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Brand: Douglas Boyd


by Douglas Boyd

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Agante : Female Secret Agents in World Wrs, Cold Wars and Civil Wars

Forget the adventure stories of James Bond, Kim Philby, Klaus Fuchs and co. - espionage is not just a boys' game. As long as there has been conflict, there have been female agents behind the scenes.

In Belgium and northern France in 1914-18 there were several thousand women actively working against the Kaiser's forces occupying their homelands. In the Second World War, women of many nations opposed the Nazis, risking the firing squad or decapitation by axe or guillotine. Yet, many of those women did not have the right to vote for a government or even open a bank account.

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Agente - Female Secret Agents in world wars, cold wars and civil wars by Douglas Boyd Agente is written about female secret agents, working clandestinely during conflicts across the world and throughout the ages. These women came from all walks of life and education and risked their lives for a variety of reasons. Their courage and fortitude, despite some of them being unable to even vote in their home country, is beyond comprehension. History has previously seemingly ignored these women and Boyd has undertaken to define their individual stories, albeit briefly, into 256 pages in one book. Douglas Boyd himself says in his Epilogue, this book "could have been ten times as long, or longer." Boyd's interest in espionage may have stemmed from his training "as a Russian-language operative on Warsaw Pact air forces". As a result, his attention to detail is apparent. There is a lot of material covered in Agente, which although seemingly comprehensive, could be confusing to some. The material for this book comes from a plethora of sources and it is obvious to the reader that Boyd has researched the subject comprehensively. Agente is certainly a useful book for the researcher and a comprehensive introduction to female secret agents for the enthusiast. Celia Lassen Friends of The National Archives Friends of The National Archives