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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

Spy and the Traitor

Spy and the Traitor

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: eBook Release Date: 20/09/2018

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Spy and the Traitor written and read by Ben Macintyre. A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britains greatest historians On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Now 76 years old, the former Russian spy reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever... THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ JOHN LE CARR

The Spy and the Traitor The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

The Spy and the Traitor The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 20/09/2018

Penguin presents the audio CD edition of The Spy and the Traitor written and read by Ben Macintyre. A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever. . . 'THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ' JOHN LE CARRE

The Spy and the Traitor The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

The Spy and the Traitor The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/09/2018

*Shortlisted for the 2018 Baillie Gifford Prize* 'THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ' JOHN LE CARRE A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy for MI6. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of espionage. In The Spy and the Traitor Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of betrayal, duplicity and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever.

SAS Rogue Heroes - the Authorized Wartime History

SAS Rogue Heroes - the Authorized Wartime History

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/06/2017

From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author Ben Macintyre: the first ever authorized history of the SAS Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of SAS: Rogue Heroes, written and read by Ben MacIntyre. '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. The result is an exhilarating tale of fearlessness and heroism, recklessness and tragedy; of extraordinary men who were willing to take monumental risks. It is a story about the meaning of courage.

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
Rogue Heroes

Rogue Heroes

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: eBook Release Date: 04/10/2016

The incredible untold story of WWII's greatest secret fighting force, as told by our great modern master of wartime intrigueBritain's Special Air Serviceor SASwas the brainchild of David Stirling, a young, gadabout aristocrat whose aimlessness in early life belied a remarkable strategic mind. Where most of his colleagues looked at a battlefield map of World War II's African theater and saw a protracted struggle with Rommel's desert forces, Stirling saw an opportunity: given a small number of elite, well-trained men, he could parachute behind enemy lines and sabotage their airplanes and war material. Paired with his constitutional opposite, the disciplined martinet Jock Lewes, Stirling assembled a revolutionary fighting force that would upend not just the balance of the war, but the nature of combat itself. He faced no little resistance from those who found his tactics ungentlemanly or beyond the pale, but in the SAS's remarkable exploits facing the Nazis in the Africa and then on the Continent can be found the seeds of nearly all special forces units that would follow.Bringing his keen eye for psychological detail to a riveting wartime narrative, Ben Macintyre uses his unprecedented access to SAS archives to shine a light inside a legendary unit long shrouded in secrecy. The result is not just a tremendous war story, but a fascinating group portrait of men of whom history and country asked the most.

Double Cross The True Story of The D-Day Spies

Double Cross The True Story of The D-Day Spies

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/09/2016

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... At the heart of the deception was the 'Double Cross System', a team of double agents whose bravery, treachery, greed and inspiration succeeded in convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the 150,000-strong Allied invasion force. These were not conventional warriors, but their masterpiece of deceit saved thousands of lives. Their codenames were Bronx, Brutus, Treasure, Tricycle and Garbo. This is their story.

Operation Mincemeat The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War II

Operation Mincemeat The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War II

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/09/2016

A RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB SELECTION One April morning in 1943, a sardine fisherman spotted the corpse of a British soldier floating in the sea off the coast of Spain and set in train a course of events that would change the course of the Second World War. Operation Mincemeat was the most successful wartime deception ever attempted, and certainly the strangest. It hoodwinked the Nazi espionage chiefs, sent German troops hurtling in the wrong direction, and saved thousands of lives by deploying a secret agent who was different, in one crucial respect, from any spy before or since: he was dead. His mission: to convince the Germans that instead of attacking Sicily, the Allied armies planned to invade Greece. The brainchild of an eccentric RAF officer and a brilliant Jewish barrister, the great hoax involved an extraordinary cast of characters including a famous forensic pathologist, a gold-prospector, an inventor, a beautiful secret service secretary, a submarine captain, three novelists, a transvestite English spymaster, an irascible admiral who loved fly-fishing, and a dead Welsh tramp. Using fraud, imagination and seduction, Churchill's team of spies spun a web of deceit so elaborate and so convincing that they began to believe it themselves. The deception started in a windowless basement beneath Whitehall. It travelled from London to Scotland to Spain to Germany. And it ended up on Hitler's desk. Ben Macintyre, bestselling author of Agent Zigzag, weaves together private documents, photographs, memories, letters and diaries, as well as newly released material from the intelligence files of MI5 and Naval Intelligence, to tell for the first time the full story of Operation Mincemeat.

Agent Zigzag The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: Lover, Traitor, Hero, Spy

Agent Zigzag The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: Lover, Traitor, Hero, Spy

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/09/2016

One December night in 1942, a Nazi parachutist landed in a Cambridgeshire field. His mission: to sabotage the British war effort. His name was Eddie Chapman, but he would shortly become MI5's Agent Zigzag. Dashing and louche, courageous and unpredictable, the traitor was a patriot inside, and the villain a hero. The problem for Chapman, his many lovers and his spymasters was knowing who he was. Ben Macintyre weaves together diaries, letters, photographs, memories and top-secret MI5 files to create the exhilarating account of Britain's most sensational double agent.

