Peter Taylor Operation Chiffon


Code 9781526659620
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'What an extraordinary asset Peter Taylor is for the BBC and for British journalism' - Jonathan Freedland, bestselling author of The Escape Artist


On the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, Peter Taylor tells for the first time the gripping story of Operation Chiffon, MI5's top-secret intelligence operation that helped bring peace to Ireland.

April 1998: the Good Friday Agreement is signed, ending decades of violence and bloodshed in Northern Ireland. The process of getting the IRA to end its so-called 'armed struggle' was always the prerequisite of the search for peace. It was Operation Chiffon that finally helped make it possible. Operation Chiffon takes us inside the top-secret intelligence operation whose roots go back to the bloodiest years of the conflict in the early 1970s, involving officers from MI6 and, later in the 1990s, MI5.

The remarkable story, which has remained hidden for forty years, is now revealed by legendary BBC journalist Peter Taylor with unique access to the officers involved. Drawing on exclusive interviews and Taylor's fifty years of covering the conflict, the book narrates in first-hand detail how those involved risked their careers - and their lives - to help secure the fragile peace that exists today. Taylor vividly brings this covert operation to life and in the process chronicles the history of Sinn Fein, rising from obscurity in the early days of the Troubles to becoming the largest political party in Ireland today.

It is a story fraught with uncertainty and danger that, as Brexit risks destabilising what was achieved in the Good Friday Agreement twenty-five years ago, is more important than ever to remember.

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'Only a journalist of Taylor's standing could have persuaded people from all sides in the conflict to cooperate in such a manner. The result was a first-rate piece of journalism. It was also first-rate history.'
- Guardian

'If you long for honesty, reason and reflection amongst the firestorm of today's news, you will find it here. Taylor walks in the steps of Richard Dimbleby, Frank Gillard, Rene Cutforth and James Cameron, a reporter who can face human horror and help us comprehend it.'
- Gillian Reynolds

'If you were drawing up a list of TV grandees, you might scrawl down David Attenborough's name alongside that of Trevor McDonald . . . There's also an argument to place in their company Peter Taylor . . . To report on the region since 1972 and have all sides still talking to you with trust and respect - be they Green, Orange or even shadowy MI6 men - is quite an achievement. As perhaps is the fact he is still breathing.'
- The Times


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