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The True Intrepid - Sir William Stephenson and the Unknown Agents [Kindle Edition]

Bill Macdonald
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

The World War II intelligence exploits of Canadian spymaster William Stephenson were celebrated in his lifetime in espionage lore the world over. This mysterious man, known widely as “Intrepid,” established the secret World War II organization known as British Security Coordination, and is said to be the real-life model for James Bond.
This electronic edition of The True Intrepid features personal interviews with those who worked for Stephenson. The later author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, Screenplay for You Only Live Twice etc.), advertising’s David Ogilvy, Churchill bunker’s Joan Bright Astley, Grace Garner, and many of Stephenson’s former Canadian agents reveal for the first time in the book, some of their World War Two activities. Of special historical significance are the revelations of the late Benjamin deforest (Pat) Bayly, BSC’s second-in-command, who had never before spoken about his espionage work. Bayly was the Allied forces communications genius whose electronic wizardry helped guard the Allies’ top secrets and helped win the Battle of the Atlantic.
In this fascinating re-examination of history, Bill Macdonald documents Stephenson’s clouded early life and unravels the tangled strings of information that run through secret papers and previous books to reveal the astonishing true story of the man who said: “Nothing deceives like a document.” The book contains totally new oral history from Stephenson’s former agents and a foreword by the former staff historian of the Central Intelligence Agency, Thomas F. Troy.
A book of secrets, the acclaimed national best seller spawned the internationally screened documentary “Secret Secretaries” and the award winning documentary “The True Intrepid.”
“ A fascinating read, one that has pushed aside the impenetrable curtain of the intelligence world.”Hamilton Spectator
“Impressive Canadian story that few know much about...British writers and historians have a lot to answer for." St. Catherine's Standard (page one)
“Macdonald has uncovered the true story.” Maclean’s
"A remarkable job of detective work...Startling revelations...A good book well worth reading." Bout de Papier 'Canada's Magazine of Diplomacy and Foreign Service'
"A real seminal work...(a) journalistic coup...Canadian readers will turn the pages with a sense of awe in the discovery...not just highly informative's also a good read... the reader will become seductively impressed with how all the facts begin fitting together." Brantford Expositor
"Well researched...a budding expert in the art of espionage" Svetlana Gouzenko
"The truth has finally come out about Sir William Stephenson. His reputation has suffered for a long time in silence." The late Robert Stuart, Stephenson associate, former curator Camp X espionage museum
“In 1976, author William Stevenson published a hagiography of Sir William Stephenson, The Man Called Intrepid (still in print). The book stirred vehement public controversy because reviewers alleged Stevenson had, to put it mildly, embellished the truth...Those familiar with these circumstances might well ask what more is there to be said on the matter ? Bill Macdonald has answered, 'a very great deal indeed.'” The Central Intelligence Agency Studies in Intelligence - Unclassified Articles Fall 2002
A prequel to the book Intrepid’s Last Secrets, The True Intrepid, has been difficult to find for two years due to the publishing demise of Raincoast Books. This electronic version is now available.

Product Details

  • File Size: 744 KB
  • Print Length: 453 pages
  • Publisher: True Intrepid; III edition (August 19, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,381 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bill Macdonald has contributed valuably by sleuthing some of the past of the mythic character, Sir William Stephenson.

Macdonald is a journalist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, who on hearing of the death of Stephenson in 1989, decided to investigate the past of a man who hailed from Winnipeg and was entrusted by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill with serving as his intelligence czar in North America during World War II.

Fortunately for history, Macdonald was able to uncover glimmers of the truth of Stephenson's humble origins; his move to Britain during the 1920s and 1930s; and his businesses. One was steel; through the steel industry, Macdonald may have come to appreciate the Nazi commitment to expanding its military. Churchill became prime minister after the British debacle at Dunkirk. He promptly dispatched Stephenson to the U.S. Based at Rockefeller Center, Stephenson established an aggressive intelligence program and helped advise the U.S. in formation of what became the O.S.S., predecessor of the CIA. Macdonald interviewed a former Univ. of Toronto professor who directed the vital communications links conveying Nazi communications intercepts among British, Canadian, and U.S. codebreakers.

Behind the stories and myths surrounding Stephenson, Macdonald has shone light on some important, classified aspects of World War II. When I read the first edition of this book, I found the story somewhat hard to follow and strange, though also strangely plausible. For the paperback edition, a former CIA staff historian has offered an introduction, probably because he would have had the same reaction.

