Harper Academic

The Saboteur

The Aristocrat Who Became France's Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando

by Paul Kix

On Sale: 12/05/2017

Price: $27.99

The Saboteur

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The Saboteur

The Aristocrat Who Became France's Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando

by Paul Kix

On Sale: 12/05/2017

Format:

Price: $27.99

About the Book

In the tradition of Agent Zigzag comes this breathtaking biography, as fast-paced and emotionally intuitive as the very best spy thrillers, which illuminates an unsung hero of the French Resistance during World War II—Robert de La Rochefoucauld, an aristocrat turned anti-Nazi saboteur—and his daring exploits as a résistant trained by Britain’s Special Operations Executive.

A scion of one of the most storied families in France, Robert de La Rochefoucauld was raised in magnificent chateaux and educated in Europe's finest schools. When the Nazis invaded and imprisoned his father, La Rochefoucauld escaped to England and learned the dark arts of anarchy and combat—cracking safes and planting bombs and killing with his bare hands—from the officers of Special Operations Executive, the collection of British spies, beloved by Winston Churchill, who altered the war in Europe with tactics that earned it notoriety as the “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.” With his newfound skills, La Rochefoucauld returned to France and organized Resistance cells, blew up fortified compounds and munitions factories, interfered with Germans’ war-time missions, and executed Nazi officers. Caught by the Germans, La Rochefoucauld withstood months of torture without cracking, and escaped his own death, not once but twice.

The Saboteur recounts La Rochefoucauld’s enthralling adventures, from jumping from a moving truck on his way to his execution to stealing Nazi limos to dressing up in a nun’s habit—one of his many disguises and impersonations. Whatever the mission, whatever the dire circumstance, La Rochefoucauld acquitted himself nobly, with the straight-back aplomb of a man of aristocratic breeding: James Bond before Ian Fleming conjured him.

More than just a fast-paced, true thriller, The Saboteur is also a deep dive into an endlessly fascinating historical moment, telling the untold story of a network of commandos that battled evil, bravely worked to change the course of history, and inspired the creation of America’s own Central Intelligence Agency.

Critical Praise

The Saboteur is a mesmerizing book that builds up propulsive momentum until its final twists. It was a joy to disappear into this story. Like only the very best historical biographers, Paul Kix has turned years of deep reporting into a tightly coiled narrative that you never want to put down.” - Eli Saslow, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President

“A winner: the stories are fascinating, the pages nearly turn themselves, and La Rochefoucauld is a true hero.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Journalist Kix had to do first-class detective work using primary sources to create this riveting story. Fans of World War II history will eagerly read this story, which is almost as exciting as a James Bond novel.” - Library Journal

“Kix’s sharp, well-paced writing is perfect for telling La Rochefoucauld’s story. But this is more than a gripping yarn of daring-do. La Rochefoucauld was a complex character, and Kix’s portrait is nuanced and moving… [posing] the big questions: What is duty? What is courage? What is loyalty?” - BookPage

“This thoroughly sourced account is highly readable and effectively showcases the life of a fascinating, complex man whose too-little-known role in the Resistance will be of great interest to followers of WWII history.” - Booklist

“Set in motion by a steamed-open letter and a burning hatred of Hitler, a dashing young aristocrat embarks on a campaign of clandestine warfare. The Saboteur sounds like a World War II spy thriller, but in fact it is a rip-roaring true story, wonderfully told by Paul Kix.” - Mitchell Zuckoff, New York Times bestselling author of 13 Hours and Lost in Shangri-La

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062322524
  • ISBN 10: 0062322524
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 12/05/2017
  • Trimsize: 6.000 in (w) x 9.000 in (h) x 1.010 in (d)
  • Pages: 304
  • List Price: $27.99
  • BISAC1: HISTORY / Military / World War II
  • BISAC2: HISTORY / Europe / France
  • BISAC3: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Intelligence & Espionage