About our staff
Professor Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones
Emeritus Professor of History
Born in Carmarthen, at the age of six I moved to Harlech in North Wales attending the local primary school and then the comprehensive, Ysgol Ardudwy. My BA was from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and my PhD from Cambridge University.
After tutoring at Kirkland House, Harvard, at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and for the Transport and General Workers Union, I arrived in Edinburgh in 1967 as an assistant lecturer and remained here except for periods of leave to take up the following appointments: Postdoctoral Fellow, Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History, Harvard University; Stipendiary, JFK Institut für Nordamerikastudien, Berlin and Canadian Commonwealth Fellow and Visiting Professor, University of Toronto. I was Professor of American History from 1997 to 2007 and am now Professor Emeritus. In the past I served as Chair of the Department of History and as Head of the History subject area. I was founder and first chair of the Scottish Association for the Study of America and am that organization’s Honorary President.
My work has appeared in my native Welsh language and in the following: Chinese, Dutch, English, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. Various of my books have been selected (in the USA) for the History Book Club, the Book of the Month Club, the Doubleday Book Club and the Editor’s Pick list of the Foreign Policy Association. My book The American Left: Its Impact on Politics and Society since 1900 (Edinburgh University Press) won the Richard E. Neustadt Prize for the best book of 2013 on U.S. government, politics and political history written by a U.K. based scholar.
Honorary president of SASA
We Know All About You: The Story of Surveillance in Britain and America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017): https://global.oup.com/academic/product/we-know-all-about-you-9780198749660
Chatham House address, “Should a Government Spy on its Citizens?”, 3 April 2017, https://www.chathamhouse.org/event/should-government-spy-its-citizens
“Learning the Scholar’s Craft: A Journey with Enid Jones, John Hope Franklin, Sir Denis Brogan, Sidney Fine, and Oscar Handlin,” H-DIPLO, 29 April 2020: https://hdiplo.org/to/E221
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Britain & Ireland
- Latin America
- North America
- Diplomatic History
- Nineteenth Century
- Twentieth Century & After
The histories of espionage and of Harlech.
Current research activities
Research for a history of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Continuing research on the cultural history of Harlech in the Welsh and English languages.
The history of the Nazi spy ring in America in 1938. Currently in production for publication in the UK by The History Press and in the US by Georgetown University Press.
Knowledge Exchange and Impact
Nid bid byd heb wybodaeth.
|We Know All About You: The Story of Surveillance in Britain and America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)|
|The American Left: Its Impact on Politics and Society since 1900 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013)|
|In Spies We Trust: The Story of Western Intelligence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)|
|The FBI: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008).|
|The FBI: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007).|
|Cloak and Dollar: A History of American Secret Intelligence (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002).|
|Peace Now! American Society and the Ending of the Vietnam War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999).|
Changing Differences: Women and the Shaping of American Foreign Policy, 1917-1994 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1995).
|The CIA and American Democracy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989).|
Violence and Reform in American History (New York: New Viewpoints, 1978).
American Espionage: From Secret Service to CIA (New York: Free Press, 1977).
Recent Articles and Contributions to Books
“Learning the Scholar’s Craft: A Journey with Enid Jones, John Hope Franklin, Sir Denis Brogan, Sidney Fine, and Oscar Handlin,” H-DIPLO, Essay 221, 29 April 2020: https://hdiplo.org/to/E221
"American Espionage: Lessons from the Past," The Brown Journal of World Affairs, 26/1 (Fall/Winter 2019): 93-106. http://bjwa.brown.edu/26-1/american-espionage-lessons-from-history/
“The Sensitivity of SIGINT: Sir Alfred Ewing’s Lecture on Room 40 in 1927,” Journal of Intelligence History, 17/1 (2018). Pp. 18-29. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/D6ssbrVHDtJWZ8rbjFrs/full
“Forcing Out Unwanted FBI Directors: A Brief, Messy History”, Vox, 23 May 2017. https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/5/23/15680508/firing-fbi-directors-comey-trump-hoover-sessions
"Hector Davis: A Liberal at War," History, 102/350 (April 2017): 242-58.
"Verraden," Geschiedenis Magazine (January/February 2017): 45-49.
“A brief history of the FBI’s meddling in US politics”, Vox, 5 November 2016. http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/11/5/13533838/history-fbi-meddling-politics-comey
"Antecedents and Memory as Factors in the Creation of the CIA," Diplomatic History, 40/1 (January 2016): 140-54.
"State Surveillance is More Ethical than Private-Sector Intrusions," Wired (January/February 2016): 97.
"Inter-Allied Commando Intelligence and Security Training in Gwynedd: The Coates Memoir," Intelligence and National Security, 30/4 (August 2015): 545-59
"The Death of a Myth: How Socialism and the Left Succeeded in America," Reviews in American History, 43 (June 2015): 281-87.
