'Why Spy? : The Art of Intelligence' by Brian Stewart and Samantha Newbery

Why Spy? distills Brian Stewart’s seventy years of experience in intelligence. Few books currently available have been written by someone who has his practical experience both of field work and of the intelligence bureaucracy at home and abroad. Stewart relates successes and failures via a fascinating series of vignettes, either those cases in which he was personally involved, or seminal events such as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and draws conclusions that should be pondered by all those concerned with the limitations and usefulness of the intelligence product. He also cautions against the tendency to abuse or ignore intelligence findings when their conclusions do not fit with preconceived ideas. Stewart also reminds the reader of the multiplicity of methods and organisations and the wide range of talents making up the intelligence world.

Brian Stewart’s co-author, scholar Samantha Newbery, emphasise throughout Why Spy? the necessity of embracing a range of sources, including police, political, military and overt, to ensure that secret intelligence is placed in as wide a context as possible when decisions are made.

‘Drawing on a lifetime of personal experience and wisdom Brian Stewart, together with his co-author Samantha Newbury, explains why nations engage in espionage and how intelligence can impact on policy-making for good or ill. The authors do not shy away from addressing the more controversial aspects of intelligence work but make a convincing case that in this arena issues cannot be seen in black or white terms. This book, written with a deceptively light touch, is an important contribution to the field of intelligence studies.’ — Nigel Inkster, Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk, IISS, and former Director of Operations and Intelligence for the British Secret Intelligence Service

‘It is most unusual for a seasoned British official to write a book about intelligence. Brian Stewart, in this most remarkable and fascinating account, describes some of his experiences whilst reflecting on the deeper meaning of intelligence. His co-writer, Samantha Newbury, has added a wealth of secondary references to ensure that this is a book for the academic, the aficionado, and the spy.’ — Michael Goodman, Reader in Intelligence and International Affairs, Department of War Studies, King’s College, London and Official Historian of the Joint Intelligence Committee

The book is available to buy here:

Brian Stewart matriculated at Worcester College in 1941 and read PPE.