Madame Fourcade's secret war the daring young woman who led France's largest spy network against Hitler
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"Brava to Lynne Olson for a biography that should challenge any outdated assumptions about who deserves to be called a hero."-- The Washington Post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
Leaping into the unknown
The chaos of defeat
Spying in Marseille
The birth of alliance
Danger in Paris
A network in peril
The return of Leon Faye
A game of wits
"An undisputed leader"
"Sitting on a barrel of gunpowder"
A general escapes
"Down go the U-boats"
On the run
The tinderbox of Lyon
"Here you are at last!"
"The most remarkable girl of her generation"
Caught in the net
Liberation and beyond
"Hail Mary, full of grace"
The road to Gethsemane
World War, 1939-1945 -- Secret service -- France -- Biography.
Spies -- France -- Biography.
Women spies -- France -- Biography.
Spies -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Women spies -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Espionage, British -- France -- History -- 20th century.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Secret service -- Great Britain -- Biography.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Underground movements -- France.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Women -- France.
|Publisher|| [Place of publication not identified] :Random House Publishing Group2019.
|Other Titles|| Daring young woman who led France's largest spy network against Hitler
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Includes bibliographical references and index.