10 books like Red Joan

By Jennie Rooney,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Red Joan. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Rebel Cinderella

By Adam Hochschild,

Book cover of Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes

This gem of narrative non-fiction tells the improbable story of an utterly impoverished immigrant woman who married into one of the wealthiest “establishment” families of New York City and became one of the nation’s most prominent radical activists in the early 1900s. The unlikely marriage of Rose Pastor and Graham Stokes made many national headlines -- and attracted attention from federal agents. Hochschild brings this odd couple to life in all their ups and downs, introduces us to their circle of famous fellow activists, and illuminates their fights for social justice, struggles that remain relevant to this day.

Rebel Cinderella

By Adam Hochschild,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rebel Cinderella as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the best-selling author of King Leopold's Ghost and Spain in Our Hearts comes the astonishing but forgotten story of an immigrant sweatshop worker who married an heir to a great American fortune and became one of the most charismatic radical leaders of her time.

Rose Pastor arrived in New York City in 1903, a Jewish refugee from Russia who had worked in cigar factories since the age of eleven. Two years later, she captured headlines across the globe when she married James Graham Phelps Stokes, scion of one of the legendary 400 families of New York high society.

Together,…


Last Second in Dallas

By Josiah Thompson,

Book cover of Last Second in Dallas

In some ways, the current epidemic of crackpot “deep state” conspiracy theories can be traced to the miasma surrounding one of the greatest unsolved murders of our time, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas’s Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. Thompson’s new book is an antidote: a rigorous, transparent and compelling investigation of acoustic, photographic, and medical evidence. The philosophy professor turned San Francisco private eye interweaves his own fascinating personal journey with the story of how he came to find, examine, and re-examine forensic evidence that, he concludes, proves Kennedy was killed not by a lone assassin as the Warren Commission found, but in a cross-fire from at least two shooters.

Last Second in Dallas

By Josiah Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Second in Dallas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this long-awaited follow-up to his critically acclaimed 1967 classic, Six Seconds in Dallas, Josiah Thompson reveals major new forensic discoveries since the year 2000 that overturn previously accepted 'facts' about the Kennedy assassination. Together they provide what no previous book on the assassination has done - incontrovertible proof that JFK was killed in a crossfire.

Last Second in Dallas is not a conspiracy book. No theory of who did it is offered or discussed. Among the discoveries: The test showing that all recovered bullet fragments came from Oswald's rifle was mistaken. Several fragments could have come from bullets of…


Secrets

By Angus MacKenzie,

Book cover of Secrets: The CIA's War at Home

Starting with his experience as publisher of an anti-war newspaper in the 1970s, and relying on official records released under the Freedom of Information Act, Mackenzie reveals how the CIA used undercover operatives to sabotage the dissident press and developed a system of secrecy agreements and pre-publication review boards that spread throughout the federal government in efforts to silence former intelligence agents and other would-be whistle-blowers. This brilliant book is the last work by the late Mackenzie, who dedicated his life to defending the First Amendment. He was a long-time associate of the Bay Area’s Center for Investigative Reporting, which with his wife, Jane Hundertmark, completed it after his untimely death.

Secrets

By Angus MacKenzie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secrets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This eye-opening expose, the result of fifteen years of investigative work, uncovers the CIA's systematic efforts to suppress and censor information over several decades. An award-winning journalist, Angus Mackenzie waged and won a lawsuit against the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act and became a leading expert on questions concerning government censorship and domestic spying. In "Secrets", he reveals how federal agencies - including the Department of Defense, the executive branch, and the CIA - have monitored and controlled public access to information. Mackenzie lays bare the behind-the-scenes evolution of a policy of suppression, repression, spying, and harassment. Secrecy…


The Agitator

By Peter Duffy,

Book cover of The Agitator: William Bailey and the First American Uprising Against Nazism

