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Madame Fourcade's secret war: the daring young woman who led France's largest spy network against Hitler

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The little-known true story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, the woman who headed the largest spy network in occupied France during World War II, from the bestselling author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island“Brava to Lynne Olson for a biography that should challenge any outdated assumptions about who deserves to be called a hero.”—The Washington Post NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND THE WASHINGTON POST  In 1941 a thirty-one-year-old Frenchwoman, a young mother born to privilege and known for her beauty and glamour, became the leader of a vast intelligence organization—the only woman to serve as a chef de résistance during the war. Strong-willed, independent, and a lifelong rebel against her country’s conservative, patriarchal society, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was temperamentally made for the job. Her group’s name was Alliance, but the Gestapo dubbed it Noah’s Ark because its agents used the names of animals as their aliases. The name Marie-Madeleine chose for herself was Hedgehog: a tough little animal, unthreatening in appearance, that, as a colleague of hers put it, “even a lion would hesitate to bite.” No other French spy network lasted as long or supplied as much crucial intelligence—including providing American and British military commanders with a 55-foot-long map of the beaches and roads on which the Allies would land on D-Day—as Alliance. The Gestapo pursued them relentlessly, capturing, torturing, and executing hundreds of its three thousand agents, including Fourcade’s own lover and many of her key spies. Although Fourcade, the mother of two young children, moved her headquarters every few weeks, constantly changing her hair color, clothing, and identity, she was captured twice by the Nazis. Both times she managed to escape—once by slipping naked through the bars of her jail cell—and continued to hold her network together even as it repeatedly threatened to crumble around her.Now, in this dramatic account of the war that split France in two and forced its people to live side by side with their hated German occupiers, Lynne Olson tells the fascinating story of a woman who stood up for her nation, her fellow citizens, and herself.“Fast-paced and impressively researched . . . Olson writes with verve and a historian’s authority. . . . With this gripping tale, Lynne Olson pays [Marie-Madeleine Fourcade] what history has so far denied her. France, slow to confront the stain of Vichy, would do well to finally honor a fighter most of us would want in our foxhole.”—The New York Times Book Review
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9780812994766
9780812994773
9781984885180
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Grouped Work IDe6feaaa1-559b-3412-7f23-6439ce7f186a
Grouping Titlemadame fourcades secret war the daring young woman who led frances largest spy network against hitler
Grouping Authorlynne olson
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2021-02-25 02:27:58AM
Last Indexed2021-02-25 03:01:31AM
Novelist Primary ISBN9780812994766

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display_descriptionNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The little-known true story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, the woman who headed the largest spy network in occupied France during World War II, from the bestselling author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island
“Brava to Lynne Olson for a biography that should challenge any outdated assumptions about who deserves to be called a hero.”—The Washington Post
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND THE WASHINGTON POST 

In 1941 a thirty-one-year-old Frenchwoman, a young mother born to privilege and known for her beauty and glamour, became the leader of a vast intelligence organization—the only woman to serve as a chef de résistance during the war. Strong-willed, independent, and a lifelong rebel against her country’s conservative, patriarchal society, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was temperamentally made for the job. Her group’s name was Alliance, but the Gestapo dubbed it Noah’s Ark because its agents used the names of animals as their aliases. The name Marie-Madeleine chose for herself was Hedgehog: a tough little animal, unthreatening in appearance, that, as a colleague of hers put it, “even a lion would hesitate to bite.”
No other French spy network lasted as long or supplied as much crucial intelligence—including providing American and British military commanders with a 55-foot-long map of the beaches and roads on which the Allies would land on D-Day—as Alliance. The Gestapo pursued them relentlessly, capturing, torturing, and executing hundreds of its three thousand agents, including Fourcade’s own lover and many of her key spies. Although Fourcade, the mother of two young children, moved her headquarters every few weeks, constantly changing her hair color, clothing, and identity, she was captured twice by the Nazis. Both times she managed to escape—once by slipping naked through the bars of her jail cell—and continued to hold her network together even as it repeatedly threatened to crumble around her.
Now, in this dramatic account of the war that split France in two and forced its people to live side by side with their hated German occupiers, Lynne Olson tells the fascinating story of a woman who stood up for her nation, her fellow citizens, and herself.

“Fast-paced and impressively researched . . . Olson writes with verve and a historian’s authority. . . . With this gripping tale, Lynne Olson pays [Marie-Madeleine Fourcade] what history has so far denied her. France, slow to confront the stain of Vichy, would do well to finally honor a fighter most of us would want in our foxhole.”—The New York Times Book Review
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subject_facetEspionage, British -- France -- History -- 20th century
Fourcade, Marie-Madeleine, -- 1909-1989
Spies -- France -- Biography
Spies -- Great Britain -- Biography
Women spies -- France -- Biography
Women spies -- Great Britain -- Biography
World War, 1939-1945 -- Secret service -- France -- Biography
World War, 1939-1945 -- Secret service -- Great Britain -- Biography
World War, 1939-1945 -- Underground movements -- France
World War, 1939-1945 -- Women -- France
title_displayMadame Fourcade's secret war : the daring young woman who led France's largest spy network against Hitler
title_fullMadame Fourcade's Secret War The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler
Madame Fourcade's secret war : the daring young woman who led France's largest spy network against Hitler / Lynne Olson
title_shortMadame Fourcade's secret war
title_subthe daring young woman who led France's largest spy network against Hitler
topic_facetBiography & Autobiography
Espionage, British
Fourcade, Marie-Madeleine
History
Military
Nonfiction
Secret service
Spies
Underground movements
Women
Women spies
World War, 1939-1945