Stafford, David 1942–
Stafford, David 1942–
(David Alexander Tetlow Stafford)
ADDRESSES: Office—Centre for Second World War Studies, University of Edinburgh, 24 Buccleuch Pl., 2nd Fl., Edinburgh EH8 9LN, Scotland. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: British Diplomatic Service, London, England, third secretary at Foreign Office, 1967–68, second secretary, 1968; London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, London, research associate at Centre of International Studies, 1968–70; University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, assistant professor, 1970–76, associate professor, 1976–82, professor of history, 1982–84; Canadian Institute of International Affairs, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, director of studies, 1985–86, executive director, 1986–92; University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, visiting professor, 1992–2000, project director of Centre for Second World War Studies, 2000–. Senior associate member of St. Antony's College, Oxford, 1976–77.
From Anarchism to Reformism: A Study of the Political Activities of Paul Brousse, 1870–90, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1971.
Britain and European Resistance, 1940–1945: A Survey of the Special Operations Executive, with Documents, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1980.
Camp X: Canada's School for Secret Agents, 1941–1945, Lester & Orpen Dennys (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1986, Dodd Mead (New York, NY), 1987.
The Silent Game: The Real World of Imaginary Spies, Lester & Orpen Dennys (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988, revised edition, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1991.
(With J.L. Granatstein) Spy Wars: Espionage and Canada: From Gouzenko to Glasnost, Key Porter Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1990.
(Editor, with A. Stuart Farson and Wesley K. Wark) Security and Intelligence in a Changing World: New Perspectives for the 1990s, Frank Cass (Portland, OR), 1991.
Churchill and Secret Service, John Murray (London, England), 1997, Overlook Press (Woodstock, NY), 1998.
Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets, Little, Brown (London, England), 1999, Overlook Press (Woodstock, NY), 2000.
(Editor, with Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones) American-BritishCanadian Intelligence Relations, 1939–2000 (case studies), Frank Cass (Portland, OR), 2000.
Secret Agent: The True Story of the Special Operations Executive, BBC Worldwide (London, England), 2000, published as Secret Agent: The True Story of the Covert War against Hitler, Overlook Press (Woodstock, NY), 2001.
(Editor) Flight from Reality: Rudolf Hess and His Mission to Scotland, 1941, Pimlico (London, England), 2002.
Spies beneath Berlin, John Murray (London, England), 2002, Overlook Press (Woodstock, NY), 2003.
Ten Days to D-Day: Countdown to the Liberation of Europe, Little, Brown (London, England), 2003, published as Countdown to D-Day: Citizens and Soldiers on the Eve of the Invasion, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor of articles to history and political science journals, including History Today, and of reviews and articles to periodicals, including the London Times, New York Times, and Spectator.
SIDELIGHTS: David Stafford has written several books about Winston Churchill, World War II, and the history of intelligence services and operations. In his book Churchill and Secret Service, for example, the author relates how Great Britain's World War II leader dealt with the British intelligence services during both world wars and again as Great Britain's prime minister in the early 1950s during the Cold War. The author also delves into specific political and intelligence operations involving Churchill, including restoring the Shah to power in Iran. "Stafford's study is admirably detailed, scholarly and convincing," wrote History Today reviewer Robert Pearce. "His literary skill and willingness to sketch in the general context of events also make it accessible to a very wide readership. Many will find this a quite fascinating book." Noting that the book "is aimed both at scholars and the 'general reader,'" English Historical Review contributor R.A.C. Parker commented that "often such books appeal to neither, this can safely be recommended to both."
Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets delves into the friendship that developed between the American and British leaders as their countries fought side-by-side during World War II. Stafford also reveals the tough, political side of their relationship and, according to a Publishers Weekly contributor, how "the complex relationship between the two was mirrored by the actions of their intelligence operatives." Ed Goedeken, writing in the Library Journal, noted that regarding this topic, the author's "synthesis of new and old sources makes this one of the best works to come out." In a review for Book, Rob Stout concluded that "this is a fine study of the greatest military alliance of the twentieth century."
Stafford recounts the real-life exploits of World War II espionage agents in Secret Agent: The True Story of the Special Operations Executive. The book studies the establishment of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) by the British during the bleak early days of World War II. The goal was to maintain in-depth intelligence operations that would support the French freedom fighters and other guerrilla units in their battle against the Nazis in occupied Europe. Daniel K. Blewett wrote in the Library Journal that the author's use of "excerpts from veterans' memoirs … provides a human flavor to what could have been a dry recitation." In a Booklist review, Jay Freeman praised Stafford for his "engrossing, taut narrative that often reads like a well-done espionage novel."
