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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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3,7 étoiles sur 5 12 commentaires provenant des USA

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Description du produit

Revue de presse

'A great story, with drama, betrayal and historical significance'
- Independent


'Frank and revealing ... a world of intrigue and betrayal ... A son's search for who his father really was. ****'
- Phillip Knightley, Daily Telegraph
'Jimmy Burns's lively biography of his father is more than an act of filial piety ... the murky world of intelligence, counter-intelligence, deception and double agents, provide a series of real James Bonds'
- Raymond Carr, Spectator Books of the Year


'A thrilling book, written with passion and precision' --- Javier Cercas, author of Soldiers of Salamis

Présentation de l'éditeur

In the 1930s Tom Burns was a rising star of British publishing, whose friends and authors included G. K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, the artist Eric Gill and the poet David Jones. And among his glittering social circle he had set his heart on the beautiful Ann Bowes-Lyon, cousin of the Queen.





When war was declared in 1939, Burns joined the Ministry of Information, effectively the propaganda wing of the secret services. Sent to Madrid as press attaché at the British Embassy, where the Ambassador was the formidable and very Protestant Sir Samuel Hoare, Burns used his faith and his deep love of Spain in the propaganda war against the Nazis, who at the time had pretty much unrestricted access to the Spanish media. Burns' brief was to do all in his power to keep Franco neutral and so protect Gibraltar and access to the western Mediterranean.




The strategy was simple, but the tactics were more complicated, especially when Burns found he had begun to make enemies at home, not least among them Kim Philby and Anthony Blunt, head of the MI6's Iberian section. By 1941 he felt far from the real fighting, Ann had pledged herself to another man, and Burns was spending as much time protecting his back as fighting the Nazis. How he overcame these odds, was involved in the Man Who Never Was decoy plot, arranged Leslie Howard's fatal propaganda trip to Portugal and Spain, and finally found true love while loyally serving his country is the story told in this extraordinary book by his son.

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Détails sur le produit

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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5 12 commentaires
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The layers of Francist Spain, peeled away like an onion 20 juin 2014
Par Ronnie Gonzalez - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Just when you thought you knew Spain during World War II, this book changes everything. Amongst so many other revelations, I never knew that film actor Leslie Howard of the film "Gone With the Wind" was not only Jewish, but he was actually killed by a team effort of Franco's Falange and Hitler's Nazis.

I also had no idea that Spain had secretly played such an important role in WWII and that much of its outcome hinged on the efforts of the British overseas intelligence ring MI-6 having so well infiltrated it during that time.

I highly recommend this book.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Hind Sight is 20x20 27 mars 2014
Par Peter Clarke - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
It is not often that you can learn of an experience (with a first hand account) and then from other perspectives, at the same time and fill in some odd gaps. Because this book has been written by a son, with the benefit of now available public records, about his fathers exploits also documented in his own hand, at the time. Now, if this was simply the memories of a country Vet. say in peace time, nothing to be gained. However, in WW2, a foreign Embassy and your boss is a Russian spy, working under cover, the agenda get mixed ................ Fascinating and true enjoyment - Peter
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Papa Spy 22 juin 2014
Par G Gauld - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Very interesting book with good presentation of the circumstances leading up to and the Spanish Civil War which later saw Spain neutral in World War II and so a hotbed of spies from various countries spying on each other. A human story.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 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.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 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.
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