crafted case studies. Any student or teacher of intelligence history will find this invaluable for understanding leadership, organisation and management within intelligence. It adds the depth and breadth on intelligence leadership which until now simply doesn’t exist for intelligence organisations outside the Anglosphere."—Kristian Gustafson, Brunel University London

"This important book addresses intelligence services and chiefs, from an unusual perspective, avoiding the usual focus on modern Anglo-American experiences. It provides illuminating conclusions from studies of intelligence in early modern Europe, and in the east bloc and third world of the recent past. Every student of intelligence will gain from reading this work."—John Ferris, , Authorised Historian, GCHQ

"Broadens and deepens our understanding of the role of intelligence leaders in foreign affairs and national security."—Intelligencer

"The two volumes are superbly researched and fill a scholarly gap."—Colonel Peter L. Larsen, Journal of Foreign Affairs, 09/08/2020


Emrah Safa Gurkan Chikara Hashimoto Bodo Hechelhammer Iain Lauchlan Kristie Macrakis Paul M. McGarr Dina Rezk

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Paul Maddrell is a lecturer in Modern German History at Loughborough University.

Christopher Moran is associate professor of US national security at the University of Warwick. 

Ioanna Iordanou is a senior lecturer specializing in organizational and business history at the Oxford Brookes University School of Business. 

Mark Stout
is program director of the MA in Global Security Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University and the former historian of the International Spy Museum.

288 pp., 6 x 9
6 b&w photos, 1 table
ISBN: 978-1-62616-521-2
Feb 2018

288 pp., 6 x 9
6 b&w photos, 1 table
ISBN: 978-1-62616-522-9
Feb 2018

288 pp.
6 b&w photos, 1 table
ISBN: 978-1-62616-523-6
Feb 2018

Related Titles