Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jonathan Recommends: Operation Mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat : how a dead man and a bizarre plan fooled the Nazis and assured an allied victory by Ben Macintyre is one of the most enjoyable nonfiction books I've ready in a long time.

It details the story of how the British used a corpse to save innumerable lives during the Invasion of Sicily. Macintyre does a great job of getting into the heads of the key players and presenting their interesting personalities.

James Bond fans will appreciate the references to Ian Fleming, the real "Q", and mentions of intelligence officers as novelists. Macintyre reveals some truths that were disallowed in The Man Who Never Was by Ewen Montagu, key player in Mincemeat, which was published in 1954.

As Macintyre's book progresses the reader is drawn into the story experiencing the tension and excitement felt by all involved. The ploy used by the British is arguably the most successful spy operation ever conducted in war.

This is a must read, which is strongly researched and accessible to the masses. This book is owned by numerous Minuteman libraries, Wellesley included, and is also available in Large Print and Audiobook formats.

If you enjoy Operation Mincemeat then you should give the book The Man Who Never Was by Ewen Montagu and its film adaptation starring Clifton Webb (also on VHS) a try.

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