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Destination Casablanca

Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II

Meredith Hindley

$29.99

Paperback

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PublicAffairs,U.S.
09 July 2019
Film, TV & Radio; True crime; African history; Second World War
In the summer of 1940, following France's surrender to Germany, Casablanca was transformed from an exotic travel destination to a key military target. Nazi agents and collaborators soon overran the city looking to capitalize on the new Vichy regime. The resistance was not far behind, as bartenders, shopkeepers, taxi drivers, celebrities, and disgruntled bureaucrats formed a network of Allied spies. Meanwhile, Jewish refugees from Europe flooded the city, hoping to obtain visas to the United States and beyond.

In November 1942, Casablanca's wartime fate changed in 74 hours, when 33,000 American soldiers stormed the beaches of French Morocco as part of Operation TORCH. In Allied hands, Casablanca's port became a crucial logistical hub in British and American plans to return to Europe and defeat Germany. Two months later, Roosevelt and Churchill traveled to Casablanca to plot the next phase of war and achieve Germany's unconditional surrender.

Rife with rogue soldiers, power grabs, plot twists, and diplomatic intrigue, DESTINATION CASABLANCA is the riveting and untold history of this glamorous and beloved city--memorialized in the classic film--at the heart of World War II.
By:   Meredith Hindley
Imprint:   PublicAffairs,U.S.
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 228mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 38mm
Weight:   500g
ISBN:   9781541762718
ISBN 10:   1541762711
Pages:   512
Publication Date:   09 July 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Meredith Hindley is a historian and senior writer for Humanities, the quarterly review of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, Salon, Christian Science Monitor, and Barnes and Noble Review. Hindley received her PhD from American University.

Reviews for Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II

This is a book for historians, not film buffs... Digging deep into military archives in Britain, France and the U.S., Ms. Hindley has produced a scholarly narrative, weaving her way deftly among a large cast of characters, both familiar and unfamiliar... [An] authoritative and entertaining book. --Wall Street Journal Meredith Hindley deftly weaves together a history of the city of Casablanca and the events leading to the Anglo-American invasion and conquest of Northwest Africa in 1942-1943. Fascinating characters such as performer Josephine Baker and writer Arthur Koestler, along with a multitude of refugees, spies, and resistance fighters give her account unusual texture and variety. The military successes were capped by the Casablanca summit conference of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. A great read. --Richard Breitman, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, American University Hindley's warm, detailed writing style portrays the determination and resources that America brought to Casablanca, the continuing plight of refugees, the stirrings of Moroccan nationalism, and the moving saga of American singer Josephine Baker's support for a free France. Extensively researched, this account is rife with personal accounts, political and diplomatic insights, and vivid depictions of the military process. Recommended for history buffs who will relish the author's skilled presentation of a little-known theater in World War II. --Library Journal Hindley delivers what could become the definitive account of Casablanca during World War II... The book should prove indispensable to scholars... Expertly researched and absorbing. --Kirkus Reviews Here is an important, well-researched, and well-written account of a major aspect of World War II that is generally neglected in the existing literature. The reader is offered a convincing picture of the complicated interactions of the Americans and British with the supporters of Vichy and of the Free French, the local Muslim and Jewish leaders and population, and the agents of Germany. This reader does not know of any other successful unravelling of this theater's complexities. --Gerhard L. Weinberg, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina Exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented, Destination Casablanca is a comprehensive and detailed military history that reads as smoothly and as inherently engaging as any novel. --Midwest Book Review Compulsively readable, deeply engrossing new history... The charmed classic made in Hollywood's dream factories and the granular history recounted in Hindley's superb book fundamentally complement each other, entertaining and instructing us with their timeless tales of political intrigue, moral compromise, acts of courage and cowardice. --New Republic As entertaining as it is informative. --Galveston County Daily News A fulcrum of history-wartime Casablanca-jumps to life in Meredith Hindley's masterful page-turner. Spies, jazz legends, generals, traitors, writers, war icons and assassins light up a tale of high-stakes intrigue in one of the world's great exotic settings. --Jonathan W. Jordan, bestselling author of Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe A fine and faithful work of historical reconstruction. --Booklist A fascinating look into the reality of a complicated political situation that inspired a classic. --Shepherd Express A compelling read, packed with a Casablanca-worthy cast of characters and a penetrating look at the inside workings of Vichy France...History buffs will love the colorful stories and the grand geopolitical scheming. But there's enough action, intrigue, and adventure to make Destination Casablanca a perfect beach read. --Foreign Policy With its lively storytelling and impressive scholarship, Destination Casablanca succeeds as a thorough and highly engaging chronicle of the French Moroccan theater of war. --Washington Post


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