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Papa Spy: A True Story of Love, Wartime Espionage in Madrid, and the Treachery of the Cambridge Spies (Anglais) Broché – 3 mai 2010

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Papa Spy "Papa Spy: Love, Faith and Betrayal in Wartime Spain". Full description

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14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Papa Spy 29 décembre 2009
Par Marian Kelley Brown - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
"Papa Spy" is more than just a riveting tale of an unlikely spy during WWII - it is also a son's written discovery and tribute to his father. Up until now, Tom Burns was best known as a British publisher who was sent to Spain to be a part of a propaganda campaign to keep the country neutral as the Nazis army began to rise in power. As the author delved more into his father's past, he soon discovered that his father actually worked for British intelligence and was assigned the task of attempting to prevent Hitler from gaining control of the Mediterranean and North Africa. Though this is a story of his father, Jimmy Burns remains remarkably detached and presents a piece-by-piece recounting of Tom Burns' life as a spy. I can only imagine what such a revelation would have felt like to a son, especially as he began to learn more about the dangers that actually surrounded his father on a day-to-day basis.

Tom Burns, the spy, was not only helping the British fight against the Nazis but was also fighting his own battle with the very people who were on his side. Some authorities in London accused Burns of many grievances, suggesting his earlier support for Franco during the Spanish Civil War gave him pro-Franco sympathies during WWII. Burns, who was part-Chilean, had been amongst the minority of Franco supporters during that time, mostly due to the backing the general provided for the Catholic Church (Burns was an ardent Roman Catholic - another trait that caused him to stand out unfavorably amongst his peers). While his background made him unpopular with the British traditionalists within his office, it made him an ideal candidate for undercover work in Madrid. An ordinary Englishman would have stood out but Burns' Hispanic background helped to prevent him from being a target of the Gestapo.
Despite this, he was still viewed with much suspicion by others in government. This sentiment grew as a result of unfavorable reports submitted by two members of the secret service who were later unmasked as Soviet agents with their own agenda for control of Spain. They attempted to paint him as a fascist, an egotist and a womanizer. There was even an effort to trap him in a compromising situation but Burns did not fall for it. Despite all of this, Burns remained loyal to Britain and continued to do his job to the best of his abilities.
As if this weren't enough to paint an intriguing picture of Burns, the author also uncovered a love affair his father had with the poet Ann Bowes-Lyon before leaving for Madrid. Because of her connection to the monarchy, Burns' Catholic background made him an unfavorable match and the affair came to an end. However, it was while he was in Madrid that Burns met Mabel Maranon who would later become his wife and the mother of the author, Jimmy Burns.

This is by far and away a fantastic telling of the amazing life of Tom Burns. There is a perfect balance of WWII history, political intrigue, and descriptions of the prejudicial climate during this era. The subject of Burns' campaign in Madrid is presented well and finally gives credit to an action that truly helped the allies defeat the Nazis. Had Hitler gained control of the Mediterranean, the Nazis would have solved the problem of their fuel shortage thanks to the oil in the Middle East. I was amazed from beginning to end as I learned of Burns' involvement in other war episodes such as the entrapment of several German agents, preventing a kidnapping attempt of the Duke of Windsor and the recruitment of unlikely agents such as actor Leslie Howard.

This is definitely a book for lovers of history, WWII history or true stories of espionage. I highly recommend it.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
PAPA SPY, A Must For All WWII History Buffs 11 janvier 2010
Par Carrie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I knew going into this book it was going to be something completely different than what I usually read.

At first I was discouraged; the reason being is I felt the sudden introduction of people was a bit overwhelming. But as I read on, most everything fell in place. I have to commend Jimmy Burns on his research. I think the time, the investigating and dedication it took to compile a book about a spy had to be complicated. Even though the spy he wrote about was his father, (Tom Burns), much of his father's secret life disappeared when he died.

By reading PAPA SPY I learned so much about WWII that I hadn't known before. Tom Burns, a devoted Catholic, was a publisher turned diplomat. He worked for the British and was drawn to Spain because of his roots there. He was a big part of keeping Spain out of the war. He truly loved the women in his life, his faith, bullfighting, and art. This book is full of backstabbing groups, double agents and interesting historical facts that Burns was a part of in someway.

My favorite facts were the ones on the episode known as `The Man Who Never Was.' It's nice to know who this poor soul was. Without him, I have to wonder how the war would have played out.

At the end of the war, Burns was denied honors because of accusations by one of his former enemies. Some of these enemies (double agents) were eventually exposed as Soviet and German spies; others simply disappeared or were killed to keep them quiet. Finally thirty years later, Burns was awarded `The Order of the British Empire' and recognized for his services to the Queen and Country.

