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Open Secret: The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5 [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Stella Rimington
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Kurzbeschreibung

1. November 2002
Stella Rimington first joined Britain’s Security Service (MI5) part-time in 1965, while she was in India accompanying her husband on a posting to New Delhi. She became a full-time employee on her return to the U.K. During her career with MI5, she worked in all the main fields of the Service: counter-subversion, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism becoming, successively, Director of all three branches. She was appointed Director-General in 1992 -- the first woman to hold the post and the first Director-General whose name was publicly announced. During her tenure, she pursued a policy of greater openness for MI5, giving several public lectures and publishing a booklet about the service.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 320 Seiten
  • Verlag: Arrow; Auflage: New Ed (1. November 2002)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0099436728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099436720
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,6 x 12,7 x 2,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 69.906 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

You have to admire the cheek of Open Secret's author Stella Rimington. After a career spanning 25 years in MI5, during which she was more than happy for the Official Secrets Acts to be used to the government's advantage, she is now outraged that attempts should have been made to block publication of her memoirs and is calling for the act to be reformed. In an extended preface to Open Secret, Rimington writes of her encounter with Cabinet secretary, Sir Richard Wilson, "By the end of an hour or so of being threatened, bullied and cajoled in the more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger way the Establishment behaves to its recalcitrant sons and, as I now know, daughters, I was very shaken". One wonders what else she expected? The thought of any former director-general of MI5 writing his or her memoirs was bound to have disturbed the security services and, compared to many, Rimington got off lightly. But then, whatever else she might think, Rimington is still very much an Establishment woman. She submitted her manuscript for vetting, took out one or two edgy bits, and as she disarmingly points out, there are no revelations about the inner workings of the intelligence services. When she gets to any contentious issues, such as MI5's role in infiltrating CND and breaking the miners' strike, all she has to say is that MI5 never did anything wrong, that that those who say otherwise are conspiracy theorists and that we'll just have to take her word for it because she's right. The portrait that emerges of a bunch of mildly incompetent bureaucrats who wouldn't say boo to a goose does no favours to Rimington or MI5. The books does have its moments, particularly those describing a woman isolated in an almost exclusively male world, but its real significance lies in the fact it was published at all. If the director-general is allowed to go public, there's precious little to stop the MI5 foot soldiers doing likewise. And when they do, the skeletons that Rimington has kept firmly locked in the cupboard might start to come tumbling out. --John Crace -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Pressestimmen

“The story of MI5’s transformation… is fascinating. So too is Rimington’s account of her rise in what was very definitely a man’s world.” -- The Guardian

“The most effective Secret Service is the one which is secret. She should shut up.” -- Bernard Ingham

“Stella Rimington deserves our thanks for resisting the bullying of the cabinet office and many of her colleagues and associates in Whitehall and pushing on to publication.” -- New Statesman

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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Ganz ordentlich 26. April 2009
Von sydney
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Stella Rimington schreibt meiner Meinung nach solide, aber nicht sonderlich spannend. Das Buch ist vermutlich interessanter, wenn man sich mit britischer Politik während der Epoche, in der Stella bei MI5 beruflich tätig war, gut auskennt - das war bei mir leider nicht der Fall. Ich konnte daher die Probleme, die sie z.T. erläutert, nicht so richtig nachvollziehen.
Zudem fand ich den ersten Teil, in dem sie ihre Kindheit und Jugend erläutert, relativ langweilig bzw. zu lang, wenn man sich als Leser hauptsächlich für die MI5 Zeit und die Person Stella Rimington interessiert.
Imm Großen und Ganzen eben ein sehr britisches Buch, und vermutlich soll es auch genau das sein. Wenn man genau das möchte - gut. Wenn nicht, sollte man es besser nicht lesen.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 von 5 Sternen  19 Rezensionen
34 von 37 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen No Secret: Stella Rules, Britannia! 14. März 2008
Von F. S. L'hoir - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I purchased this book after hearing an interview with Ms. Rimington on BBC 4, and I must say, I found her engaging both on the radio and in print. She is a talented writer, whose eventful life--from childhood during the blitz, through her days as a diplomatic wife in India; her experiences as an archivist; and her almost accidental career in MI5 [the old-school-tie male bastion which she penetrated with panache]--is related with considerable charm and humor (essential requirements for being an effective spy).

On the back of the book, under a series of rave blurbs is a negative one by an individual of the male persuasion, whose non-endorsement guaranteed my determination to read the book. And I quote: "The most effective Secret Service is the one which is secret. She should shut up."

Well, that horse was stolen from the barn years ago, and the service that once dared not speak its name has long since--thanks to ex-intelligence officers writing their memoirs right and left--become the service that will not shut up!

