Archives de catégorie : History

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.

THE LAST DAYS OF THE DINOSAURS de Riley Black

Riley Black walks readers through what happened in the days, the years, the centuries, and the million years after the impact, tracking the sweeping disruptions that overtook this one spot, and imagining what might have been happening elsewhere on the globe. Life’s losses were sharp and deeply-felt, but the hope carried by the beings that survived sets the stage for the world as we know it now.

THE LAST DAYS OF THE DINOSAURS:
An Asteroid, Extinction, and the Beginning of Our World
by Riley Black
St. Martin’s Press, April 2022

Picture yourself in the Cretaceous period. It’s a sunny afternoon in the Hell Creek of ancient Montana 66 million years ago. A Triceratops horridus ambles along the edge of the forest. In a matter of hours, everything here will be wiped away. Lush verdure will be replaced with fire. Tyrannosaurus rex will be toppled from their throne, along with every other species of non-avian dinosaur no matter their size, diet, or disposition. They just don’t know it yet.
The cause of this disaster was identified decades ago. An asteroid some seven miles across slammed into the Earth, leaving a geologic wound over 50 miles in diameter. In the terrible mass extinction that followed, more than half of known species vanished seemingly overnight. But this worst single day in the history of life on Earth was as critical for us as it was for the dinosaurs, as it allowed for evolutionary opportunities that were closed for the previous 100 million years.

Riley Black has been heralded as “one of our premier gifted young science writers” and is the critically-acclaimed author of Skeleton Keys, My Beloved Brontosaurus, Written in Stone, and When Dinosaurs Ruled. An online columnist for Scientific American, Riley has become a widely-recognized expert on paleontology and has appeared on programs such as Science Friday, HuffingtonPost Live, and All Things Considered. Riley has also written on nerdy pop culture.

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.

BECAUSE OUR FATHERS LIED de Craig McNamara

The story of a young man coming to terms with his father’s criminal legacy and forging his own path to peace.

BECAUSE OUR FATHERS LIED:
A Memoir of Truth and Family from Vietnam to Today
by Craig McNamara
Little, Brown, May 2022
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

Craig McNamara is “the son of the war’s architect,” Robert McNamara, who served as John F. Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense and was responsible for the continuation of the Vietnam War. This memoir reflects on Craig’s adolescent struggles to discern right from wrong amidst a flurry of political escalation from his own father and anti-war sentiments from his peers, and eventually, what led him to embark on a lifelong journey of anti-war protest.
It is an intimate picture of one father and son at pivotal periods in American history.
Before Robert McNamara joined Kennedy’s cabinet, he was an executive who helped turn around Ford Motor Company. Known for his tremendous competence and professionalism, McNamara came to symbolize “the best and the brightest.” Craig, his youngest child and only son, struggled in his father’s shadow. When he ultimately fails his draft board physical, Craig decides to travel by motorcycle across Central and South America, learning more about the art of agriculture and the pleasures of making what he defines as an honest living. By the book’s conclusion, Craig McNamara is farming walnuts in Northern California and coming to terms with his father’s legacy.

Craig McNamara is an American businessman and farmer serving as the president and owner of Sierra Orchards, a diversified farming operation producing primarily organic walnuts. McNamara is also the founder and president of the Center for Land-Based Learning. He is the only son of three children of the former United States Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. He graduated from UC Davis in 1976 with a degree in plant and soil science, and lives in Winters, California with his wife and three children.