Secrecy and the State in Modern Britain
Date of publication: December 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Classified is a fascinating account of the British state's long obsession with secrecy and the ways it sought to prevent information about its secret activities from entering the public domain. Drawing on recently declassified documents, unpublished correspondence and exclusive interviews with key officials and journalists, Christopher Moran pays particular attention to the ways that the press and memoirs have been managed by politicians and spies. He argues that, by the 1960s, governments had become so concerned with their inability to keep secrets that they increasingly sought to offset damaging leaks with their own micro-managed publications.
The book reveals new insights into seminal episodes in British post-war history, including the Suez crisis, the D-Notice Affair and the treachery of the Cambridge spies, identifying a new era of offensive information management, and putting the contemporary battle between secret-keepers, electronic media and digital whistle-blowers into long-term perspective.