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Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi…
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Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Ben Macintyre

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1,100677,545 (3.95)184
Member:patrickgarson
Title:Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal
Authors:Ben Macintyre
Info:Broadway (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:ebook, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:non-fiction, history, war

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Agent Zigzag. A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre (2007)

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I was first introduced to the Eddie Chapman story watching the 1960s movie “Triple Cross” on British television with my grandfather in the 1970s. Directed by famed James Bond director Terence Young, and starring Christopher Plummer (as Chapman), and Bond alums Gert (Goldfinger) Frobe and Claudine Auger (who appeared as Domino in 1965’s “Thunderball”). The film was fast-paced and humorous, in short precisely what I thought (at the pre-teen age in life)a life as a spy would be. I had, after all, been raised on a steady diet of James Bond movie adventures. The movie is extremely entertaining. One would expect, given that Young knew Chapman (and had even shared a flat with him at one point) that the narrative would not stray too far from the truth and so for years “Triple Cross” WAS the Chapman story for me.
Imagine my surprise then when I sat down to read “Agent Zigzag” and Nicholas Booth’s book on the same subject to discover that the true life story was very different from what had transpired in the Hollywoodized version. In the movie Chapman is almost immediately trusted by his German handlers and yet the non-=fiction facts were that Chapman was interred for some time before being recruited by the Germans. This proved fairly shocking to me and it was just the tip of the iceberg.
Chapman’s story is a fascinating one and the lengths and sacrifices he undertook to work for British intelligence nothing short of heroic. As opposed to the British agents such as Garbo who sat in the British command in London tapping out misinformation to their German contacts, Chapman went back into Germany and could have been shot if discovered. The Double Cross system that ran these double agents played a crucial role in the Allied victory and saved thousands of lives. This book comes highly recommended. ( )
  DarrenHarrison | Jul 29, 2016 |
yet to finish the book..little drag... holding it for time being
  _RSK | Jan 26, 2016 |
Wow! I didn't realize how much I liked this book until it comes full circle in the end. What an amazing and crazy life! Well written and just truly amazing. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Wow! I didn't realize how much I liked this book until it comes full circle in the end. What an amazing and crazy life! Well written and just truly amazing. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Well written real spy story of Eddie Chapman, who was both on the the British and German payroll. ( )
  addunn3 | Dec 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Mr. Macintyre, a writer at large for The Times of London, paints a detailed picture, supported by newly opened MI5 files on espionage training in the Third Reich and Britain’s desperate scramble to throw the enemy off course through a campaign of disinformation.
 
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Epigraph
Zigzag. n, adj, and vb. '... a pattern made up of many small corners at an acute angle, tracing a path between two parallel lines; it can be described as both jagged and fairly regular'.
'It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to conduct espionage against you and to bribe them to serve you. Give them instructions and care for them. Thus double agents are recruited and used.'

Sun Tzu, The Art of War
'War makes thieves and peace hangs them.'

George Herbert
Dedication
For Kate
First words
A German spy drops from a black Focke-Wulf reconnaissance plane over Cambridgeshire.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307353419, Paperback)

“Ben Macintyre’s rollicking, spellbinding Agent Zigzag blends the spy-versus-
spy machinations of John le Carré with the high farce of Evelyn Waugh.”
—William Grimes, The New York Times

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Washington Post Best Book of 2007
One of the Top 10 Best Books of 2007 (Entertainment Weekly)
New York Times Best of the Year Round-Up
New York Times Editors’ Choice

Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began. Based on recently declassified files, Agent Zigzag tells Chapman’s full story for the first time. It’s a gripping tale of loyalty, love, treachery, espionage, and the thin and shifting line between fidelity and betrayal.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. In 1941, after training as a German spy in occupied France, Chapman was parachuted into Britain with orders to blow up an airplane factory. Instead, he contacted MI5, the British Secret Service. For the next four years, he worked as a double agent, a British spy at the heart of the German Secret Service. Crisscrossing Europe under different names, weaving plans, spreading disinformation, and miraculously keeping his stories straight under intense interrogation, he even managed to gain some profit and seduce beautiful women along the way. MI5 has now declassified all of Chapman's files, allowing the full story to be told, a unique glimpse into the psychology of espionage, with its thin and shifting line between fidelity and betrayal.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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