Please Note

It is advised that you confirm with the Presenting Organization before attending this event as the details for this event may have changed.

Lowell Lecture

Chat & Chowder | Spies: The Epic Intelligence War between East and West

Date & Time

May 2, 2024 at 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Foley & Lardner LLP
Foley & Lardner LLP
111 Huntington Ave, Suite 2500 Boston, MA 02119
Driving Directions


Calder Walton is Assistant Director of the Belfer Center's Applied History Project and Intelligence Project. He is one of the world's leading experts on the history of intelligence, national security, and geopolitics. His research, and commentary, about global security frequently appear in major news and broadcast outlets on both sides of the Atlantic.

Calder’s latest book, Spies. The Epic Intelligence War between East and West (2023), is a best-selling exposé of the history of Russian intelligence. Described as "riveting" by the Economist and "a masterpiece" by University of Cambridge History Professor Emeritus Christopher Andrew, it reveals that, contrary to what many in the West thought, the Cold War did not end with the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, but in fact continued after. Today, Western governments are in a new Cold War with Russia and China, with intelligence agencies once again at the frontline.

His work has been published and featured in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, CNN, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Sunday Times, POLITICO, Newsweek, Prospect Magazine, the BBC, NPR, PBS, C-SPAN, FOX News, News Nation, and academic peer reviewed journals such as Intelligence & National Security and the Texas National Security Review.

Calder is also general editor of the multi-volume Cambridge History of Espionage and Intelligence to be published by Cambridge University Press. Over three volumes, with ninety chapters by leading scholars, this project will be a landmark study of intelligence, exploring its use and abuse in statecraft and warfare from the ancient world to the present day.

Calder's research builds on his first (award-winning) book, Empire of Secrets. British Intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire (2013). While pursuing a doctorate in History at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, and then a Junior Research Fellowship also at Cambridge University, he was a lead researcher on Professor Christopher Andrew's unprecedented official history of the British Security Service (MI5), Defend the Realm (2009). This research position gave Calder, for six years, privileged access to the archives of MI5, the world's longest continuous-running security intelligence agency.

As well as his research on intelligence history, Calder is also an English-qualified Barrister (attorney). He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife and son, who teaches him more about skulduggery than anything else.

Presenting Organization



Current Affairs


Natalie Mase (, )

Join us for this installment of our popular Chat & Chowder series, featuring Calder Walton, Assistant Director of the Applied History Project and Intelligence Project at Harvard's Belfer Center, to discuss his new book, Spies: The Epic Intelligence War between East and West.

Chat & Chowder programs are an excellent opportunity to engage with expert speakers and to network with other globally-oriented participants in an informal environment. Each event features a presentation, audience Q&A, dedicated time for networking, and (of course!) a selection of chowders and beverages.

Thanks to the generous support of The Lowell Institute, Chat & Chowder is now free of charge for all participants (Zoom live-streams remain free as well). We sincerely appreciate The Lowell Institute’s commitment to our mission, as well as the support of our venue, Foley & Lardner LLP. Please consider helping sustain this work by making a contribution here.

This program will be streamed to Zoom from 6:15 to 7:15. To attend the program virtually, please register for the Zoom webinar here.

Advance registration is required. We cannot accommodate walk-ins for the in-person program.