Propaganda and Intelligence in the Cold War
The NATO information service
By Linda Risso
Routledge – 2014 – 320 pages
Series: Studies in Intelligence
This 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.
Introduction Part I 1. The foundation of the NATO Information Service, 1949-1951 2. The expansion of the NATO Information Service in the 1950s 3. The NATO Information Service in the 1960s 4. The crisis of détente: Information policy in an age of multilateral talks Part II 5. NATO publications 6. Reaching out to the wider public: NATO films and travelling exhibitions 7. Engaging with science, academia and the leaders of tomorrow 8. Supporting the work of NATIS from the outside: The voluntary organizations Conclusion
Linda Risso is Associate Professor in Modern History at the University of Reading.