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The Flame of Resistance

American Beauty. French Hero. British Spy.

Damien Lewis



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01 June 2022
During WW2, Josephine Baker, the world's richest and most glamorous entertainer, was an Allied spy in Occupied France. This is the story of her heroic personal resistance to Nazi Germany.

Prior to World War II, Josephine Baker was a music hall diva renowned for her singing and exotic dancing, her beauty and sexuality; she was the most highly-paid female performer in Europe. When the Nazis seized her adopted city, Paris, she was banned from the stage, along with all 'negroes and Jews'. Yet, instead of returning to America, she vowed to stay and to fight the Nazi evil. Overnight she went from performer to Resistance spy.

In Agent Josephine best-selling author Damien Lewis uncovers this little known history of the famous singer's life. During the years of the war, as a member of the French Nurse paratroopers - a cover for her spying work-- she participated in numerous clandestine activities and emerged as formidable spy. In turn, she was a hero of the three countries in whose name she served: the US, the nation of her birth; France, the land that embraced her during her adult career; and Britain, the country from which she took her orders, as one of London's most closely-guarded special agents. Baker's secret war embodies a tale of unbounded courage, passion, devotion and sacrifice, and of deep and bitter tragedy, fueled by her own desire to combat the rise of Nazism, and to fight for all that is good and right in the world.

Drawing on a plethora of new historical material and rigorous research, including previously undisclosed letters and journals, Lewis upends the conventional story of Josephine Baker, revealing that her mark on history went far beyond the confines of the stage.
 The Flame of Resistance: American Beauty. French Hero. British Spy.

Imprint:   Quercus
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 238mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 48mm
Weight:   640g
ISBN:   9781529416756
ISBN 10:   1529416752
Pages:   496
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fiction books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. Two of his books are being made into feature films.

Reviews for The Flame of Resistance: American Beauty. French Hero. British Spy.

Revealed: the daring wartime exploits of erotic cabaret star Josephine Baker who smuggled Nazi secret to Winston Churchill . . . * Mail on Sunday * Scrupulously detailed and honestly researched ... one can easily imagine this material moulded into a gripping Hollywood yarn starring Halle Berry or Thandiwe Newton ... Le Carre fans will be delighted; the intrigues are Byzantine -- Rupert Christiansen * Telegraph * This scintillating biography ... draws on newly discovered letters and diaries to paint a vivid portrait of Baker as a chameleon, a rebel, a warrior and a rule-breaker at heart . . . The result is a thrilling espionage story perfect for fans of Lynne Olson's Madame Fourcade's Secret War * Publishers Weekly, starred review * Rather than crafting a conventional biography, Lewis concentrates on the wartime years, creating a heroic portrait of the selfless, brave, somewhat reckless, pioneering, unswervingly patriotic spy for the Allies . . . A complex, entertaining story of intrigue and sangfroid involving a beloved, courageous hero * Kirkus Reviews *

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