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A Guest of the Reich

The Story of American Heiress Gertrude Legendre's Dramatic Captivity and Escape from Nazi Germany
De : Peter Finn
Lu par : Rebecca Lowman
Durée : 7 h et 11 min

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Description

Washington Post Best Book of the Year

The dramatic story of a South Carolina heiress who joined the OSS and became the first American woman in uniform taken prisoner on the Western front - until her escape from Nazi Germany.    

Gertrude "Gertie" Legendre was a big-game hunter from a wealthy industrial family who lived a charmed life in Jazz Age America. Her adventurous spirit made her the inspiration for the Broadway play Holiday, which became a film starring Katharine Hepburn. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Legendre, by then married and a mother of two, joined the OSS, the wartime spy organization that preceded the CIA. First in Washington and then in London, some of the most closely-held United States government secrets passed through her hands. In A Guest of the Reich, Peter Finn tells the gripping story of how in 1944, while on leave in liberated Paris, Legendre was captured by the Germans after accidentally crossing the front lines.

Subjected to repeated interrogations, including by the Gestapo, Legendre entered a daring game of lies with her captors. The Nazis treated her as a "special prisoner" of the SS and moved her from city to city throughout Germany, where she witnessed the collapse of Hitler’s Reich as no other American did. After six months in captivity, Legendre escaped into Switzerland.

A Guest of the Reich is a propulsive account of a little-known chapter in the history of World War II, as well as a fascinating portrait of an extraordinary woman.

©2019 Peter Finn (P)2019 Random House Audio

Commentaires

“I read A Guest of the Reich breathlessly, and found myself amazed by the pluck, guts, and courage of Gertrude Legendre. She wouldn’t have won any awards for being a mother, but her life was one enormous adventure. As a real card-carrying socialite (before the term was degraded by television’s “housewives”), Gertie’s social prowess made being even a prisoner of war in Nazi Germany seem like a continuous, madcap escapade. Peter Finn brings her story to life as energetically as the 8-foot tiger Legendre shot in Vietnam.” (Lisa Birnbach, author of True Prep and The Official Preppy Handbook)

"Thrilling! A Guest of the Reich is an intimate spy story, as though a dear friend is taking us along on her misadventure behind Nazi lines. A first-rate journalist, Peter Finn employs careful reporting and compassion, bringing to life Gertie Legendre, an independent woman of many resources." (Bill Dedman, author of Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune)

“Gertrude Legendre was a glamorous New York socialite, a world-class adventurer, and a crack shot with a rifle. During World War II she joined Wild Bill Donovan’s Office of Strategic Services, working in one of the spy agency’s most sensitive jobs. She also ended up as a prisoner in Nazi Germany. With thorough research and skillful writing Peter Finn brings to life her dramatic story. It’s better than anything Hollywood could invent.” (Douglas Waller, author of Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage)

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  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Maria abercrombie
  • Maria abercrombie
  • 18/05/2020

Awful

This woman seemed like a self absorbed brat ... it’s a shame women of more character during the war were not written about

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour RQ
  • RQ
  • 03/12/2019

narration

Rebecca Lowman sounds distinctly disengaged or detached to the text she reads. Or someone told her to read slowly. something is not right.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 28/05/2020

Very interesting and worthwhile

A very interesting story insofar as Gertrude is one-of-a-kind. The story of the actual capture in Germany is not enough for an entire book, but it is nicely filled out with her background as a wealthy adventure-seeker. The narrator does a good job except for the occasional annoying mispronunciations (Army V Corps pronounced as "Vee" and not "5th"; unusual pronunciation of Cologne Germany, etc.). Lots to criticize Gertrude as a person, but that not the function of a book review.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Lori Ann Swain
  • Lori Ann Swain
  • 10/12/2019

Interesting piece of history

Really fascinating piece of history but the lack of balance offered by the author of this narcissistic sociopath "first American female POW in WWII" leaves one felling incomplete. Surely there were some additional insights from those who she dragged into her experiences that could have offered to present a broader, likely, more complete biography??

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marlette
  • 03/12/2019

Fascinating woman in a horrible period in history

This book was fascinating. The time in history in which she got caught is almost as interesting as how she lived her life...nanny raising her kids, husband living in Hawaii, free to roam the globe at will and curious to get close enough to the war to hear gunfire. Oops.... It is a good listen. I just wish there was more....