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Monday, December 14, 2015

Avenue of Spies. A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and one American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Alex Kershaw


The French Army Returns to France, Wikipedia.

When Toquette Jackson was asked to join the French Resistance she didn’t hesitate for one second even though she lived on the Avenue Foch, surrounded by buildings taken over by high-ranking Nazis, including the Gestapo. She knew that her American husband Sumner Jackson, the head of the American Hospital in Paris, was already in danger because he helped Allied prisoners escape. He even falsified records so that recovered prisoners were listed as deceased. He did all this in spite of the German headquarters being opposite the main entrance gate. Phillip, their son, was also anxious to help the Resistance and did as much as he could but he was a schoolboy so it was difficult for him. However, he also showed great bravery by  infiltrating a German submarine base at Saint-Nazaire to photograph U-boat pens and managing to give the photos to the Allies.

This true story about an amazingly courageous family who went beyond the call of duty to fight the Nazis even though they were surrounded by spies on every side is wonderfully inspiring.      Excellent writing and thorough research makes Avenue of Spies one of the best books of the year.

Be warned, however.  It is extremely harrowing even for readers who have read many books about the French Resistance.

 

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