Fred Hitz – The Myths and Reality of Espionage

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Event Date: 29 April – 1 May 2011
East Midlands Conference Centre
University of Nottingham  
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RJ



Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA in History, Fiction and Memory


Professor Fred Hitz (University of Virginia) – The Myths and Reality of Espionage

In a book with the same subtitle in 2004, I advanced the proposition that the overall reality of espionage is stranger than its fictional counterpart. This is based on a review of the practices of some of recent history’s most notorious spies such as Kim Philby, Aldrich Ames, and Robert Hanssen. It is my view that human nature is more complex, more creative and bizarre even in pursuit of treachery than the fertile imagination of even the most gifted spy novelist can craft. I intend to support my argument with examples from the activities of actual spies contrasted with their fictional counterparts.

Frederick P. Hitz is a lecturer in law and public policy at the University of Virginia School of Law and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. He was a career intelligence officer who retired from CIA after serving as the Agency’s first presidentially- appointed Inspector General from 1990-98. He has written two books, The Great Game, the Myths and Reality of Espionage, published in 2004 and Why Spy? in 2008.

Contact details: 521 North First St., Charlottesville, Virginia 22902, USA.

Email: fph7w@virginia.edu.

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