BookBrowse Reviews Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre

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Agent Zigzag

A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal

By Ben Macintyre

Agent Zigzag
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  • Hardcover: Sep 2007,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2008,
    384 pages.

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The enthralling true story of double-agent Zigzag, an amoral charmer and former safeblower who risked his life for his country

Agent Zigzag is one of two books recently published about double-agent Eddie Chapman. The other is ZigZag: The Incredible Wartime Exploits of Double Agent Eddie Chapman by Nicholas Booth. Of the two, Booth's comes in about 100 pages longer than Macintyre's and is written in collaboration with Eddie's wife Betty (Eddie having died in 1997), and thus is more personal in tone. Despite this, reviewers in general favor Macintyre's version - which is the subject of the remainder of this review.

Every war creates its villains and its heroes, occasionally they can be one and the same, as in the case of Eddie Chapman.

Eddie was languishing in prison in the Channel Islands* when the Germans invaded in 1940. His latest ...

*Closer to France than England, the group of islands known to the British as The Channel Islands (map) include Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark. As "Crown dependencies" the islands are effectively self-governing and are not represented in the British Parliament, but are treated as part of the United Kingdom for British nationality law purposes. From 1940-1945, the islands were occupied by German forces (the only part of the British Commonwealth occupied by Germany) who built huge numbers of defensive positions as part of the "Atlantic Wall". By 1944, most islanders were near to starvation and many had been taken to the continent as slave laborers. The islands were liberated in May 1945, an event celebrated every May 9. For more about this, ...

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