3 AUGUST 1929, Page 19

Spy and Counter-Spy (John Hamilton, 15s.) is more than a

collection of spy stories, yet less than a history of espionage. The result is of more interest to the general intelligent reader than either of the alternatives. Mr. R. W. Rowan takes as his text various aspects of spying, and discourses upon them in a vivid and fluent style, giving modern or older examples as they suit his purpose, and concludes the book with studies of some outstanding spies and " spy-masters." The conclusions seem to be that war is won or lost behind the lines, or rather beyond them, and that spying, if not exactly a peaceful pursuit, is not the dangerous and romantic business it is supposed to be. It is rather a department of government akin to criminal investigation, with which it often collaborates. The author includes in his survey admir- able short discourses on the subjects of censorship " and propaganda, the latter of which at least may be thought somewhat out of its place. After reading the book, however, few will wish them away, for Mr. Rowan adds at any rate zest to the study of any subject he touches.