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Ben Macintyre - Author

About the Author

Ben Macintyre is a columnist and Associate Editor on The Times. He has worked as the newspaper's correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He is the author of eight previous books including Agent Zigzag, shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and the Galaxy British Book Award for Biography of the Year 2008, and the no. 1 bestseller Operation Mincemeat. He lives in London with his wife and three children.


Photo © Jerry Bauer

Featured books by Ben Macintyre

SAS Rogue Heroes - The Authorized Wartime History

SAS Rogue Heroes - The Authorized Wartime History

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2017

From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author Ben Macintyre: the first ever authorized history of the SAS. In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would inflict mayhem behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS.

ebook of the month
SAS Rogue Heroes - The Authorized Wartime History

SAS Rogue Heroes - The Authorized Wartime History

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/09/2016

'Impeccably researched, superbly told - by far the best book on the SAS in World War II' - Antony Beevor In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would inflict mayhem behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS. Now, 75 years later, the SAS has finally decided to tell its astonishing story. It has opened its secret archives for the first time, granting historian Ben Macintyre full access to a treasure trove of unseen reports, memos, diaries, letters, maps and photographs, as well as free rein to interview surviving Originals and those who knew them.

ebook of the month
Double Cross The True Story of the D-Day Spies

Double Cross The True Story of the D-Day Spies

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/03/2012

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 29 March 2012. D-Day, 6 June 1944, the turning point of the Second World War, was a victory of arms. But it was also a triumph for a different kind of operation: one of deceit, aimed at convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the 150,000-strong invasion force. The deception involved every branch of Allied wartime intelligence - the Bletchley Park code-breakers, MI5, MI6, SOE, Scientific Intelligence, the FBI and the French Resistance. But at its heart was the 'Double Cross System', a team of double agents controlled by the secret Twenty Committee, so named because twenty in Roman numerals forms a double cross. The key D-Day spies were just five in number, and one of the oddest military units ever assembled: a bisexual Peruvian playgirl, a tiny Polish fighter pilot, a Serbian seducer, a wildly imaginative Spaniard with a diploma in chicken farming, and a hysterical Frenchwoman whose obsessive love for her pet dog very nearly wrecked the entire deception. Their enterprise was saved from catastrophe by a shadowy sixth spy whose heroic sacrifice is here revealed for the first time. Under the direction of an eccentric but brilliant intelligence officer in tartan trousers, working from a smoky lair in St James's, these spies would weave a web of deception so intricate that it ensnared Hitler's army and helped to carry thousands of troops across the Channel in safety. These double agents were, variously, brave, treacherous, fickle, greedy and inspired.

Other books by Ben Macintyre

Josiah the Great The True Story of the Man Who Would be King

Josiah the Great The True Story of the Man Who Would be King

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2011

The amazing tale of a resourceful and unscrupulous early-19th-century American adventurer who forges his own kingdom in the wilds of Afghanistan. In the year 1838, a young adventurer, surrounded by his native troops and mounted on an elephant, raised the American flag on the summit of the Hindu Kush and declared himself Prince of Ghor, the heir to Alexander the Great. Josiah Harlan, the first American to set foot in Afghanistan, would become the model for Kipling's `The Man Who Would be King', but the true story of his life is stranger than fiction. A soldier, spy, doctor, naturalist and writer, Harlan set off into the wilds of Central Asia after a failed love affair in 1820. Following a brief stint as a surgeon in the East India Company's army, he joined the court of the deposed Afghan monarch Shah Shujah, and then slipped into Kabul disguised as a Muslim priest to foment rebellion. For the next two decades he would play a pivotal role in the bloody politics of the region. Using a trove of newly discovered documents, including Harlan's long-lost journals, Ben Macintyre has followed Harlan's footsteps to uncover an astonishing, untold chapter in the history of the Great Game. If you enjoyed William Dalrymple's `Return of a King', `Josiah the Great' should be on your reading list.

The Last Word Tales from the Tip of the Mother Tongue

The Last Word Tales from the Tip of the Mother Tongue

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2010

Do you know your geek-speak from your geek-chic? Ever wanted to put Humpty Dumpty together again? Can you distinguish Spanglish from Chinglish? We adapt words from other languages, from slang, from developments in science, literature and art. Learn the advantages of having your own signature word; why the lifts in the House of Commons have posh accents; and, discover the discreet art of the loophemism. Witty and utterly delightful, The Last Word will tease, tickle and tantalise those who enjoy all things lexical.

A Foreign Field

A Foreign Field

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/07/2010

A wartime romance, survival saga and murder mystery set in rural France during the First World War, from the bestselling author of `Operation Mincemeat' and `Agent Zig-Zag'. Four young British soldiers find themselves trapped behind enemy lines at the height of the fighting on the Western Front in August 1914. Unable to get back to their units, they shelter in the tiny French village of Villeret, where they are fed, clothed and protected by the villagers, including the local matriarch Madame Dessenne, the baker and his wife. The self-styled leader of the band of fugitives, Private Robert Digby, falls in love with the 20-year-old-daughter of one of his protectors, and in November 1915 she gives birth to a baby girl. The child is just six months old when someone betrays the men to the Germans. They are captured, tried as spies and summarily condemned to death. Using the testimonies of the daughter, the villagers, detailed town hall records and, most movingly, the soldiers' last letters, Ben Macintyre reconstructs an extraordinary story of love, duplicity and shame - ultimately seeking to discover through decades of village rumour the answer to the question, `Who betrayed Private Digby and his men?' In this new updated edition the mystery is finally solved.