In Spies beneath Berlin, Stafford tells the infamous spy story of a tunnel in Germany that the British and Americans used to tap into Russian phone lines in East Berlin. Stafford recounts that the British SIS and the American CIA intelligence agencies worked together to build the tunnel, and that the daring operation was unusual in the level of cooperation achieved between the agencies without the usual infighting. Stafford also reveals how the operation was compromised early on by a low-level SIS member who was spying for the Soviets. "Stafford has cleared away a great many past misconceptions," wrote M.R.D. Foot in a Spectator review. Stephen Poole, writing in the London Guardian, noted that the author's "gripping reconstruction is infused with a pleasant nostalgia for an age when spies got out there and took spades to earth rather than sitting at computers."
Stafford served as editor of Flight from Reality: Rudolf Hess and His Mission to Scotland, 1941. The book presents eight essays that discuss Hitler's deputy, his landing in Scotland in May of 1941, and the mysterious reasons behind it, including what some believe was a conspiracy through which a Scottish duke would overthrow Churchill. Writing in British Heritage, Tom Huntington observed that the book "avoids funhouse mirrors with a sober and non-controversial view of the case." Contemporary Review contributor Richard Mullen called the book "a model of how well informed historians can demolish the absurd conspiracy theories of some insubstantial authors."
Ten Days to D-Day: Countdown to the Liberation of Europe, which was titled in the United States as Ten Days to D-Day: Citizens and Soldiers on the Eve of the Invasion, was published in conjunction with the sixtieth anniversary of the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944. Stafford studies events over the days preceding the invasion from the viewpoints of Churchill, Eisenhower, Hitler, and Rommel, as well as lesser or unknown figures that played a part in the drama as it unfolded. These include a Canadian soldier, a captured Norwegian resistance fighter, and a code breaker in the British Women's Royal Naval Service. A Kirkus Reviews contributor described Ten Days to D-Day as "a well-conceived study … focusing on the more or less ordinary people who participated in that great battle."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Book, November, 2000, Rob Stout, review of Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets, p. 80.
Booklist, January 1, 1998, Jay Freeman, review of Churchill and Secret Service, p. 769; September 15, 2001, Jay Freeman, review of Secret Agent: The True Story of the Special Operations Executive, p. 184; January 1, 2003, Gilbert Taylor, review of Spies beneath Berlin, p. 818; May 15, 2004, Roland Green, review of Ten Days to D-Day: Citizens and Soldiers on the Eve of the Invasion, p. 1595.
Books in Canada, March, 1987, review of Camp X: Canada's School for Secret Agents, 1941–45, p. 26; May, 1988, review of The Silent Game: The Real World of Imaginary Spies, p. 23.
British Heritage, September, 2004, Tom Huntington, review of Flight from Reality: Rudolf Hess and His Mission to Scotland, 1941, p. 58.
Contemporary Review, August, 2002, Richard Mullen, review of Flight from Reality, p. 116.
English Historical Review, June, 1999, R.A.C. Parker, review of Churchill and Secret Service, p. 780.
Foreign Affairs, May-June, 1998, Eliot A. Cohen, review of Churchill and Secret Service, p. 137.
Guardian (London, England), May 11, 2002, Steven Poole, review of Spies beneath Berlin.
Historian, spring-summer, 2002, Roger Adelson, review of Roosevelt and Churchill, p. 877.
History Today, August, 1998, Robert Pearce, review of Churchill and Secret Service, p. 59.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 1987, review of Camp X, p. 1056; December 1, 1997, review of Churchill and Secret Service; September 1, 2001, reviews of Roosevelt and Churchill and Secret Agent, p. 1277; November 1, 2002, review of Spies beneath Berlin, p. 1602; March 15, 2004, review of Ten Days to D-Day, p. 263.
Library Journal, January, 1998, Frederic Krome, review of Churchill and Secret Service, p. 118; September 1, 2000, Ed Goedeken, review of Roosevelt and Churchill, p. 228; October 1, 2001, Daniel K. Blewett, review of Secret Agent, p. 123; December, 2002, Ed Goedeken, review of Spies beneath Berlin, p. 152; May 1, 2004, Nathan Ward, review of Ten Days to D-Day, p. 124.
New York Times Book Review, February 22, 1998, Zara Steiner, review of Churchill and Secret Service, p. 10; January 14, 2001, Timothy Naftali, review of Roosevelt and Churchill, p. 22.
Publishers Weekly, December 1, 1997, review of Churchill and Secret Service, p. 37; October 2, 2000, review of Roosevelt and Churchill, p. 72; September 10, 2001, review of Secret Agent, p. 85; January 13, 2003, review of Spies beneath Berlin, p. 48; April 12, 2004, review of Ten Days to D-Day, p. 54.
Quill and Quire, June, 1988, review of The Silent Game, p. 25; December, 1986, review of Camp X, p. 39.
Spectator, May 18, 2002, M.R.D. Foot, review of Spies beneath Berlin, p. 43; October 4, 2003, M.R.D. Foot, review of Ten Days to D-Day, p. 44.
Churchill Centre, http://www.winstonchurchill.org/ (December 22, 2005), Michael Richards, review of Roosevelt and Churchill.
School of History & Classics, University of Edinburgh Web site, http://www.shc.ed.ac.uk/ (December 21, 2005), profile of Stafford.