The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day
By Stephan Talty
(Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780547614816, 320pp.)
Publication Date: July 2012
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One of history's greatest spies finally gets his due: Agent Garbo tells the astonishing story of a self-made secret agent who matched wits with the best minds of the Third Reich—and won. Juan Pujol was a nobody, a Barcelona poultry farmer determined to oppose the Nazis. Using only his gift for daring falsehoods, Pujol became Germany's most valued agent—or double agent: it took four tries before the British believed he was really on their side.
"Agent Garbo" turned in a masterpiece of deception worthy of his big-screen namesake. Pujol created an imaginary million-man army, invented armadas out of thin air, and brought a vast network of fictional sub-agents whirring to life. For his greatest performance, Pujol had to convince the German high command that the D-Day invasion of Normandy was a feint, and the real attack was aimed at Calais. They bought it, turning the tide of battle at the crucial moment.
Based on years of archival research and interviews with Pujol's family, Agent Garbo is a true-life thriller set in the shadow-world of espionage and deception.