After being I alerted to this book by the author's interview on Radio National I purchased and read it with little interruption. Aside from being a very readable book, it started with the premise that Australia started its nationhood being aware that it should collect information to support its own self-interest, which was not always aligned with its allies such as Britain. Sadly the maintenance of an effective intelligence network required the commitment of politicians who often put their own self-interest first, eg Billy Hughes. This truism explains much about our current political situation. Part way through the book I was outraged at how the efforts of female personnel were rewarded when they were no longer considered necessary. However the most over-riding emotion was sadness at how the lives of so many were lost because of inter-organisational rivalries and politics, lack of clear operational objectives and resources and at times sheer incompetence. As the history stops at 1945, I can but hope that lessons have been learnt - although senior government politicians use of an unpublished ASIO report to undermine the cross-bench medical transfer bill does not give any confidence that some politicians will put the national interest before their political survival. This is a history that needed to be written and MUST to be widely read. Thank you John Fahey.