Timely memoirs and the ‘British invasion’: Two trends in the historiography of the CIA

Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones*, R. Gerald Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The 9/11 and WMD controversies have encouraged new trends in CIA historiography. The writing of timely leadership memoirs means that in-house viewpoints now tend to precede outside assessment, eliminating one of intelligence historiography’s distinctive quirks. At the same time, former CIA personnel are far more willing to go on the record with journalists and scholars thus ensuring that their version of events reaches the widest possible audience. Finally, an invasion of British scholars into the field comes with the promise of objectivity conferred by distance. It is argued that, because of that distance, there has been a disposition to rely on the kind of source material that lends itself to a cultural approach to CIA history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-416
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Intelligence History
Issue number3
Early online date23 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2023


  • 9/11
  • British invasion
  • CIA
  • Cold War
  • historiography
  • memoirs
  • presidents


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