In this deft work of nonfiction, Duffy tells the life and times of William Bailey, a rough-hewn, big-hearted longshoreman turned Communist activist, and how on one summer day in 1935 he and several compatriots came to stage a remarkable protest by hauling down a swastika flag from the SS Bremen, the flagship of Hitler’s commercial fleet. Events unfold as the deluxe passenger liner, which was heartily patronized by many Americans and Europeans, hosted a glitzy party while docked in Manhattan harbor. It was years before the outbreak of World War II, but Hitler already had commenced his anti-Semitic and other repressive initiatives. The trial and acquittal of Bailey et al., and the diplomatic fallout, was what Duffy describes as “the first blow landed against the Third Reich by foreign adversaries, delivered without guns or bombs.”

The Agitator

By Peter Duffy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Agitator as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This story of an anti-fascist's dramatic and remarkable victory against Nazism in 1935 is an inspiration to anyone compelled to resist when signs of oppression are on the horizon

By 1935, Hitler had suppressed all internal opposition and established himself as Germany's unchallenged dictator. Yet many Americans remained largely indifferent as he turned his dangerous ambitions abroad. Not William Bailey.

Just days after violent anti-Semitic riots had broken out in Berlin, the SS Bremen, the flagship of Hitler's commercial armada, was welcomed into New York Harbor. Bailey led a small group that slipped past security and cut down the Nazi…


The Spy's Son

By Bryan Denson,

Book cover of The Spy's Son: The True Story of the Highest-Ranking CIA Officer Ever Convicted of Espionage and the Son He Trained to Spy for Russia

This case makes me very angry. As a former CIA officer myself, I felt deeply the malignancy of this betrayal from within. I was riveted by Denson’s account of how Howard James Nicholson, a CIA clandestine service colleague, let his personal problems and amorality get the better of him. Selling out to the Russians was certainly not the right answer for him, nor was dragging his son into spying. Denson has written a compelling counterintelligence treatise.

The Spy's Son

By Bryan Denson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Spy's Son as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The riveting true story of the father-and-son co-conspirators who sold US national secrets to Russia.

Jim Nicholson was the highest-ranking CIA officer ever convicted of espionage. A single father, respected mentor, and brilliant case officer, he was also a double agent selling thousands of state secrets to the Russians. However, it was from behind the bars of a federal prison that he conducted his greatest betrayal. Just 12 years after Jim's conviction, his youngest son, Nathan, was arrested for the same crime.

Through interviews, private letters, and access to Jim's personal journal, Pulitzer Prize finalist Bryan Denson pieces together a…


The Girls of Atomic City

By Denise Kiernan,

Book cover of The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

A New York Times bestseller, this incredible true story tells about the top-secret World War II town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the young women brought there unknowingly to help build the atomic bomb. While in college in Eastern Kentucky, I was well-acquainted with a man who had worked at Oak Ridge, so I was especially interested in Kiernan’s story. I became aware of this book while writing my novel.

The Girls of Atomic City

By Denise Kiernan,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Girls of Atomic City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback—an incredible true story of the top-secret World War II town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the young women brought there unknowingly to help build the atomic bomb.

“The best kind of nonfiction: marvelously reported, fluidly written, and a remarkable story...As meticulous and brilliant as it is compulsively readable.” —Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second City

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, and consumed more electricity than New York City, yet it was shrouded in such secrecy that it did not…


Sisterhood of Spies

By Elizabeth P McIntosh,

Book cover of Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS

McIntosh takes a fresh approach to espionage, putting aside the trench coats and Mata Haris for the real "Code-room Mata Hari" and other little-known heroines of the war. A veteran of CIA and OSS operations herself, McIntosh knows what she's writing about, and draws from more than 100 interviews with other women operatives. She portrays several dozen here, including the China escapades of Julia McWilliams (known today as Julia Child). It also features the Musac project, with broadcasts targeted at Wehrmacht troops with fake German news and music sung by agent Marlene Dietrichn designed to infiltrate their sympathies.

