Agent Garbo (Hardcover)
The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day
Houghton Mifflin, 9780547614816, 320pp.
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
List Price: 28.00*
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Were the D-Day landings saved from failure because of a lone secret agent? 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 the Allies' side. In the guise of Garbo, Pujol turned in a masterpiece of deception worthy of his big-screen namesake. He created an imaginary million-man army, invented armadas out of thin air, and brought a vast network of fictional subagents whirring to life. His unwitting German handlers believed every word, and banked on Garbo's lies as their only source of espionage within Great Britain. 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. The Nazis 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.