"Jessie Jordan: A Rejected Scot who Spied for Germany and Hastened America's Flight from Neutrality," The Historian, 76/4 (Winter 2014): 766-83
“Eine Frage der Etikette – und Stratagie: Die gegen Deutschland gerichtete Spionage zeugt von amerianischer Unreife”, Internationale Politike, 69/5 (September/October 2014): 74-77
“Allies Have Always Spied on Each Other”, New York Times, 25 October 2013: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/10/24/if-were-spying-are-we-still-allies/allies-have-always-spied-on-each-other
“A Critique of the Surveillance Flap”, e-International Relations, 30 June 2013. http://www.e-ir.info/2013/06/30/a-critique-of-the-surveillance-flap/
“The top 10 classic spy novels”. Guardian, 26 June 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jun/26/classic-spy-novels-top-10
“Presidential and Prime Ministerial Women in the Americas: A List with Interpretations,” History of Women in the Americas, 1/1 (2013). Pp. 1-16. http://journals.sas.ac.uk/hwa/article/view/1688/15657
“The End of an Exclusive Special Intelligence Relationship: British-American Intelligence Co-operation Before, During and After the 1960s,” Intelligence and National Security, 27/5 (October 2012). Pp. 706-720.
“Angleton’s Self-Validating Fallacy”, Diplomatic History, 34 (September 2010). Pp. 761-64.
Roundtable review of Sarah-Jane Corke, U.S. Covert Operations and Cold War Strategy: Truman, Secret Warfare and the CIA, 1945-53 (New York: Routledge, 2007). H-DIPLO Volume XI, No. 29 (10 June 2010), pp. 9-11: http://www.h-net.org/~diplo/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-XI-29.pdf.
“Changes in the Nomenclature of the American Left,” Journal of American Studies, 44/1 (February 2010). Pp. 83-100.
“Organised Labour and the Social Foundations of American Diplomacy, 1898-1920.” In Andrew Johnstone and Helen Laville, eds., The U.S. Public and American Foreign Policy (London: Routledge, 2010). Pp. 59-72.
“The Antiwar Activists.” In Mitchell K. Hall, ed., Vietnam War Era: People and Perspectives (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2009). Pp. 61-78
With Sir David Omand and John Prados, “Review Roundtable: The Embattled Helmsman: George Tenet’s Years at the CIA,” Intelligence and National Security, 24 (April 2009). Pp. 291-302.
With Loch K. Johnson, “Review Roundtable: Tim Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA,” Intelligence and National Security, 23 (December 2008). Pp. 878-91.
“Author’s response” (1,359 words) to Review No. 700, by Michael Woodiwiss, of The FBI: A History, in Institute for Historical Research Reviews in History, 27 November 2008.
“Bureaucracy or Censorship? An Experience with the FBI,” Passport: The Newsletter of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 39 (September 2008). P. 47.
“Rise, Fall and Regeneration: From CIA to EU,” Intelligence and National Security, 24/1 (February 2008). Pp. 103-118.
“Commentary: Loch Johnson’s Oral History Interview with William Colby, and Johnson’s Introduction to that Interview,” in R. Gerald Hughes, Peter Jackson and Len Scott, eds., Exploring Intelligence Archives: Enquiries into the Secret State (New York: Routledge, 2008). Pp. 270-73.
“Central Intelligence Agency,” in Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia (2007).
“The Historiography of the FBI,” in Loch Johnson, ed., A Handbook of Intelligence (New York: Routledge, 2006). Pp. 39-51.
“The Idea of a European FBI,” in Loch Johnson, ed., Strategic Intelligence, 5 vols. Vol. 4: Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism (New York: Praeger, 2006). Pp. 73-96.
“Europol and the FBI: Scope for Mutual Learning,” Euobserver, 25 September 2006
“Murder by Index Card: William Colby and the American Tradition of Atrocity Denial,” Diplomatic History, 28 (November 2004). Pp. 805-809.
“Wiseman, Sir George Eden (1885-1962),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), vol. 59. Pp. 850-51.
“Women and Antiwar Activism,” in Robert J. McMahon, ed., Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War, 3rd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003). Pp. 460-66.
“Man of the People? JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Reviews in American History, 30 (September 2002). Pp. 486-91.
“William Colby (1920-1996),” in American National Biography, Supplement 1 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002). Pp. 117-118.
“The CIA Contrick,” History Today, 51 (December 2001). Pp. 20-22.
“The WORM [White Old Rich Men] and the Vietnam War,” Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Newsletter, 32 (March 2001). Pp. 30-36.
“The Role of British Intelligence in the Mythologies Underpinning the OSS and Early CIA,” Intelligence and National Security, 15 (Summer 2000). Pp. 5-19.