December 20, 2012 | SuzyQ
The recent film Argo starring Ben Affleck tells the true but improbable story of a covert operation to save six Americans hiding in the Canadian Embassy during the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. The history of espionage is filled with many such hard to believe tales and the Library's collection has many great titles to pick from.
Double cross: the true story of the D-day spies by Ben Macintyre — What did a Polish patriot, a Peruvian party girl, a Serbian playboy, an eccentric Spanish chicken farmer, and a volatile dog-loving Frenchwoman have in common? These five spies formed the nucleus of the Double Cross system which tricked the Nazis into keeping an entire army waiting for a fake invasion, thus assuring the Allied success on D-Day.
Wild Bill Donovan: the spymaster who created the OSS and modern American espionage by Douglas C. Waller — A fascinating biography of the father of today's CIA.
"C": the secret life of Sir Stewart Graham Menzies, spymaster to Winston Churchill by Anthony Cave Brown — The story of the almost-legendary figure who headed British Intelligence during World War II and the early years of the Cold War.
Agent Garbo: the brilliant, eccentric secret agent who tricked Hitler and saved D-Day by Stephan Talty — Juan Pujol was a Barcelona poultry farmer determined to oppose the Nazis. Acting as a double agent for the British, and using his gift for outrageous lies, he created a vast network of fictional subagents. Unbelievably, his unwitting German handlers believed every word he fed them. Garbo's greatest feat was to help convince Hitler to divert troops from Normandy to Calais to await a second Allied invasion that never came.
Spymistress: the true story of the greatest female secret agent of World War II by William Stevenson — Beautiful, ruthless, and highly intelligent, this spymistress is reputed to have been the model for Ian Fleming's Miss Moneypenny. When World War II began in 1939, she became one of the upper echelon of the highly secretive covert intelligence agency Special Operations Executive - a covert intelligence agency formed by Winston Churchill where she recruited and trained several hundred agents who penetrated deep behing enemy lines. A life in secrets: Vera Atkins and the missing agents of WWII by Sarah Helm is another account of this fascinating woman.
Agent Zigzag: a true story of Nazi espionage, love, and betrayal by Ben MacIntyre — Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. After his release in 1940 from an English prison in the Channel Islands, which was then occupied by the Germans, Chapman offered to work as a spy. After undergoing German military intelligence training, he parachuted into England in 1942 with instructions to sabotage an aircraft factory. Instead he surrendered to the British and became a double agent for MI5.
Perfect spy: the incredible double life of Pham Xuan An, Time magazine reporter and Vietnamese communist agent by Larry Berman — During the Vietnam War, Time reporter Pham Xuan An befriended just about anyone of any influence in Saigion - including the noted American journalists David Halberstam and Neil Sheehan, the CIA's William Colby, and influential members of the South Vietnamese military and government. Unbeknown to any of them, he was also providing strategic intelligence to Hanoi, smuggling invisible ink messages into the jungle inside egg rolls.
A man called Intrepid: the secret war by William Stevenson — The story of Sir William Stephenson (code name Intrepid) and the spy network he founded that stalled the Nazi war machine.