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The Secret World of Espionage

Facts are often better than fiction. Uncover real secrets about real spies throughout history.

The Secret World of Espionage is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 25.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Secret World of Espionage More of a history of espionage then details of espionage. All in all, pretty disappointing. Visually also not compelling. I gave up watching well before the end.
Date published: 2022-09-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting Interesting but superficial coverage. Could have explored topics in more depth.
Date published: 2022-08-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Exceptionally Unrewarding I'm a big fan of TGC and typically give their products high ratings. This one looked interesting, but it had very little that I didn't already know and the treatment was extremely superficial. I did however watch it to the end as I was hoping there was some value eventually.....There wasn't any. Thankfully, it was cheap!
Date published: 2022-08-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Instructors Bought this for entertainment and ended learning quite a bit from the very engaging instructors
Date published: 2022-06-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Comment on closed captions I watch the lectures on my Kindle Fire devices. The last four courses I've bought have large, bold closed captions. I don't like them and can't get rid of them! Further you've done a poor job with them as many word groups are omitted. Please correct this problem. Soon.
Date published: 2022-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from important informations good informations with inside to get an understanding of the international secret service organisations
Date published: 2022-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Secret World of Espionage Excellent course. I enjoyed the 3 professors format. All very good instructors.
Date published: 2022-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative I liked the part about how some spies never existed in actuality but were kind of conglomerates of other factors.
Date published: 2022-04-28
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Overview

Go behind the shadows with a distinguished panel of historians—including a former intelligence case officer—in search of the secret meeting places, complex codes, stealth observations, and cutting-edge technologies spies have used throughout history. As you get to know real spies and their methods, you’ll uncover how their work is much more fascinating than anything pop culture could dream up.

About

Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius

To study the deepest impulses in human nature, we see the lure of wealth and conquest, the deep-seated urge for fame and glory, the quest for higher ends, a basic human determination.

INSTITUTION

University of Tennessee

Dr. Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius is Lindsay Young Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Liulevicius served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. Professor Liulevicius has won many awards and honors, including the University of Tennessee's Excellence in Teaching Award and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. At the university he teaches courses on modern German history, Western civilization, European diplomatic history, Nazi Germany, World War I, war and culture, 20th-century Europe, nationalism, and utopian thought. Dr. Liulevicius has published numerous articles and two books: War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity, and German Occupation in World War I and The German Myth of the East, 1800 to the Present.

Professor Liulevicius participated in The Great Courses Professor Chat series. Read the chat to learn more about diplomacy and war

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Lynne Olson

We will investigate the lives of those who did their best to defeat tyranny and restore freedom in their own countries and around the world.

Lynne Olson is a historian and New York Times best-selling author of eight books, most of which focus on World War II. She earned degrees in Political Science and Journalism at the University of Arizona (with Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude honors), followed by a master’s degree in Literature at American University.

 

After graduation, Professor Olson worked as a journalist for 10 years. She worked with the Associated Press as a national feature writer in New York, a foreign correspondent in the Moscow bureau, and a political reporter in Washington DC. She then joined the Washington bureau of The Baltimore Sun, where she covered national politics and eventually the White House. She later taught for six years at American University.

 

Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright has called Professor Olson “our era’s foremost chronicler of World War II politics and diplomacy.” Her books include Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network against Hitler; Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War; Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight over World War II, 1939–1941; and Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour

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Richard B. Spence

A key theme is that human history, behavior and reality are governed not by what we know but by what we believe.

INSTITUTION

University of Idaho

Dr. Richard B. “Rick” Spence is Professor of History at the University of Idaho, where he has taught since 1986. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1981), and taught there as a visiting assistant professor from 1981 to 1985. His primary areas of study are modern Russian, modern European, Middle Eastern, and military history. Professor Spence’s research interests include espionage; occultism; anti-Semitism; and, of course, secret societies. His major published works include Boris Savinkov: Renegade on the Left (1991), Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly (2002), Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult (2008), and Wall Street and the Russian Revolution, 1905-1925 (2017). He is the author of numerous articles in Revolutionary Russia, Intelligence and National Security, Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism, American Communist History, The Historian, and other journals. He has also contributed to New Dawn and other popular publications. His current projects include a book, American Spies in Revolutionary Russia, and articles on the mysterious literary figure, Arthur Cravan; the smuggling of Russian Imperial Jewels; and the deadly Eddystone munitions plant explosion of 1917. He has been a commentator/consultant for HISTORY®, the International Spy Museum, Radio Liberty, and has consulted for and been interviewed in documentaries produced by the Russian Cultural Foundation, Mamontov Productions, and other Russian media outlets. He is also a popular guest on radio shows and podcasts, having been interviewed more than 30 times since 2015 on such programs as The Other Side of Might, Midnight in the Desert, Leak Project, Esoteric Hollywood, and Truth Be Told. Professor Spence offers a number of special courses at the University of Idaho, including Conspiracies and Secret Societies in History, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, History of Terrorism, and The Occult in History. He has been recognized for his contributions to the University’s Honors, International Studies and Naval ROTC Programs, and has received teaching excellence awards from the university, alumni, and student body.

