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Join us for a fascinating talk with Gill Bennett who was Chief Historian of the Foreign Office from 1995-2005.

About this event

Brief description of event:

The case of the first major post-1945 defection, by Soviet cypher clerk Igor Gouzenko in Ottawa in September 1945, illustrates the difficulties that dealing with an unexpected crisis present to governments. As the recent row caused by Canadian allegations about Indian activities indicates, this is a perennial problem. 

Speaker’s biography:

Gill Bennett was Chief Historian of the Foreign Office from 1995-2005, and Senior Editor of its official history of British foreign policy, Documents on British Policy Overseas. She has worked as a historian in Whitehall for over forty years and provided historical advice to twelve Foreign Secretaries under six Prime Ministers, from Edward Heath to Tony Blair. A specialist in the history of secret intelligence, she published a ground-breaking biography, Churchill’s Man of Mystery: Desmond Morton and the World of Intelligence, in 2006. She was also part of the research team working on the official history of the Secret Intelligence Service by the late Professor Keith Jeffery, published in 2010. Gill continues to work on a part-time basis with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Historians, and is a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London. Publications include Six Moments of Crisis: Inside British Foreign Policy (2013), and her most recent book, The Zinoviev Letter: The Conspiracy That Never Dies (2018).