Archives de catégorie : Biography

CRACKING THE NAZI CODE de Jason Bell

CRACKING THE NAZI CODE:
The Untold Story of Secret Agent A12, the First Spy to Uncover the Nazis
by Jason Bell
Patrick Crean Editions/HarperCollins Canada, September 2023
(via Vertical Ink)

In 1919, only one man warned that a secret group of Nazi military officers planned to launch World War II once they had carefully prepared their takeover of Germany, and that they would target the Jews – only to have those warnings classified and kept from public view. Twenty years later, only one man, the same man – Winthrop Bell – warned in two separate Op-Eds in the major Canadian newspaper Saturday Night against Hitler’s plan for racial extermination when others thought the Nazis meant only deportations. CRACKING THE HITLER CODE will paint a vivid narrative picture of Winthrop P. Bell – charming and wealthy Halifax businessman, Harvard philosophy professor, Reuters journalist, and espionage agent A12 in the British Secret Intelligence Service in post-World War I Germany, working undercover as a reporter while sending intelligence reports to Britain’s MI6. For almost a century Winthrop Bell’s secret papers were classified, and only now can his astonishing secret life be revealed against the backdrop of some of the most consequential events in human history.

Jason Bell, Ph.D. was the first scholar granted full access to Winthrop Bell’s papers at the Mount Allison University Archives in New Brunswick, Canada, three years prior to their being officially opened to the public, and he has spent over a decade researching them and his research has attracted over a half million dollars in grants from the Fulbright Commission, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Mount Allison University, the University of New Brunswick, the McCain Foundation, and KU Leuven (Belgium). Those funds allowed Bell to discover extensive archival research in four countries, as well as to undertake the transcription and translation of Winthrop Bell’s handwritten manuscripts and espionage-era journals, works available only in never-before published archival collections. He has been a professor of philosophy in four nations, has lectured in seven countries, and his written works have been published in English, German, and Italian.

SISTERS IN RESISTANCE de Tilar Mazzeo

In a tale as twisted as any spy thriller, find out how three women were drawn together to deliver critical evidence of Axis war crimes to Allied forces during World War II.

SISTERS IN RESISTANCE:
How a German Spy, a Banker’s Wife, and Mussolini’s Daughter Outwitted the Nazis
by Tilar Mazzeo
Grand Central, June 2022

In 1944, the war had reached its climax in continental Europe. News of secret diaries kept by Italy’s former Foreign Minister, Galeazzo Ciano, had permeated public consciousness. What wasn’t reported, however, was how three women—a Fascist’s daughter, a German spy, and an American socialite—risked their lives to ensure the diaries would reach the Allied forces, who would use the papers as key evidence against the Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials.
Just a year earlier, Edda Mussolini, Benito Mussolini’s daughter, had given Hitler and her father an ultimatum: release her husband, Galeazzo Ciano, from prison, or risk her leaking her husband’s journals to the press.
Knowing the diaries will expose Nazi lies and create a foundation for a criminal war crimes prosecution, Hitler and Mussolini vow to do everything in their power to see the diaries destroyed—even if it means liquidating Mussolini’s daughter. To do this, they ordered Hilde Beetz, a German spy, to seduce Ciano in prison in order to learn the diaries’ location. As the seducer becomes the seduced, however, Hilde shifts her loyalties and becomes a double agent, joining forces with Edda to save Ciano from execution. When this fails, Edda flees to Switzerland with Hilde’s daring assistance to keep Ciano’s final wish: to see the diaries published for use by the Allies.
When the head of United States’ intelligence, Alan Dulles, learns of Edda’s escape, he sends in socialite Frances De Chollet, an “accidental” spy, assigned by chance to a mission that would change her life. Her task is to find Edda, gain her trust, and, crucially, hand the diaries over to the Americans. Against all expectations, what develops is a rich and humanizing friendship between the two women. One step ahead of the Gestapo agents who are hunting Edda, together they succeed in preserving one of the most important historic documents of the Second World War.
Drawing from in depth research and first-person interviews with people who witnessed parts of this true story, Mazzeo gives readers a riveting look into this little known moment in cultural history and shows how, without Edda, Hilde, and Frances’s involvement, certain convictions would never have been possible at Nuremberg. SISTERS IN RESISTANCE is a powerful look at women’s intelligence work during WWII, a moving story of unlikely wartime friendships, and an inspirational investigation into three people who, navigated the place where truth, loyalty, justice, and betrayal collide.