Stella Rimington, the intelligent woman who made it to the director-generalship of MI5, adds a refreshing perspective to the male-dominated literature of British intelligence.
22 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen First Female Head of MI5. 27. März 2008
Von Hugh Claffey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This is the first autobiography of the first female head of MI5, the UK's internal security agency. It was published in 2001, to a wave of negative publicity. Apart from the politicians who disparaged the apparent breach of security, there were quite a few negative reviews stating that Ms. Rimington wrote out of feeling of guilt at having disrupted her daughters lives by her choice of career.
Overall the book does not reveal anything about MI5, other than the thinking behind the decision to openly acknowledge its existence, and expose it to more parliamentary oversight, which happened during the 1990s. Ms. Rimington does describe in convincing terms the struggle to be taken seriously, as a female professional, during her time in MI5 from the late 1960s. She seems to have met the challenges with great determination. Her personal life seems to have been greatly affected by her work, though her marriage seems to have been rocky in any case. She lived with her daughters in London, however there were many intrusions and changes of address necessitated by
The needs of security and the fear of exposure and publicity. There is an authentic feel from one story, where she was secretly meeting a potential agent in London, when she got a call that her daughter was ill, Rimington had to borrow money from the potential agent for taxi fare, cut short the meeting and go to pick up her daughter.
I liked the book, as I had not expected much information about MI5, and found it very honest about her personal struggle. There is the usual stuff about MI5's failures being public and its successes being secret, and what a motivated bunch they are. I would have preferred some discussion about how MI5 (along with other agencies) missed the collapse of the USSR, did not forecast the IRA ceasefire; however I was not expecting it.
One indication of the difficulties Rimington experienced in getting the book published is the ending - there is an Afterword, a Postcript and an Epilogue; all in various ways trying to counter the criticism she was enduring.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen In search of balance 6. September 2008
Von Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I've just finished reading Ms Rimington's novels and thought I would like to know more about the woman behind them. This book provides an interesting snapshot of the times in which Ms Rimington worked: the changing face of security-related work; the changing expectations of women in the workforce and the ever present challenges of tradeoff between family and career that many of us (whether male or female) will recognise.

The book itself is more a careful memoir than an autobiography as, clearly, Ms Rimington had to write within certain constraints in order to be allowed to publish at all.

I found the book useful and interesting on three levels:

1. Ms Rimington's persistence in seeking promotion within a field which was considered to be a male domain;

2. Her recounting of the acknowledgement of the existence and broad responsibilities of MI5 during its shift from the shadows to statutory accountability; and

3. Some of the challenges she and her family faced in trying to combine family life with her career.

Many people, particularly women who've chosen to combine career with family will relate to the challenges faced by Ms Rimington. Some of us, familiar with some of the events broadly recounted in the book will be interested in reading Ms Rimington's perspective. Reading the book 7 years after publication, it is perhaps difficult to appreciate the negative publicity engendered at the time. Perhaps we have travelled some distance after all.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Informative, but constrained 21. August 2010
Von T. Good - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Heard about Stella Rimington after an NPR interview for her latest US release. Rounded up copies of all her available books and set in to them. Started with this, an informative but obviously constrained work that details her life from childhood to leaving MI5. No revealing secrets about the inner workings of British Intelligence. I'm guessing the "fuss" made by the office for her desire to publish her memoirs and her requirement to submit it for review first allowed for sanitization by the authorities. That or nothing really ever happens On Her Majesty's Secret Service. I got the impression they break for a drink quite a bit over there, even during work. Typical British casual attitude toward it all, but she did battle through a lot of the usual male dominance of society which cost her a quiet family. It was her choice in the end and it appears to have worked out for her. Dim view of Americans, but that is to be expected from non-Americans. Not a fascinating and captivating book, but informative about the person.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating read about the transformation of MI5 by a wonderful writer 4. Januar 2014
Von Robert Agee - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I read this book because I have read all of Stella Remington's spy novels. For my money she is the best spy novelist out there and generally I have a bias toward male action-adventure writers. This book was of course non-fiction and therefore lacking the dramatic fireworks of good spy fiction but it was a sober look into the history and transformation of one of the fabled British secret services by a practical, articulate woman who was successful in what had long been a hide-bound male bastion. I also do not favor feminist tracts and I happily can say this was not one and yet it made a powerful feminist point. Her comparisons of management in the public sector and in the private sector were interesting and revealing. My experience is all business except for a short stint in the Marine Corps and to read her discussions of private and public sector with the good and bad of both was fascinating. I say this from a high awareness here in the United States of the mestasized bloating of the federal, state and municipal bureaucracies. Maybe I am the blind man just seeing one part of the elephant but the public sector here seems to be 80% bloat 20% action.
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