The Flame of Resistance: American Beauty. French Hero. British Spy. (Hardback)Damien Lewis (author)
The bestselling author draws from a wealth of previously unseen material to deliver an endlessly fascinating volume on the secret wartime life of singer and performer Josephine Baker who, fuelled by her own desire to combat the rise of Nazism, became a highly successful spy for the Allies.
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 The Flame of Resistance 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.
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Number of pages: 496
Weight: 780 g
Dimensions: 236 x 160 x 44 mm
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
A heroine, a fighter, an icon: Baker stands for everything we should aspire to - and Lewis shines a spotlight on every aspect of her difficult but glittering life - BBC History Magazine
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 - 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
Reveals how the talented Josephine turned her fragility into a deadly weapon to defeat the greatest evil of her age
A great lady, a spy who suffered ... the French knew Ms Baker as "La femme sans peur et sans reproche". When you read The Flame of Resistance you will understand why.
Fascinating and riveting. What a story! It has never been told properly, if ever, before now. I know Josephine would be very proud of how she is portrayed.
Absolutely fantastic. You have completely captured the essence and nature of Commander Dunderdale's life and work.
In 2021 Josephine Baker was inducted into The Pantheon, France's highest honour. This book tells you why. Damien Lewis has written a tremendous account of her life, not only as the most exotic star of 1920s Paris, but more importantly, her exceptionally brave work as an intelligence officer working for the British Secret Service and then the Free French, for which she was awarded The Resistance Medal, the Croix de Guerre and Légion D'Honneur. This is a story of courage and determination in the face of adversity told with great flair and excitement. A story of incredible bravery in the face of tyrants who invaded a free and democratic nation, this will have powerful resonance today.
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