What an interesting father to get to write about. I know my own father and husband will devour this book.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not my bread and butter 25 mai 2010
Par Paul Gelman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I thought this book would be much more interesting.After all,Spain was a haven for spies from all over Europe,each conspiring against the other.However, this book suffers from a sloppy job in editing.One of the former reviewers here had already mentioned the fact that there is too much information, which in my opinion is fine as long as it is contextualized.But this sort of info is delivered in a very fuzzy way, with many events and characters that pop up and disappear without any convincing explanation.It is a very well- known fact that Churchill took care to bribe the Spanish dictator so that he remains neutral and stays out of Hitler's coalition.So are some more events,like the episode of the man who never was.But these are just two vignettes that are exceptional,while the rest of the book is written and edited sloppily.I had to put a lot of effort in order to reach the last page, where I asked myself:So what?
The author has not decided whether to write a biography about his father,a history or a combination of the two.Had he made up his mind to elaborate a bit more on the many points he mentions about the relations between Spain and Britain or other European countries,this would have been a fascinating book.Instead,we got a book written in a disjointed manner.Tom Burns was not really a spy,thus the title of the book is also misleading.As a matter of fact, Burns was an agent of influence.Indeed,bribes are but small part of the intelligence game,yet they are never the core of spying.
There is no analysis as to the strategic importance of Gibraltar during the war and this topic is treated haphazadly.
Philby's role during those years is also discussed in a casual manner.For anyone who is interested to know more about the role Philby played during this era, there are many-and better-books.
Bribery and propaganda do not constitute the world of espionage.Intrigue,deception,double and tripleagents using different arcane methods in the great game do.All of these are,unfortunately,missing here.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fascinating subject sloppily presented. 17 septembre 2011
Par bagpipediscs.com - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I came across this book while reading Ben MacIntyre's "Operation Mincemeat" and thought it would provide more detail on British activity in Spain during the Second World War. It certainly does that but there are several inconsistencies that are obvious and which makes me wonder at the accuracy of the rest of the work.

As an example Jimmy Burns quotes a letter his father sent to Ann Bowes-Lyon whilst traveling to Spain dated 14th July 1940 (page 92). He then talks of Tom Burns role managing press access to the Duke of Windsor in Madrid prior to Windsors leaving for Lisbon on 2nd July 1940 (page 119). On page 102 we are also told of Burns first meeting with the British Ambassador Sir Samuel Hoare "on a hot July day" which does not fit with him being involved the sensitive handling of the Windsors in Madrid between 23rd June to 2 July (dates given by Jimmy Burns).

He mentions Burns friend Paul Richey being on leave from Bomber Command (page 108) then talks of his part in the Battle of Britain (page 109) and book includes a photo of Richey in his Spitfire.....he was in Fighter Command not Bomber Command. That Paul Richey wrote a book called "Fighter Pilot" which is cited in the bibliography might have given a clue to this......

Jimmy Burns describes the careers of Burns friends Evelyn Waugh and Graham Green. On page 110 he describes Waugh's involvement in Commando operation in Sierra Leone in September 1940. On the next page he states "As things turned out, Waugh would reach West Africa only after Graham Greene had got there first", then goes on to describe the end of Greene's time working at the Ministry of Information and his eventual recruitment by MI6 and posting to Sierra Leone in early December 1941....hardly before Waugh in September 1940.

Such contradictions should not have passed proof reading and editing....if a casual reader with a general knowledge of history, or simply the ability to retain what they read two pages before, can spot them publishing professionals should have done so.

The book opens up an area of Second World War history that is not widely known but I think it has to be looked at as a memoir written by a son and not as an accurate history text. Unfortunately for me the flaws I have seen taint the rest of the work and I shall seek out more authoritative works for an accurate telling of British diplomatic and security activity in Spain during the war.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Good, not great--still, a must-read for SCW or spy buffs 18 septembre 2010
Par Scott Quinn - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I really cannot add much to the other excellent reviews, though I will note that the reviewer who quit the book after 90 pages stopped at just about the point the book begins to pick up speed. My quibble with the book is that the love affair with Ann Bowes-Lyon seems forced into the book. Too much space is devoted to it. The letters from Tom Burns to Ann are, frankly, difficult to read, given his affected style that seems (at least to a modern American) hyper-dramatic almost to the point of comedy. And then Ann marries another, and we find that all the space devoted to the affair has merely taken us to a dead-end.

After the "phony love" Burns picks up the pace and I found it difficult to put down. All sorts of characters come and go, much like, I suspect, it was in real life for Tom Burns. This barrage of characters has bothered some reviewers, but I think it gives an authentic, if impressionistic, account of wartime Madrid. If you like Madrid, study the Spanish Civil War, read spy stories, or even just want another perspective on WWII, this is a book you should not miss.

Fair warning: The author does not share his father's political or religious sympathies (Tom Burns was a pro-Franco Catholic), and there are countless reminders of this throughout the book. Antony Beevor and Paul Preston provide the paradigm within which young Burns writes. As long as one is aware of this, he will not be misled.
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