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With unprecedented access to their hitherto sealed records, this is the first volume of a remarkable official history of ASIO - a revealing and authoritative account of the early years of Australia's national security intelligence service.
For the first time, ASIO has opened its archives to an independent historian. With unfettered access to the records, David Horner tells the real story of Australia's domestic intelligence organisation, from shaky beginnings to the expulsion of Ivan Skripov in 1963.
From the start, ASIO's mission was to catch spies. In the late 1940s, the top secret Venona program revealed details of a Soviet spy ring in Australia, supported by leading Australian communists. David Horner outlines the tactics ASIO used in counterespionage, from embassy bugging to surveillance of local suspects. His research sheds new light on the Petrov Affair, and details incidents and activities that have never been revealed before.
This authoritative and ground-breaking account overturns many myths about ASIO, and offers new insights into broader Australian politics and society in the fraught years of the Cold War.
The Spy Catchers is the first of three volumes of The Official History of ASIO.
About the Author
David Horner, AM, is Emeritus Professor of Australian defence history in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.
People interested in politics and the way in which Australian government has evolved need to have this as a reference book. The facts are clearly presented, with no bias or "spin". Mistakes and failures are given the same space as successes. I look forward to reading volumes 2 and 3 of the series.
Dawn the prawn
The Spy Catchers
"The Spy Catchers is a fascinating account of ASIO's early years when the main threat Australia faced was from the Soviet regime." --The Hon. John Howard, OM, AC, former Prime Minister of Australia
List of Figures and Tables
Acronyms and Abbreviations
PART 1: FEDERATION TO THE COLD WAR, 1901-1949
1 Counterespionage or Political Surveillance? Australia's Early Security Intelligence Organisations, 1901-1945
2 Adapting to a New Threat: Postwar Security and Intelligence in Australia, 1945-1948
3 Reacting to the Leaks: British and American Concerns about Australian Security, February-July 1948
4 Under Irresistible Pressure: Chifley Forms a New Security Service, July 1948-March 1949
PART 2: ESTABLISHMENT AND CONSOLIDATION, 1949-1954
5 Building a New Security Service: ASIO under Justice Reed, 1949
6 Trying to Crack 'The Case': The End of Reed's Term as Director-General, 1949-1950
7 Reshaping and Consolidating: Charles Spry Becomes Director-General of Security, 1950-1953
8 Contesting the Cold War: ASIO Confronts the Communists, 1950-1954
9 Watching and Recording: Field Operations against the Communists, 1950-1953
10 Vetting, Checking and Advising: ASIO's Protective Security Role, 1950-1954
11 Keeping Out Undesirables: Overseas Liaison, Refugees and War Criminals, 1950-1955
12 Moving Beyond 'The Case': Counterespionage Operations, 1950-1953
PART 3: PETROV AND THE ROYAL COMMISSION, 1951-1955
13 ASIO's Triumph: The Defection of Vladimir and Evdokia Petrov, 1951-1954
14 Out of the Shadows: ASIO and the Royal Commission on Espionage, 1954-1955
PART 4: EXPANSION AND PROFESSIONALISM, 1956-1963
15 Strengthening the Organisation: Legislation, Politics and Administration, 1956-1963
17 Disruption, Propaganda and Exposure: Broadening the Counter-subversion Approach, 1955-1963
18 Searching for Illegals: Counterespionage Operations, 1955-1959
19 Resolving Doubts in the Commonwealth's Favour: Protective Security, 1955-1963
20 Building a Worldwide Network: ASIO's International Connections, 1956-1963
21 Return of the Russians: A Counterespionage Success? 1959-1963
Appendix: Protecting the Identity of ASIO Agents: The Case of Mercia Masson
ISBN: 9781760290429 ISBN-10: 1760290424 Series: OFFICIAL HISTORY OF ASIO : Book 1 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 736 Published: 21st October 2015 Publisher: Allen & Unwin Country of Publication: AU Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3
Weight (kg): 1.0