Sisterhood of Spies

By Elizabeth P McIntosh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sisterhood of Spies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The daring missions and cloak-and-dagger skullduggery of America's World War II intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), are well documented and have become the stuff of legend. Yet the contributions of the four thousand women who made up one-fifth of the OSS staff have gone largely unheralded. Here for the first time are their fascinating stories, told by one of their own.

A seasoned journalist and veteran of sensitive OSS and CIA operations, Elizabeth McIntosh draws on her own experiences and in-depth interviews with more than one hundred OSS women to uncover some of the most tantalizing stories…


Double Agent Victoire

By David Tremain,

Book cover of Double Agent Victoire: Mathilde Carré and the Interallié Network

I recommend this book because it introduces the reader to one of the first organized resistance networks in Paris. As a double agent, Mathilde Carré (nom de guerre: Victoire) was also known as “The Cat.” She was ultimately responsible for the arrest of hundreds of Interallié agents (including her boss, Roman Czerniawski).

This book has it all. The author weaves the stories of collaborationists (e.g., Bonny-Lafont), SOE double agents (e.g., Henri Déricourt), and Abwehr spy catchers (e.g., Hugo Bleicher) around intricate counter-intelligence plots involving British and German spy agencies. You will meet Czerniawski again as he became a double agent after his arrest by the Germans and worked for the Allies in Operation Double Cross. It’s a great foundation to begin your study of the resistance movement in Paris.

Double Agent Victoire

By David Tremain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Double Agent Victoire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mathilde Carre, notoriously known as La Chatte, was remarkable for all the wrong reasons. Like most spies she was temperamental, scheming and manipulative - but she was also treacherous. A dangerous mix, especially when combined with her infamous history of love affairs - on both sides. Her acts of treachery were almost unprecedented in the history of intelligence, yet her involvement in the 'Interallie affair' has only warranted a brief mention in the accounts of special operations in France during the Second World War. But what motivated her to betray more than 100 members of the Interallie network, the largest…


Restless

By William Boyd,

Book cover of Restless

This highly original spy thriller gripped me from the first page. It jumps between the 1970s and WW2, with locations in Britain, America, Paris, and Belgium. Ruth Gilmartin’s mother Sally, to all intents and purposes a sweet old lady living in a small English village, decides to reveal that she is in fact Eva Delectorskya, a Russian recruited by the British Secret Service, and she wants her daughter, a single mother teaching EFL, to help her find and take revenge on the double agent who sold her out decades before. The writing is tight and elegant, leaving lots of room for the big issues of motherhood, trust, treachery, and standing up to power.

Restless

By William Boyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Restless as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Eva Delectorskaya,' I said mystified. ' Who's that?' 'Me,' she said. 'I am Eva Delectorskaya.' What happens to your life when everything you thought you knew about your mother turns out to be an elaborate lie? During the long, hot summer of 1976, Ruth Gilmartin discovers that her very English mother Sally is really Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian emigre and one-time spy. In 1939 Eva is a beautiful twenty-eight year old living in Paris. As war breaks out, she is recruited for the British Secret Service by Lucas Romer, a mysterious, patrician Englishman. Under his tutelage she learns to become…


Invisible Agents

By Nadine Akkerman,

Book cover of Invisible Agents: Women and Espionage in Seventeenth-Century Britain

A few years ago I spoke at the London History Festival alongside Nadine Akkerman, and we realised how much the female spies of 17c Britain and the Second World War had in common, not only conveniently overlooked in their own day, but also disregarded subsequently. This brilliant study explores the gendered dimension of early modern spycraft.

Invisible Agents

By Nadine Akkerman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Invisible Agents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It would be easy for the modern reader to conclude that women had no place in the world of early modern espionage, with a few seventeenth-century women spies identified and then relegated to the footnotes of history. If even the espionage carried out by Susan Hyde, sister of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, during the turbulent decades of civil strife in Britain can escape the historiographer's gaze, then how many more like her lurk in the archives?

Nadine Akkerman's search for an answer to this question has led to the writing of Invisible Agents, the very first study to analyse…


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