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A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story…
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A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped… (original 2019; edição 2019)

por Sonia Purnell (Autor)

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7473822,872 (4.04)48
"The never-before-told story of one woman's heroism that changed the course of the Second World War In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her." This spy was Virginia Hall, a young American woman--rejected from the foreign service because of her gender and her prosthetic leg--who talked her way into the spy organization dubbed Churchill's "ministry of ungentlemanly warfare," and, before the United States had even entered the war, became the first woman to deploy to occupied France. Virginia Hall was one of the greatest spies in American history, yet her story remains untold. Just as she did in Clementine, Sonia Purnell uncovers the captivating story of a powerful, influential, yet shockingly overlooked heroine of the Second World War. At a time when sending female secret agents into enemy territory was still strictly forbidden, Virginia Hall came to be known as the "Madonna of the Resistance," coordinating a network of spies to blow up bridges, report on German troop movements, arrange equipment drops for Resistance agents, and recruit and train guerilla fighters. Even as her face covered WANTED posters throughout Europe, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped with her life in a grueling hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown, and her associates all imprisoned or executed. But, adamant that she had "more lives to save," she dove back in as soon as she could, organizing forces to sabotage enemy lines and back up Allied forces landing on Normandy beaches. Told with Purnell's signature insight and novelistic panache, A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war"--… (mais)
Membro:MissSquish
Título:A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II
Autores:Sonia Purnell (Autor)
Informação:Penguin LCC US (2019)
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II por Sonia Purnell (2019)

Adicionado recentemente porbiblioteca privada, julie1burgess, Chelseafc, suemetzner, RSpiering, MMBlibrarian, Douna1980
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Mostrando 1-5 de 38 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This is a fascinating story but the prose is tedious. ( )
  suemetzner | Sep 5, 2021 |
Well written story about a woman who was not recognized by most until after her death. ( )
  rolnickj | Aug 3, 2021 |
A Woman of No Importance, The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II, by Sonia Purcell (pp 368). Published 2019. This is the story of Virginia Hall, a wealthy American living in France who became a member of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) posing as an American journalist identifying, working with, organizing, funding, equipping, and sometimes leading French Resistance units. She was an extraordinarily unusual person to serve in that role: first, she was a woman; second, she was an amputee, having lost a lower leg in a shooting accident; and three, she posed as a British operative posing as an American. Because she was a woman, she was given roles with far less responsibility than male peers, but almost always outperformed everyone else in the field. No matter her assignments, she managed to create larger roles for herself, inevitably achieving more than expected. She spoke five languages, had an iron will, was remarkably courageous, worked well under enormous pressure, had an innate talent for recruiting local partisans in a dangerous environment, showed great loyalty to her colleagues, and otherwise was extraordinarily capable. While SOE colleagues and local partisans tended to be captured or killed with only weeks, if not days, in the field, she lasted well over a year before departing. Before leaving she helped forming the resistance forces in southern France into legitimate fighting forces, engineered multiple escapes of her colleagues from both French and German prisons, and directly or indirectly assisted hundreds of downed allied airmen to escape through Spain. When she had to flee France, just steps ahead of being captured or killed, she jumped to the newly created American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in order to get back into France where the Vichy French and Nazis knew of her and actively searched for her. She continued to have what was said to be the most effective role in organizing and deploying resistance fighters in sabotage actions, greatly assisting the Allied invasion by slowing and sometimes halting the transfer of German divisions into northern France. After the war she worked for the CIA, but never received the respect or credit for her wartime contributions. Despite being earning the French Croix de Guerre and the U.S. Distinguished Service Cross, discrimination based on her sex prevented her from benefitting from her extraordinarily achievements. This is her amazing story. My only fault with this book is that it contains countless examples of what she did, when, and with whom, but rarely gives any idea as to how she could pull it all off. Regardless, Virginia Hall is one of America’s great warriors, and undoubtedly one of its most under appreciated and unpublicized heroes. ( )
  wildh2o | Jul 10, 2021 |
Made me want to smack a lot of very old men. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
I experienced this as an audiobook and my review should be considered from that perspective.

Sonia Purnell does an excellent job of researching historical documents and interviewing subjects to piece together the story of Virginia Hall and bring her character and determination to life for the reader. By the end of the book I felt like I knew Virginia personally as someone I could relate to and admire. The story itself is interesting and inspiring, a young society lady ignores her family's wishes and aims for a career in diplomacy, comes up against a large amount of discrimination both as a woman and as someone with a disability, and becomes one of the best spies and organizers for the French resistance.

I appreciated the difficulty that Sonia Purnell must have had in gathering information about someone who avoided the limelight and who's work was secret. There are areas where I wanted more information about Virginia Hall's work, particularly at the start of the war while she was working with the British. The book discusses her network at length but doesn't really explain what she or her network was doing. I would have liked to have heard more about what the resistance and her group were specifically doing that thwarted the Nazis, but instead I got the impression that many of the people she was sent to work with were bumbling fools and most of her efforts were in getting them out of trouble.

There were some small issues I had with hearing this book as an audiobook. Chapters did not begin with the chapter titles being stated and there were times when it wasn't clear to me what year we were in and so that context was sometimes missing. As well, there are many people introduced who later have name changes and this was sometimes confusing (in a written book I would have easily flipped back and reread a passage to figure it out). As I said, these issues were small and not worth getting discouraged over.

The narration and sound editing of this audiobook were superb, probably the best I've ever heard. Juliet Stevenson's voice was clear but relaxed and her switching of accents and tone between narration and quotes was almost flawless. I could picture the paragraph breaks, font changes and punctuation on the page as she spoke. The volume was even throughout the book with not one sound of breath or unnecessary pause by the narrator. ( )
  northwestknitter | Mar 28, 2021 |
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"The never-before-told story of one woman's heroism that changed the course of the Second World War In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her." This spy was Virginia Hall, a young American woman--rejected from the foreign service because of her gender and her prosthetic leg--who talked her way into the spy organization dubbed Churchill's "ministry of ungentlemanly warfare," and, before the United States had even entered the war, became the first woman to deploy to occupied France. Virginia Hall was one of the greatest spies in American history, yet her story remains untold. Just as she did in Clementine, Sonia Purnell uncovers the captivating story of a powerful, influential, yet shockingly overlooked heroine of the Second World War. At a time when sending female secret agents into enemy territory was still strictly forbidden, Virginia Hall came to be known as the "Madonna of the Resistance," coordinating a network of spies to blow up bridges, report on German troop movements, arrange equipment drops for Resistance agents, and recruit and train guerilla fighters. Even as her face covered WANTED posters throughout Europe, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped with her life in a grueling hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown, and her associates all imprisoned or executed. But, adamant that she had "more lives to save," she dove back in as soon as she could, organizing forces to sabotage enemy lines and back up Allied forces landing on Normandy beaches. Told with Purnell's signature insight and novelistic panache, A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war"--

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