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Spies: The Epic Intelligence War Between East and West tells the story of a century-long espionage war between Russia and the West. In Walton’s telling, the Cold War began earlier than is widely understood and extended beyond the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, fueled by an asymmetric conflict of espionage, subversion, and sabotage. Walton’s deeply researched account also serves as a prologue to the current geopolitical moment in which, he argues, the Cold War never ended and a new, even more complex clash is unfolding with China.

On October 23, Professor Walton joined Reiss Center Faculty Co-Director Stephen Holmes in conversation about Spies and the deep roots of our current moment.



Event Details

Monday, October 23, 2023

Snow Dining Room, Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Sq. South

Lunch served beginning at 12:45 P.M.

Discussion 1:00–2:00 P.M.




Calder Walton is one of the world’s leading scholars of intelligence and national security.  An historian at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, he received a doctorate in history from Trinity College, Cambridge, where he also helped to write MI5’s authorized hundred-year history. He is general editor of the three-volume Cambridge History of Espionage and Intelligence. His previous book, Empire of Secrets, won the Longman-History Today Book of the Year award.