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The Traitors

A True Story of Blood, Betrayal and Deceit

Josh Ireland



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John Murray
27 March 2018
'An epic tale of love, dishonour, bravery, cowardice, betrayal and high-treason. Beautifully written. A stunning debut' Damien Lewis Playboy. Fascist. Strongman. Thief.


John Amery is a drunk and a fanatic, an exiled playboy whose frail body is riven by contradictions. Harold Cole is a cynical, murderous conman who desperately wants to be seen as an officer and a gentleman. Eric Pleasants is an iron-willed former wrestler; he is also a pacifist, and will not be forced into fighting other men's battles. William Joyce can weave spells when he talks, but his true gifts are for rage and hate.

By the end of the Second World War, they will all have betrayed their country. THE TRAITORS is the story of how they came to do so. Drawing on declassified MI5 files, it is a book about chaotic lives in turbulent times; idealism twisted out of shape; of torn consciences and abandoned loyalties; and the tragic consequences that treachery brings in its wake.
By:   Josh Ireland
Imprint:   John Murray
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 163mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   242g
ISBN:   9781473620353
ISBN 10:   147362035X
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   27 March 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Josh Ireland was born in 1981 and lives in London. After leaving York University with a masters in history he worked in publishing for eight years and is now a freelance editor and writer. The Traitors is his first book.

Reviews for The Traitors: A True Story of Blood, Betrayal and Deceit

Ireland tells his four characters' stories with immense skill, to reveal their motives and lead them to inevitable ruin. In the process, he raises a question of great importance now: what is patriotism, and why should we care? * Observer, Books of the Year * His book is timely, certainly, in raising questions about patriotic loyalty . . . Josh Ireland writes with friendly immediacy. He is a suave raconteur who gets the pace of his stories right * TLS * A well-written and very readable account of these four unappealing characters . . . this is a tough subject to get to grips with. Ireland's book is a very worthy effort * Literary Review * Absorbing . . . Josh Ireland organises this testament of treachery with vim and purpose . . . he skewers his subjects with a piercing revulsion * Mail on Sunday * Startlingly vivid . . . unmistakably a book of our times * Prospect Magazine * Ireland's book gives a good flavour of the personality defects that caused men to betray their country . . . Ireland tells their stories entertainingly, and examines their motives without prejudice * Daily Telegraph * [Ireland] comments intelligently on their motives and describes enough of their worlds and views to give us essential context * The Spectator * Ireland gives a vivid account of this repellent, but fascinating, quartet * Daily Mail * Josh Ireland's achievement is to tell the story of some of Britain's most inglorious, notorious and vainglorous characters in the most glorious and elegant way. He provides a warning for our times from this true story, painting the most vivid of pictures with the sharpest of novelist's pens * John Bew * A terrific read that is lucid, insightful and beautifully written. Josh Ireland's masterful prose breathes life into these complex, deceitful, yet profoundly fascinating traitors. Set against a backdrop of violent extremism and political failure, The Traitors rings a loud warning bell from history * Giles Milton * An epic tale of love, dishonour, bravery, cowardice, betrayal and high-treason. Beautifully written. A stunning debut * Damien Lewis * In this clever, racy book [Josh Ireland] tells the stories of four British citizens who served Nazi Germany . . . full of energy and stylish phrase-making * The Times *

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