Tilar J. Mazzeo is the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestselling author of books that include The Widow Clicquot, The Secret of Chanel No. 5, and Hotel on the Place Vendôme. She also writes on food and wine for the mainstream press, and her work has appeared in venues such as Food & Wine and in her Back-Lane Wineries guidebook series (Ten Speed Press). Her course on creative nonfiction (Great Courses), featured as in-flight viewing content on Virgin America airlines, is widely distributed and has made her a nationally prominent teacher of writing in nonfiction genres. A Professeure associée, Département de littératures et de langues du monde, University of Montreal, she divides her time among coastal Maine, New York City, and Saanichton, British Columbia, where she lives with her husband and stepchildren.

VERISSIMUS de Donald Robertson

In the tradition of Logicomix, Donald Robertson’s VERISSIMUS is a riveting graphic novel on the life and stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.

VERISSIMUS
by Donald Robertson
illustrated by Zé Nuno Fraga
St. Martin’s Press, June 2022

Marcus Aurelius was the last famous Stoic of antiquity but he was also to become the most powerful man in the known world – the Roman emperor. After losing his father at an early age, he threw himself into the study of philosophy. The closest thing history knew to a philosopher-king, yet constant warfare and an accursed plague almost brought his empire to its knees. “Life is warfare”, he wrote, “and a sojourn in foreign land!” One thing alone could save him: philosophy, the love of wisdom!
The remarkable story of Marcus Aurelius’ life and philosophical journey is brought to life by philosopher and psychotherapist Donald Robertson, in a sweeping historical epic of a graphic novel, based on a close study of the historical evidence, with the stunning full-color artwork of award-winning illustrator Zé Nuno Fraga.

Donald Robertson is the author of six books including How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. He is a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist, writer, and trainer, specializing in the relationship between philosophy, psychology, and self-improvement. He’s particularly known for his work on Stoicism and cognitive-behavioural therapy. Donald was born in Ayr, Scotland, but now lives in Canada.

THE WATCHMAKER’S DAUGHTER de Larry Loftis

A WWII biography of Corrie ten Boom, a groundbreaking female Dutch watchmaker who sheltered Jews and refugees from the Nazis, and persevered despite the loss of most of her family and being sent to a concentration camp.

THE WATCHMAKER’S DAUGHTER
by Larry Loftis
William Morrow/HarperCollins, March 2023
(via Javelin)

Photo credit: Spencer Freeman

From New York Times and internationally bestselling author Larry Loftis, the definitive biography of Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian watchmaker who worked with her family to help many Jews escape from the Nazis during WWII by hiding them in her home before getting arrested and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp.

Larry Loftis is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the nonfiction spy thrillers, Code Name: Lise—The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Spy, and Into the Lion’s Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov—World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond, which have been published in multiple languages around the world. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Mr. Loftis was a corporate attorney and adjunct professor of law.

ZWISCHEN DURCHKOMMEN UND UMKOMMEN de Reinhold Messner

« Old-school alpinism is the art of survival in a place not fit for humans » Reinhold Messner

ZWISCHEN DURCHKOMMEN UND UMKOMMEN:
(Meeting the Challenge or Meeting One’s End)
by Reinhold Messner
Ludwig/Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe, October 2021

Old-school mountaineers confront the unknown with courage and self-sufficiency. They go where no one else dares to go, and take unbelievable risks. Ever since man first stood on top of Mont Blanc in 1786, they have continuously pushed the boundaries of the supposedly impossible. Reinhold Messner’s new book is a memorial to those pioneers, a history of traditional mountaineering told through the stories of its most celebrated heroes, often in their own words. Messner’s incisive essays reveal the mental and physical qualities needed to achieve what they did: qualities such as courage and passion, self-reliance in the face of danger, and the ability to focus on important things – and the refusal to use technically sophisticated gear.
In ZWISCHEN DURCHKOMMEN UND UMKOMMEN, Messner pays tribute to the human thirst for adventure and exploration, intimate encounters with nature, and climbing mountains without a safety net or ‘false bottoms’ – and calls on us to keep the legacy alive.

Reinhold Messner, born in 1944, is the most famous mountaineer and adventurer of our time. He was the first person to reach the top of all fourteen eight-thousanders, as well as the first to climb Everest solo and, together with Peter Habeler, the first to do so without supplemental oxygen. He has also crossed the Antarctic, Greenland and the Gobi desert on foot. He gives talks all over the world, is a documentary filmmaker, contributes to major international magazines, and has published countless books which have been translated into numerous languages. His most recent book was the 2019 « Nanga Parbat – Mein Schlüsselberg » (« Nanga Parbat – Paragon and Nemesis »), published by Ludwig.