- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (August 9, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1610396545
- ISBN-13: 978-1610396547
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Spies in the Congo: America's Atomic Mission in World War II 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
A clever book.” London Review of Books
An excellent contribution to the history of intelligence, Africa, World War Two and Atomic Power.” The Cipher Brief
A commendable addition.” New York Journal of Books
Authentic and well-documented fascinating and intricate.” Galveston County Daily News
A dense and engaging work on a key aspect of the Manhattan Project .Chock-full of spies and their fanciful code names as well as insightful accounts of the jealousies between the American and British. A fine complement to other accounts of wartime efforts to keep atomic weapons from the Germans.” Kirkus Reviews
Readers will not regret learning about the activities of some of America's least heralded spies Williams's niche but engrossing story offers new insight on intelligence activities in sub-Saharan Africa during WWII.” Publishers Weekly
A well-paced read based on archival documents, this work should appeal to those interested in the history of World War II, special operations, and the origins of the nuclear age.” Library Journal
Susan Williams' new, meticulously researched book has shades of Graham Greene, a hint of Conrad, even echoes of Indiana Jones truly a thriller.” The Guardian
Meticulously-researched and masterfully written A real-life spy thriller.” Joe Lauria, The Huffington Post
A remarkable discovery To have found in the history of the Second World War a million square miles of unfamiliar territorythe Congois an achievement in itself. On top of that, Williams' story is thrilling.” The Telegraph
Nuanced but gripping...Williams does a sterling job of delineating a complicated plot while at the same time giving a clear sense of the characters of the major players.” The Spectator
Chilling Spies in the Congo is an espionage classic. Scrupulously researched, it illuminates a barely-known aspect of arguably the most significant event of the 20th century, giving fresh perspectives. The Scotsman
Williams tells a story that is sometimes comical, sometimes tragic, but always riveting.” History of War
This is an extraordinary and fascinating story, revealed here with all the detail and pace of a well-crafted thriller.” Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Williams reveals, with painstaking research and delightful prose, the conspiracies that transformed the Congo into the chessboard for superpower politics. This may seem like a far-gone era, but the repercussions of Shinkolobwe and Hiroshima are alive in the imaginations and politics of the Congo today. An important history, and a superbly crafted story.” Jason Stearns, author of Dancing in the Glory of Monsters
With wit, insight, and a fabulous story-telling ability, Susan Williams has taken a crucial but little-known piece of nuclear history and turned it into a remarkable tale of espionage, intrigue, romance, and murder that will keep readers riveted from start to finish. Those who thought they knew the history of the development of the atomic bombs are in for a big surprise. A magnificent achievement!” Peter Kuznick, Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute, American University, and co-author (with Oliver Stone) of The Untold History of the United States
About the Author
Dr. Susan Williams is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Williams s research is archive based; her research has taken her to many countries in Africa, Europe and North America. Susan served as historical adviser to the independent Hammarskjold Commission, which was founded in direct response to Wiliams previous book, "Who Killed Hammarskjold" and released its report at the Peace Palace in The Hague in September 2013. She has published widely on Africa, decolonization, and the global power shifts of the twentieth century, receiving widespread acclaim for "Colour Bar" (Penguin, 2006), her book on the founding president of Botswana. Other recent books include "The People s King" (Penguin, 2003) and "Ladies of Influence" (Penguin, 2000), as well as edited volumes including "The Iconography of Independence: Freedoms at Midnight " (2010)."
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But I learned very little about uranium, bomb making, or the Congo in "Spies in the Congo/America's Atomic Mission in World War II." First and foremost, this is a book about spying. Lots of spying. And there are so many names in this book that the author or publisher wisely included a seven-page "cast of characters" at the beginning of this book to help the reader along. I found the abundant, and at times confusing, number of names and personalities introduced in this story to have compromised the narrative story line. It's hard to see the big picture when it's clouded with so many little stories and back-stories. Readers will have to contend with a lot of detail and minutia and tedium as they hack their way through the dense Congo underbrush and Belgian bureaucracy of "Spies in the Congo".
I was also disturbed by the publishers' inclusion of 32 pages of historic photos that, while intensely interesting, are almost illegible because of over-inking on inferior paper stock. Many of them are dark, grainy, and blurred; I surmised that the inferior quality of some of the nearly 80-year-old photos may have been due to their age, or poor composition or reproduction in their originals … until I turned the last page and discovered a contemporary 2015 photo was equally dark and blurry. Albert Einstein's famous 2-page letter to President Roosevelt in 1939 at the beginning of "Spies in the Congo" is almost unreadable, too. A simple Photoshop correction would have solved this need, and it's a pity they didn't choose to do it. All of these photo deficiencies in the book are not the fault of the author, but of Public Affairs/Perseus Books publishers; apparently they chose to produce this book on the cheap, and it compromises the text.
A final constructive suggestion: sometimes books by British authors that slavishly maintain the British spellings of common words are navigable by American readers … and sometimes they're not. While not a big issue with this book, there ought to be a simple editing software package that could scan manuscripts and self-correct draft galleys to eliminate an aspect that can sometimes prove tedious or off-putting to American readers' eyes, just as books by American authors might be translated into British English, for audiences there. It's just a courtesy that makes reading less of a challenge.
But the book does great justice to the main topic of uranium and its importance to the Manhattan Project. It also shows a great deal of understanding of the governmental minds of those days. On the whole, a very readable book.