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Hugh Wilford

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INSTITUTION

California State University, Long Beach
Hugh Wilford is a Professor of History at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). He was born in the United Kingdom and graduated with a BA with honors in Modern History from the University of Bristol. Professor Wilford earned his PhD in American Studies from the University of Exeter. He began his career teaching US history in England at Middlesex University in London and the University of Sheffield. While still based in the UK, he received scholarships from the Fulbright Commission and the British government to teach and research in the United States, first at CSULB, then at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he remains a Faculty Affiliate. At CSULB, Professor Wilford has received a President’s Award for Outstanding Faculty Achievement in teaching and research and the Distinguished Faculty Scholarly & Creative Achievement Award. He has also received awards from several other US institutions, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Princeton University Library, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Professor Wilford has published extensively in the field of US history on such topics as the CIA, US–Middle East relations, Americanization and anti-Americanism in Europe, the American left, and US intellectuals. He is the author of many scholarly articles and papers as well as several books, including The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America; The CIA, the British Left and the Cold War: Calling the Tune?; and The New York Intellectuals: From Vanguard to Institution. Professor Wilford’s book America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East won a gold medal in The Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Book Prize competition. He is the coeditor, with Helen Laville, of The US Government, Citizen Groups and the Cold War: The State-Private Network. Professor Wilford’s work has been featured in numerous TV, radio, and newspaper interviews.

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Alma Katsu

Most assets end up working for the money. If they're caught, they may often say that it was their ideology or something that swayed them. But at the end of the day, they always take the money.

Alma Katsu is a former senior intelligence analyst who worked at several federal agencies advising policymakers and military commanders on issues of national security. She was also a senior technology policy analyst for the RAND Corporation and continues as an independent consultant and technology futurist to government and private industry clients. She is the author of several award-winning novels, including Red Widow, her first spy novel.

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The Secret World of Espionage
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The Secret World of Espionage

Trailer

Spies: Facts and Fiction

01: Spies: Facts and Fiction

How much does pop culture get wrong about espionage? Meet some real-life figures who inspired fictional spies like James Bond. Gain insights into how spies work, the jobs they hold, and the organizations they belong to.

31 min
The Human Element

02: The Human Element

Spies are human beings, too. Dig into the many sources of intelligence information, including one we traditionally associate with spies: HUMINT, or intelligence gathered by people. What traits should a spy ideally possess? Which ones shouldn’t they possess?

26 min
The Great Game

03: The Great Game

Travel back to the 1500s and consider how spies and espionage helped create governments, expand economies—and even overturn monarchies. Historical cases plunge you into heated political games involving Britain, Russia, India, and Afghanistan.

27 min
Beyond the Femme Fatale

04: Beyond the Femme Fatale

Examine the various roles women played throughout history as spies—from women in seemingly insignificant positions such as domestic help to those who were notably infamous, such as Mata Hari. See the many ways the female espionage network was able to exploit the misogyny of their times because the assumptions made about them meant they would rarely fall under the same levels of scrutiny and suspicion as their male counterparts.

31 min
Strange Bedfellows

05: Strange Bedfellows

Take a deep dive behind the scenes of the time period leading up to, and during, World War II. Get to know some of the people and strategies that helped motivate America to join the war effort. Uncover covert and intelligence operations employed during WWII by different countries—and the various iterations of allies and enemies across this period of time.

32 min
Making Codes, Breaking Codes

06: Making Codes, Breaking Codes

Secret codes may be one of the most interesting and intriguing components of espionage. The experts reveal some of the earliest and also most complicated ciphers, including the Enigma machine, Native American code talkers, and even modern-day hackers. Plus, they’ll divulge some insights into how codes can be—and are—deciphered.

30 min
The Mole and the Hunter

07: The Mole and the Hunter

Investigate the stories of specific characters in espionage history, such as The Cambridge Five. Meet key players, including Kim Philby and James Angleton, and see how their actions, accusations, and attempts at validation left huge scars on the intelligence community, specifically the CIA.

31 min
The Art of Counterintelligence

08: The Art of Counterintelligence

“One of the most effective secret agents in World War II was, in fact, a man who never existed.” Take a look at Operation Mincemeat—an endeavor full of misdirections, fake-outs, and double-crosses that was so secret, even Prime Minister Winston Churchill didn’t know about it. See how this sort of deceitful strategy was successfully repeated for other events, including the invasion of Normandy.

34 min
Too Many Secrets

09: Too Many Secrets

Take an in-depth look at how data and intelligence are used today—from protecting our country to hacking our systems. And gain an understanding of how and why intelligence endeavors can fail—leading to events such as the Arab Spring, the Iranian Revolution, and the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda. Consider whether timeless secrets exist anymore, in this age of technology.

25 min