I am reminded of another recent book (The Secret of Hut 26) reporting how the U.S. developed computers in Dayton, Ohio for attacking Nazi codes.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and balanced April 24, 2003
MacDonald has successfully revealed much of the often clouded life of Intrepid, a man whose primary career goal was - of course - to remain in the shadows. The immensely likeable and non-descript Stephenson (Intrepid) was the penultimate spy: you wouldn't notice him in a crowd and if you did, you'd find yourself charmed and at ease. This side of the man has been overlooked in past books, but MacDonald reveals just how significant this particular trait is to an effective intelligence officer. In Stephenson, readers will learn how charm hid the great depths of intelligence, honor and violent resolve that made Intrepid a name to admire in the history of his profession. MacDonald also offers a highly-readable, compelling look at the events of Intrepid's life, keeping an admirable balance between objectivity and the thrills of a good story. David R. Bannon, Ph.D.; author "Race Against Evil."
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing book on Intrepid July 12, 2001
If the 20th century was to be represented by 4 or 5 individuals, William Stephenson would have to be one of them. By this I mean that his life was incredible. He would be worthy of an interesting biography in any of the lives that he led: a scientist, a businessman or a spymaster.
The book goes into much more detail of Intrepid's life, as well as those of some of his associates than the famous Man Called Intrepid book (which is worth reading as well!). This book will inspire and awe anybody! Well researched and well enough written.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Spy March 21, 2000
By A Customer
A thoroughly researched and well documented account of the quintessential North American spymaster William Stephenson. New information dispels past myths about a fascinating man who, with the help of his "unknown" agents,played an crucial role influencing the events of the Second World War.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Interesting May 3, 2010
By Wizard
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This biography of Intrepid and the BSC is considerably more current than previous ones. Stephenson, a very secretive man, probably made no effort to clarify his personal history to imaginative biographers. And the classified nature of most documents regarding his work made earlier efforts hit or miss. This volume offers a chance to see into the man and his work illuminated by more aggressive digging into his past.

Rather than a linear story, much of the the presentation is the result of many interviews presented one after another. This makes for duplication of information throughout the work, and this redundancy might bother some readers. But actually, this style parallels good intelligence work, where agents gain confidence in information when it is reported by a variety of informants independently. A fun read, though scary to think how naive America and Britain were regarding the need for determined intelligence at the outset of World War II.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well researched history February 21, 2000
By A Customer
This book researches and chronicles in great detail the life of one man who, while obscure and unknown, played a pivotal role in the unfolding of World War 2. This book tells an important history and heightens my appreciation of some of our stories that has never been adaquitely told.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars True Intrepid July 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, I am reading A Man called Intrepid, and Macdonald questions/"corrects" content in that book. The secret lives of Sir William have been covered over, in his defence. The True Intrepid seems to set records straight, but takes away from the comfortable read of a Man called Intrepid.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Walking Through Fog February 15, 2014
By Stu
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With the best of intentions, I’m supposing, this author has set out to reveal the real Man Called Intrepid. Instead, he demolished previous author’s efforts by creating doubt about their accuracy to go on and establish himself as an "authority" on Sir William (Bill) Stephenson.
The book is tiresome with his facts and leads us to the outside fog of confusion. The author provided no real story; it was more like reading a correction everyone’s class assignments. For the first time ever, I eventually closed down this book on my Kindle and bought another.
Whether or not my review is published, the book was a waste of money and a huge disappointment in my quest to learn more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Five Stars!
Published 2 months ago by No ko
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting read.
Published 3 months ago by DON MACLEOD
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Little known history worth knowing.
A history lesson of behind the scenes of the espionage world. Still a lot not really spelt out, but a very good biography of an important little-known historical figure. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Terence O. Gibbs
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
The book is about an specific English spy working for the Russians.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars What Really Happened?
This book provides information for any reader interested in Allied espionage efforts during World War II. The book provides perspective.
Published 15 months ago by Cheryl pettijohn
5.0 out of 5 stars The True Intrepid
Very well researched and absolutely fascinating for those of use with interest in William Stephenson. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Jane H. Kelley
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Unique
The book is completely sourced-which is rather unique for a 'spy' book. Many former agents go on record for the first time. Read more
Published on January 12, 2013 by laurence
1.0 out of 5 stars The True Intrepid
It seems that the author has researched and revewed previous books about William Stephenson. He is simply trying to discredit their content and has little to offer of his own as... Read more
Published on December 13, 2012 by Anne
1.0 out of 5 stars very disappointing
I read a lot and particularly enjoy biographies and books that relate to history. I was very disappointed by this book. Read more
Published on October 2, 2012 by avidreader
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