Operation Mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: eBook Release Date: 04/05/2010

Ben Macintyre's Agent Zigzag was hailed as ';rollicking, spellbinding' (New York Times), ';wildly improbable but entirely true' (Entertainment Weekly), and, quite simply, ';the best book ever written' (Boston Globe). In his new book, Operation Mincemeat, he tells an extraordinary story that will delight his legions of fans.In 1943, from a windowless basement office in London, two brilliant intelligence officers conceived a plan that was both simple and complicated Operation Mincemeat. The purpose? To deceive the Nazis into thinking that Allied forces were planning to attack southern Europe by way of Greece or Sardinia, rather than Sicily, as the Nazis had assumed, and the Allies ultimately chose.Charles Cholmondeley of MI5 and the British naval intelligence officer Ewen Montagu could not have been more different. Cholmondeley was a dreamer seeking adventure. Montagu was an aristocratic, detail-oriented barrister. But together they were the perfect team and created an ingenious plan: Get a corpse, equip it with secret (but false and misleading) papers concerning the invasion, then drop it off the coast of Spain where German spies would, they hoped, take the bait. The idea was approved by British intelligence officials, including Ian Fleming (creator of James Bond). Winston Churchill believed it might ring true to the Axis and help bring victory to the Allies.Filled with spies, double agents, rogues, fearless heroes, and one very important corpse, the story of Operation Mincemeat reads like an international thriller.Unveiling never-before-released material, Ben Macintyre brings the reader right into the minds of intelligence officers, their moles and spies, and the German Abwehr agents who suffered the ';twin frailties of wishfulness and yesmanship.' He weaves together the eccentric personalities of Cholmondeley and Montagu and their near-impossible feats into a riveting adventure that not only saved thousands of lives but paved the way for a pivotal battle in Sicily and, ultimately, Allied success in the war.From the Hardcover edition.

For Your Eyes Only Ian Fleming and James Bond

For Your Eyes Only Ian Fleming and James Bond

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2009

'I am going to write the spy story to end all spy stories' One morning in February 1952, a journalist called Ian Fleming sat down at his desk and set about creating a fictional secret agent. James Bond was born and would go on to become one of the most successful, enduring and lucrative creations in literature. But Bond's world of glamour and romance, gadgets and cocktails, espionage and villainy wasn't entirely drawn from imagination: Fleming's background and his experiences as an intelligence officer during the Second World War were all formative parts in the creation of the world's most famous spy. Packed with astonishing detail and written in Macintyre's inimitable style, For Your Eyes Only is the most enlightening, enlivening book on the creator of the spy who not only lived twice, but proved to be immortal.

Agent Zigzag

Agent Zigzag

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: eBook Release Date: 02/10/2007

Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.In 1941, after training as a German spy in occupied France, Chapman was orders orders from the Abwehr to blow up an airplane factory in Britain. Instead, he contacted MI5, the British Secret Service. For the next four years, Chapman worked as a double agent, a lone British spy at the heart of the German Secret Service. Crisscrossing Europe under different names, all the while weaving plans, spreading disinformation, and, miraculously, keeping his stories straight under intense interrogation, he even managed to gain some profit and seduce beautiful women along the way.The Nazis feted Chapman as a hero and awarded him the Iron Cross. In Britain, he was pardoned for his crimes, becoming the only wartime agent to be thus rewarded. Sixty years after the end of the war, and ten years after Chapmans death, MI5 has now declassified all of Chapmans files, releasing more than 1,800 pages of top secret material and allowing the full story of Agent Zigzag to be told for the first time.From the Compact Disc edition.

Englishman's Daughter

Englishman's Daughter

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: eBook Release Date: 12/01/2002

"e;I have a rendezvous with death, at some disputed barricade."e; Alan Seeger, 1916In the first days of World War I four soldiers, left behind as the British army retreated through northern France under the first German onslaught, found themselves trapped on the wrong side of the Western Front, in a tiny village called Villeret. Just a few miles from the Somme, the village would be permanently inundated with German troops for the next four years, yet the villagers conspired to feed, clothe and protect the fugitives under the very noses of the invaders, absorbing the Englishmen into their homes and lives until they could pass for Picardy peasants. The leader of the band, Robert Digby, was a striking young man who fell in love with Claire Dessenne, the prettiest maid in the village. In November 1915, with the guns clearly audible from the battlefront, Claire gave birth to Digby's child, the jealous whispering began, and the conspiracy that had protected the soldiers for half the war started to unravel.Never before told, Ben Macintyre's The Englishman's Daughter is a harrowing tale of love, duplicity and their tragic consequences, which haunt the people of Villeret eight decades after the Great War.

The Napoleon of Crime The Life and Times of Adam Worth, the Real Moriarty

The Napoleon of Crime The Life and Times of Adam Worth, the Real Moriarty

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/02/1998

The rumbustious true story of the Victorian master thief who was the model for Conan Doyle's Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes' arch-rival. From the bestselling author of `Operation Mincemeat' and `Agent Zigzag'. Adam Worth was the greatest master criminal of Victorian times. Abjuring violence and setting himself up as a perfectly respectable gentleman, he became the ringleader for the largest criminal network in the world and the model for Conan Doyle's evil genius, Moriarty. At the height of his powers, he stole Gainsborough's famous portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, then the world's most valuable painting, from its London showroom. The duchess became his constant companion, the symbol and substance of his achievements. At the end of his career, he returned the painting, having gained nothing material from its theft. Worth's Sherlock Holmes was William Pinkerton, founder of America's first and greatest detective agency. Their parallel lives form the basis for this extraordinary book, which opens a window on the seedy Victorian underworld, wittily exposing society's hypocrisy and double standards in a storytelling tour de force.

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