Intelligence Historians and the Fact/Fiction Dichotomy
This chapter examines both the methodological and epistemological implications of the fact/fiction dichotomy in historical approaches to intelligence. It argues that the divide is an artificial one, which has committed intelligence scholars to a narrow understanding of spy fiction as ‘pure fantasy’. As such, other modes of interpretation, particularly the approaches of cultural and historical theorists, such as Fredric Jameson, Hayden White and Dominick LaCapra, who provide valuable insights into the relationship between history and fiction, have been overlooked at the expense of a value-laden criterion of analysis that sees little historical worth in spy fiction, beyond the extent to which it has distorted popular perceptions.
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