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Man Called Intrepid: The Incredible WWII Narrative Of The Hero Whose Spy Network And Secret Diplomacy Changed The Course Of History Paperback – September 24, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is William Stephenson.”
—Ian Fleming, bestselling author of the James Bond novels

“An adventure story of monumental proportions.”
NBC News

“A splendid book. Rich in information. . . . profound in its implications.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“An intriguing story of secret actions against the backdrop of great events.”
Washington Post

“As long as Americans value courage and freedom there will be a special place in our hearts, our minds, and our history books for the ‘Man Called Intrepid.’”
—Ronald Reagan

From the Back Cover

A classic about real-life WWII espionage, as conducted by its modern master


“James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is William Stephenson.”
―Ian Fleming, bestselling author of the James Bond novels


“A splendid book. Rich in information. . . . profound in its implications.”
―San Francisco Chronicle


“As long as Americans value courage and freedom there will be a special place in our hearts, our minds, and our history books for the ‘Man Called Intrepid.' ”
―Ronald Reagan


A Man Called Intrepid is the true story of Sir William Stephenson (code-named Intrepid) and the spy network he founded that would ultimately stall the Nazi war machine and help win World War II. Illustrated with thirty-two pages of black-and-white photographs, it describes the infamous “Camp X” spy training center in Ontario, Canada; the breaking of the Ultra Code used by Enigma; and countless tales of assassinations, clandestine activities, guerrilla armies, resistance support, and suicide missions. This modern classic, which reads like fiction, was a national bestseller when first published in 1976.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (September 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159921170X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599211701
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book should be required reading for every high school student in America. I enjoy WWII history, especially the less known facts. I also enjoy stories about spies, espionage, and military strategy. This book not only delivered all of the aforementioned items, but also provided unique insight into the politics and sentiments of post WWI Europe and America. The book highlights the great efforts of a select few that ultimately saved the free world from Nazi rule. I could not put this book down. No other work provides such a glimpse into the horrific nature of Hitler and his cohort. Anyone who wants to better understand WWII and why certain epic events took place should read this book.
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Format: Paperback
A fascinating book, not just because of what it says, but because of what it doesn't say. Since it was 1st published in the 70's, more information on the Allies and WWII was been declassified. Cross referencing "Intrepid" with some "new" material from the British archives shows many of the stories in "Intrepid" in a different light. The reason in that not everything could be said at the time the book was first printed. Those who think the book is a work of fiction should really look at the newer declassified info. Remember...truth is stranger than fiction. No wonder this book spent so long on the best seller lists.
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Format: Paperback
This book was given to my husband to read, and I picked it up and could not put it down. I would highly reccommend this book to anyone. Its a fascinating story of one man's influence in developing espionage during World War II - a network that ultimately prevented Hitler from developing the atomic bomb. It details how spies were trained and deployed and the incredible bravery and sacrifice of spies who parachuted into occupied Europe- even women. One of the most fascinating accounts in the book is the detailed story of the rescue (right under the noses of the Nazis) and transport to England by "moon plane" of a Norweignan physiscist who held the key to the development of the bomb. I am buying this as a gift for several friends and my father.
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By A Customer on July 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
this is one of the most important books on world war II history i have ever seen. my father was a super bookworm, and a veteran of China-Burma-India Theatre in world war II. served as a pharmacist for a field hospital in india.
he always was reading anything he could find on world war II. and i had a chance to read these books after he did.
A Man Called Intrepid is one of the top 10 books on world war II as it explains so very many things that happened during the war that were mysteries. other histories can tell you what happened: this one tells you why it happened and how it happened. for instance, Rommel was the desert fox due to the Signal Intelligence outfit he had, until the allies pounced on it and eliminated it. after that, he could only react to the allies, not anticipate them.
this book is a MUST READ for anyone interested in world war II and post war history, along with the books on cryptography and code breaking, which is mentioned in this book. it also explains a lot of the post world war II and beginning of the cold war.
this is the only book that covers the intelligence effort so thoroughly. other intelligence type books cover very small segments of the intelligence effort:this one covers it in much more detail from a broader perspective.
any effort to study the history of world war II will be totally incomplete unless you read this book. it explains so very much of the until now unexplainable.
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Format: Paperback
William Stephenson was never named "Intrepid" by Winston Churchill or by anyone else, until 1976 when the book was published. Stephenson did not work for Churchill, infact it is unlikely that he ever met him. The shadowy figure with Churchill in the ruins of the House of Commons is Brendan Bracken, a minister in the Cabinet. Most of the other pictures in the book are from an English movie about 1948 vintage called, "A School for Spies". I was the first person in North America to challenge the authenticity of this book, my early findings were published in the Vancouver Province newspaper in October 1984. After which I researched further and substantiated many more of its glaring errors. I also learned that it had also been thoroughly discredited in the UK. If you are interested I can provide all the information mentioned here and much much more besides. Denis Mason, Vancouver, B.C. (604) 926 2801 denmason@smarttnet.com
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Format: Paperback
The first two hundred pages, a good read.

The first time I picked it up I read the book halfway through, not reaching the last page.

My second read this week I managed read all 478 pages.

Again, as I found during my first attempt, the book becomes less interesting page by page.

Towards the end William Stevenson's waffling is boring, hard to endure.

Yes, there has been controversy about The Man Called Intrepid, some of which may well be warranted.

What really annoyed me was an instance of the failure of Stevenson to, at best do proper research, at worst maybe to distort the facts.

In particular, when it came to describing the Mosquito Stevenson stated:
"....... the twin engine Mosquito (was) made mostly of wood to baffle enemy radar."

That is completely misleading. The Mosquito may have baffled German radar but that was a CONSEQUENCE of its wooden construction not the REASON, which was the shortage of alumin(I)um. In fact the plane was conceived three years before WWII with the first prototype proving its value, namely speed, in 1940, both dates being before Germany had clue about the existence or potential feasibility of radar.

Further author Stevenson fails to mention this amazing main attribute of the fighter/bomber Mosquito, its speed of 392mph, an unbelievable speed in 1940. Nor did he mention the plane's engines, twin Merlins nor its adoption in a modified form by the US Air Force.
Why? Sloppy or intentional? Not related to intelligence and therefore to be ignored?

Whatever, as a result the plausibility of the author descended several notches in my estimation.

That said, Sir William Stephenson did exist and he contributed immensely to the ultimate downfall of Fascism.
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