Litercurious Book Review
|Title||Agents of Influence|
|Publisher||Public Affairs (October 8, 2019)|
|Format||Paperback, Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook & CD|
|ISBN# 10 / 13||1541742141 / 978-1541742147|
“Foreign influence is truly the Grecian horse to a republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its influence.”Alexander Hamilton
(1757-1804) American statesman, Secretary of the Treasury
Pacificus, No. 6, July 17, 1793.
The author of Agents of Influence is Henry Hemming. You can find more information about him and his other publications here.
WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?
I recommend this monograph to those with a general interest in military history and anyone with a particular interest in the asymmetric warfare of World War II.
Agents of Influence is the true story of a British Intelligence team tasked with swaying a reluctant United States of America (USA) to join with Great Britain against the Axis Powers in WWII.
The central character, William (Bill) Stevenson is drawn into the murky world of undercover intelligence operations or a “war by other means.” He was assigned by the British Military Intelligence Agency (MI6) with the task of organizing a hand picked elite team of operatives to work behind the scenes influencing the U.S. populations opinions surrounding their role in the war. To this day His operation is considered to have been the most successful covert action ever to have taken place on U.S. soil. Spectacular in its scope, eye waveringly expensive in terms of cost and promethean in its use of an intelligence campaign, William’s enterprise is one of the greatest examples of mass population influence in modern history.
Hemming has us accompany Stevenson during the dark days of the 1940s following the tragedy of the evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk. In June of 1940 the U.S. population had no interest in becoming embroiled in the war across the “pond.” Through William and his teams influence, the national opinion slowly changed. Within a year and half, the attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the U.S. into World War II.
Hemming’s Agents of Influence unrolls the characters and the methods, including “fake news,” that changed the history of the world and the ultimate outcome of the war. He explains the British motivation behind the occult actions employed. He takes us on the ship with Stephenson and the wealth of a nation from across the Atlantic. From there he describes how Bill Stephenson uses his considerable talents to assemble an effective team, integrates them into U.S. society and begins his influence operations behind the scenes. That is just the beginning.
Agents of Influence is so outrageous that it seems too unbelievable to be true, and yet it happened. Put simply, it is one of those manuscripts that you find yourself carrying around so that you don’t miss an opportunity to read what happens next. I have just discovered a new favorite author. The next step is to get my hands on one or two of the five other works that Hemming has written. This is a superb read; but don’t take my word for it, go out and get a copy and discover for yourself the pleasure of a Henry Hemming volume. This is the first 5 star review of the year.
Written with academic prowess, scholarly skill, intensively researched, extensively referenced and reads as a compelling novel, Hemming has created a genuine winner.
I would like to thank Henry Hemming, NetGalley, and Public Affairs for affording me the opportunity to review Agents of Influence.