A Spy Among Friends Philby and the Great Betrayal

A Spy Among Friends Philby and the Great Betrayal

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/03/2015

Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. Philby's two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all. This is a story of intimate duplicity; of loyalty, trust and treachery, class and conscience; of an ideological battle waged by men with cut-glass accents and well-made suits in the comfortable clubs and restaurants of London and Washington; of male friendships forged, and then systematically betrayed. With access to newly released MI5 files and previously unseen family papers, and with the cooperation of former officers of MI6 and the CIA, this definitive biography unlocks what is perhaps the last great secret of the Cold War.

Spy Among Friends

Spy Among Friends

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: eBook Release Date: 29/07/2014

Master storyteller Ben Macintyre's most ambitious work to date brings to life thetwentieth century's greatest spy story.Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold Warwhile he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6. The two men had gone to the same schools, belonged to the same exclusive clubs, grown close through the crucible of wartime intelligence work and long nights of drink and revelry. It was madness for one to think the other might be a communist spy, bent on subverting Western values and the power of the free world.But Philby was secretly betraying his friend. Every word Elliott breathed to Philby was transmitted back to Moscowand not just Elliott's words, for in America, Philby had made another powerful friend: James Jesus Angleton, the crafty, paranoid head of CIA counterintelligence. Angleton's and Elliott's unwitting disclosures helped Philby sink almost everyimportant Anglo-American spy operation for twenty years, leading countless operatives to their doom. Even as the web of suspicion closed around him, and Philby was driven to greater lies to protect his cover, his two friends never abandoned himuntil it was too late. The stunning truth of his betrayal would have devastating consequences on the two men who thought they knew him best, and on the intelligence services he left crippled in his wake.Told with heart-pounding suspense and keen psychological insight, and based on personal papers and never-before-seen British intelligence files, A Spy Among Friends is Ben Macintyre's best book yet, a high-water mark in Cold War history telling.From the Hardcover edition.

Forgotten Fatherland The search for Elisabeth Nietzsche

Forgotten Fatherland The search for Elisabeth Nietzsche

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/03/2013

In 1886 Elisabeth Nietzsche, Friedrich's bigoted, imperious sister, founded a 'racially pure' colony in Paraguay together with a band of blond-haired fellow Germans. Over a century later, Ben Macintyre sought out the survivors of Nueva Germania to discover the remains of this bizarre colony. Forgotten Fatherland vividly recounts his arduous adventure locating the survivors, while also tracing the colorful history of Elisabeth's return to Europe, where she inspired the mythical cult of her brother's philosophy and later became a mentor to Hitler. Brilliantly researched and mordantly funny, this is an illuminating portrait of a forgotten people and of a woman whose deep influence on the twentieth century can only now be fully understood.

Ben Macintyre's World War II Espionage Files

Ben Macintyre's World War II Espionage Files

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: eBook Release Date: 04/09/2012

Ben Macintyre's two bestselling accounts of World War II espionageare now available together exclusively as an ebook with an excerpt from the New York Times bestseller, Double Cross. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Agent Zigzag is the story of Eddie Chapman, a charmer, a criminal, a con man, and one of the most remarkable double agents in all of British history. Deemed ';brilliant and almost absurdly entertaining' by Malcolm Gladwell, Operation Mincemeat unveils top secret material directly from the officers, spies, and masterminds of World War II. Each true tale is told through the vantage point of covert officials as they unravel webs of espionage and deception to yield Allied success. Macintyre's are words that read, according to Entertainment Weekly, ';like something by Ian Fleming.'

Double Cross

Double Cross

Author: Ben Macintyre Format: eBook Release Date: 31/07/2012

InDouble Cross, New York Times bestselling author Ben Macintyre returns with the untold story of one of the greatest deceptions of World War II, and of the extraordinary spies who achieved it.On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, deceived the Nazis into believing that the Allies would attack at Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. It was the most sophisticated and successful deception operation ever carried out, ensuring Allied victory at the most pivotal point in the war. This epic event has never before been told from the perspective of the key individuals in the Double Cross system, until now. These include its director (a brilliant, urbane intelligence officer), a colorful assortment of MI5 handlers (as well as their counterparts in Nazi intelligence), and the five spies who formed Double Cross's nucleus: a dashing Serbian playboy, a Polish fighter-pilot, a bisexual Peruvian party girl, a deeply eccentric Spaniard, and a volatile Frenchwoman. The D-Day spies were, without question, one of the oddest military units ever assembled, and their success depended on the delicate, dubious relationship between spy and spymaster, both German and British. Their enterprise was saved from catastrophe by a shadowy sixth spy whose heroic sacrifice is revealed here for the first time.With the same depth of research, eye for the absurd and masterful storytelling that have made Ben Macintyre an international bestseller, Double Cross is a captivating narrative of the spies who wove a web so intricate it ensnared Hitler's army and carried thousands of D-Day troops across the Channel in safety.

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.

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