Cover image for British security coordination : the secret history of British intelligence in the Americas, 1940-1945
British security coordination : the secret history of British intelligence in the Americas, 1940-1945
First Fromm International edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Fromm International, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxxvi, 536 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D810.S7 B72 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The British ran intelligence and propaganda operations in the US beginning in 1940. Because the US was still a neutral country, the operations were illegal but were winked at by US officials. After the war a complete report was prepared, and while it's existence was often rumored, it remained secret

Author Notes

Roald (pronounced "Roo-aal") was born in Llandaff, South Wales. He had a relatively uneventful childhood and was educated at Repton School. During World War II he served as a fighter pilot and for a time was stationed in Washington, D.C.. Prompted by an interviewer, he turned an account of one of his war experiences into a short story that was accepted by the Saturday Evening Post, which were eventually collected in Over to You (1946).

Dahl's stories are often described as horror tales or fantasies, but neither description does them justice. He has the ability to treat the horrible and ghastly with a light touch, sometimes even with a humorous one. His tales never become merely shocking or gruesome. His purpose is not to shock but to entertain, and much of the entertainment comes from the unusual twists in his plots, rather than from grizzly details.

Dahl has also become famous as a writer of children's stories. In some circles, these works have cased great controversy. Critics have charged that Dahl's work is anti-Semitic and degrades women. Nevertheless, his work continues to be read: Charlie and Chocolate Factory (1964) was made into a successful movie, The BFG was made into a movie in July 2017, and his books of rhymes for children continue to be very popular.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Britain's desire to involve the U.S. in World War II was no secret, though some of its methods to induce it were. The reasons are amply evident in this document, written in 1945 as British Security Coordination's (BSC) in-house history. Set up in New York by William Stephenson with FDR's approval, BSC's meddling in America's domestic controversy about isolationism in 1940^-41 would have been explosive, if exposed. Through intermediaries, BSC fed the major newspapers and columnists pro-intervention articles; Walter Winchell, according to this proudly recorded chronicle of BSC achievements, occasionally ran them verbatim under his byline. In October 1941, BSC fed FDR a map, supposedly a Nazi outline for taking over South America, which the president waved around at a news conference. Some historians have suspected the map was a forgery; this book claims it was genuine, but the details vouchsafed about its acquisition don't quell doubt. Beyond its cloak-and-dagger entertainment, this work gives historians cause to reassess their assessments of the period, at least their footnotes about it. --Gilbert Taylor

Choice Review

In 1940 Sir William Stephenson, later to gain fame as the man called Intrepid, established an intelligence organization in the US called the British Security Coordination (BSC). The purpose of the BSC was not only to gather information, but also to help spread British propaganda in the US in a clandestine manner. Rather than directly saturating the American media, and thereby the American public, with propaganda, BSC worked through intermediaries, primarily sympathetic journalists, to undermine Axis propaganda, American isolationists, and pro-German organizations. The story of their activities is well documented from official records. At the end of the war Stephenson commissioned several of his subordinates to write a history of their activities, which is now published here for the first time. The book does not present any dramatic new revelations. Its main value is in helping to fill in the details of British operations and in revealing how the British assessed the success of their operation. To compare the accuracy of this report with the actual effectiveness of British propaganda, readers should consult Nicholas Cull's Selling War (CH, Jul'95). Upper-division undergraduates and above. F. Krome; Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish