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

by Olson, Lynne,

Format: Kindle Book 2019 2019
  Adobe EPUB ebook
  OverDrive Read
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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 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{u2014}the only woman to serve as a chef de résistance during the war. Strong-willed, independent, and a lifelong rebel against her country{u2019}s conservative, patriarchal society, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was temperamentally made for the job. Her group{u2019}s name was Alliance, but the Gestapo dubbed it Noah{u2019}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{u2014}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{u2014}as Alliance. The Gestapo pursued them relentlessly, capturing, torturing, and executing hundreds of its three thousand agents, including Fourcade{u2019}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{u2014}once by slipping naked through the bars of her jail cell{u2014}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.
Prologue, 1936-1942
Leaping into the unknown
The chaos of defeat
Fighting back
Spying in Marseille
The birth of alliance
Danger in Paris
Taking command
A network in peril
The mailbag
The return of Leon Faye
A game of wits
"An undisputed leader"
"Sitting on a barrel of gunpowder"
The traitor
A general escapes
Operation Attila
"Down go the U-boats"
On the run
The tinderbox of Lyon
High anxiety
"Here you are at last!"
"The most remarkable girl of her generation"
Pink heather
The map
Going home
Caught in the net
Liberation and beyond
"Hail Mary, full of grace"
The road to Gethsemane

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Olson, who in Last Hope Island and Citizens of London (2017) mined lesser-known world-war history to great effect, has penned the incredibly absorbing and long-overdue chronicle of the exploits and accomplishments of French Resistance hero Mme Marie Madeleine Fourcarde, code-named Hedgehog. A seemingly unlikely freedom fighter, Mme Fourcarde, a glamorous, well-heeled young mother, used her image to her advantage as she joined and eventually directed a group known as Alliance (dubbed Noah's Ark by frustrated Nazi agents), one of the most successful intelligence gathering units operating in France. Organizing a cadre of spies that numbered in the thousands, she successfully befuddled the Gestapo by constantly switching headquarters, strategically restructuring her network, and cleverly changing her own appearance. Captured twice, she managed daring escapes each time and continued to provide the Allies with invaluable information, including critical D-Day logistics. After the war, she worked tirelessly on behalf of both her fallen and her surviving wartime colleagues. This masterfully told true story reads like fiction and will appeal to readers who devour WWII thrillers à la Kristen Hannah's The Nightingale (2015).--Margaret Flanagan Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Historian and journalist Olson (Last Hope Island) vivifies the history of the French Resistance during WWII with a brilliant, cinematic biography of resistance leader Marie-Madeleine Fourcade. As Olson recounts, Fourcade was 31 in 1941, a mother of two by her long-estranged husband, wealthy, beautiful, and temperamentally born to lead. She was recruited to the Resistance by Georges Loustaunau-Lacau, who founded the Alliance intelligence network in 1940 and passed leadership to Fourcade in 1941. She organized, recruited, trained, raised funds (principally from England's MI6), hid, changed identities as often as she dyed her hair, and suffered arrest and torture by Nazis. She loved fellow agent Léon Faye and bore his son in the middle of WWII, and recorded her experiences, including bonds with fellow spies, in her diary: "The connection formed by a threat to one's country is the strongest connection of all." Olson's weaving of Fourcade's diary artfully and liberally into her own writing and her heart-stopping descriptions of Paris, escapes, and internecine warring create a narrative that's as dramatic as a novel or a film. Olson honors Fourcade's fight for freedom and her "refusal to be silenced" with a gripping narrative that will thrill WWII history buffs. Illus. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Fourcade, Marie-Madeleine, 1909-1989
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
Biography & Autobiography
Electronic books.
20th century.
Publisher [Place of publication not identified] :Random House Publishing Group2019
Edition First edition.
Other Titles Daring young woman who led France's largest spy network against Hitler
Contributors OverDrive, Inc.
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Format: Kindle Book
Format: OverDrive Read
Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle
Description 1 online resource
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780812994773
Other Classic View