The Bodley Head has snapped up Operation Information, revealing the full history of Britain’s covert propaganda operations overseas and within the UK from the 1940s to the present, in a seven-way auction.
Based on recently declassified archives and original investigative research, Operation Information by journalist Harry Davies, “will tell the extraordinary story of a secretive Whitehall department, the Information Research Department, which operated in tandem with British and American intelligence agencies for much of the Cold War, and reveal how, since the IRD was disbanded in 1977, its work has continued to the present as a range of government and private sector actors quietly renew covert propaganda activities for the digital age.”
Will Hammond, deputy publishing director, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Matthew Marland at Rogers, Coleridge and White.
Hammond said: “By bringing into full public view for the first time this hidden side of British intelligence and propaganda activity, the riveting stories in Operation Information will overturn the popular misconception that when Russia interferes in the political affairs of other countries, it is doing something new or distinct – showing how the UK has arguably led the field in such activity for decades.”
Davies is a freelance journalist who previously worked on the investigations desk of the Guardian, where he broke a series of exclusive, high-profile stories, including the original investigation into Cambridge Analytica and the misuse of data on tens of millions of Facebook users.
Operation Information will be published in 2021.
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