November 13, 2014, 5.pm in Humanities 301, University of Reading
Dr Risso’s book offers the first account of the foundation, organisation and activities of the NATO Information Service (NATIS) during the Cold War.
During the Cold War, NATIS was pivotal in bringing national delegations together to discuss their security, information and intelligence concerns and, when appropriate or possible, to devise a common response to the ‘Communist threat’. At the same time, NATIS liaised with bodies like the Atlantic Institute and the Bilderberg group in the attempt to promote a coordinated western response. The NATO archive material also shows that NATIS carried out its own information and intelligence activities.
Propaganda and Intelligence in the Cold War provides the first sustained study of the history of NATIS throughout the Cold War. Examining the role of NATIS as a forum for the exchange of ideas and techniques about how to develop and run propaganda programmes, this book presents a sophisticated understanding of the extent to which national information agencies collaborated. By focusing on the degree of cooperation on cultural and information activities, this analysis of NATIS also contributes to the history of NATO as a political alliance and reminds us that NATO was – and still is – primarily a political organisation.
This book will be of much interest to students of NATO, Cold War studies, intelligence studies, and IR in general.
Dr Linda Risso is Assistant Professor at the Department of History, University of Reading.