More than most other historical sub-disciplines, intelligence history can be a frustrating endeavor because of the pervasive classification of primary source materials. Yet, even though in many countries, not least the open societies of the West, government agencies continue to hold back or to sanitize far too many documents from the Cold War era, historians have in recent years gained access to new collections and papers. As Douglas MacDonald suggested recently, compared to the situation during his graduate student days in the 1970s, the glass today can be seen as half full.

Newly available, albeit still incomplete, archival collections are one reason for Keith Allen's book; the suitability of Cold War Germany for the study of the activities of...

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