FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts.
This is a really great WWII resource. I enjoyed every chapter, because they taught me things I didn’t already know in a way that was easy to absorb the information. The author voice was great and easy to understand. Overall, this book was fascinating and absorbing.
Here are my personal summaries of each chapter’s heroes:
Virginia Hall, amputee spy who defied the odds as well as the Nazis.
William Sebold, a double-agent who took down several German spy rings.
Marlene Dietrich, an actress with a knack for boosting morale.
Juan Pujol, a writer and his make-believe spy ring fooled high-ranked Nazis.
Carl Lutz, risked his life to save 72,000 Jews.
The Ghost Army, diversion tactics made a huge difference.
The Battle for Castle Itter, WWI veterans hold the fort.
The only two of these heroes I had heard about before were Virginia Hall (from the book A Woman of No Importance, which is a biography about her) and Marlene Dietrich (as an actress; I had not heard prior to reading this book that she participated in WWII). The majority of this book was news to me, and I found myself intrigued by each new chapter’s informative content.
This is the second book by this author that I have read (the other being Invisible Heroes of World War II), and I’m eager to read more. There was a note in this one that he’s also written about the Vietnam War, so I’m curious to see how he approached that one and how similar or different it might be to his presentation in the two WWII books of his that I’ve read.
Content: tobacco, taverns, drunkenness, prostitutes (mentioned), alcohol, expletives, Greek goddesses mentioned, suicide, nudity
About the Book
The struggle to combat the Nazis during World War II encompassed front lines far beyond conventional battlefields. In a panoramic and compelling account, author Jerry Borrowman shares seven largely untold stories of people who undertook extraordinary efforts at enormous personal risk to defeat the Third Reich.
Some were ordinary citizens like William Sebold, a German immigrant and US citizen, who could have been a deadly foe, but ultimately chose the Allied cause. Coerced by the Gestapo into becoming a spy in America, he instead approached the FBI, offering to become a double agent.
Among them was famous Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich, who was born in Germany but volunteered to entertain Allied troops in the European Theater of Operations and recorded radio messages designed to demoralize German soldiers.
As the Nazis swept through Europe, citizens around the world faced both an individual and a national complex moral question: How do you respond to tyranny and bloodthirsty madness? These are stories of men and women who would not surrender or compromise. They resisted and fought with total commitment for freedom and democracy.
About the Author
JERRY BORROWMAN is an award-winning author of historical fiction and nonfiction, including the Shadow Mountain titles Beyond the Call of Duty, Compassionate Soldier, Invisible Heroes of World War II, and Catastrophes and Heroes. He has written about World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, and the Vietnam War. He is the recipient of the George Washington National Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Jerry and his wife, Marcella, raised four children and live in the Rocky Mountains.
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