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Sonia Purnell - Author

About the Author

Sonia Purnell started work at The Economist Intelligence Unit, edited a weekly financial magazine when only twenty-five, and then went on to a senior position on the Daily Telegraph's City pages before reporting on the EU from Brussels. On her return to London she assumed the position of Whitehall Correspondent, before moving to the Daily Mail, where she was Whitehall Editor. Her first book, Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition, was a candid and widely acclaimed portrait of London Mayor Boris Johnson, informed by her time working alongside him in Brussels. Just Boris was long listed for the Orwell Prize. She now writes and broadcasts as a freelancer and lives in London with her husband and two sons.

Featured books by Sonia Purnell

Other books by Sonia Purnell

A Woman of No Importance The Untold Story of WWII's Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall

A Woman of No Importance The Untold Story of WWII's Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall

Author: Sonia Purnell Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/03/2019

The incredible true and untold story of Virginia Hall, an American woman with a wooden leg who infiltrated Occupied France for the SOE and became the Gestapo's most wanted Allied spy, by acclaimed biographer Sonia Purnell. The remarkable double life of an American-turned-British spy, Virginia Hall, a bolshie woman from Maryland who, determined to overcome a physical disability that threatened to define her life, successfully infiltrated Vichy France for England's SOE before America's entry into WW II and then, three years later, for the SOS, providing crucial intelligence and logistics for the mounting French Resistance and, later, Allied troops. This is a compelling and inspiring tale of resistance, heroism, spycraft and overcoming prejudice, based on brand new and extensive research, for anyone who loves reading Ben Macintyre, Rick Stroud's LONELY COURAGE or Sarah Helm's A LIFE IN SECRETS.

A Woman of No Importance The Untold Story of WWII's Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall

A Woman of No Importance The Untold Story of WWII's Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall

Author: Sonia Purnell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/03/2019

The incredible true and untold story of Virginia Hall, an American woman with a wooden leg who infiltrated Occupied France for the SOE and became the Gestapo's most wanted Allied spy, by acclaimed biographer Sonia Purnell. The remarkable double life of an American-turned-British spy, Virginia Hall, a bolshie woman from Maryland who, determined to overcome a physical disability that threatened to define her life, successfully infiltrated Vichy France for England's SOE before America's entry into WW II and then, three years later, for the SOS, providing crucial intelligence and logistics for the mounting French Resistance and, later, Allied troops. This is a compelling and inspiring tale of resistance, heroism, spycraft and overcoming prejudice, based on brand new and extensive research, for anyone who loves reading Ben Macintyre, Rick Stroud's LONELY COURAGE or Sarah Helm's A LIFE IN SECRETS.

First Lady

First Lady

Author: Sonia Purnell Format: eBook Release Date: 01/08/2016

Pedal Power: How Boris Johnson Failed London's Cyclists

Pedal Power: How Boris Johnson Failed London's Cyclists

Author: Sonia Purnell Format: eBook Release Date: 10/04/2012

From the author of Just Boris, the acclaimed and controversial new biography of Boris Johnson, comes a short polemical investigation into the London Mayors much-vaunted Cycling Revolution. When Boris campaigned in the mayoral election of 2008 he rarely turned up to a photo-call without his trusty bike. His promise was to turn London into the greatest two-wheeled city on earth, where as many people commuted by bicycle as had done a century before. But after much fanfare, and millions spent on Super Highways and Boris Bikes, it appears he has turned his back on cyclists in favour of the gas-guzzling motorists of Londons Conservative heartlands. Worse still, although the Cycling Revolution has brought more bikes onto the roads, it has been accompanied by an alarming rate of crashes. With the same forensic zeal she applied to Just Boris, Sonia Purnell separates fact from fiction to reveal how the cycling mayor has failed on his greatest ambition for London, and offers a timely insight into what Londoners can expect from another term of the blond on the bike. Sonia Purnell is a writer and freelance journalist living in London and is the author of the acclaimed biography Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition. She worked closely with Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraphs Brussels bureau in the early Nineties at a turning point in his personal life and working career.

Just Boris A Tale of Blond Ambition - A Biography of Boris Johnson

Just Boris A Tale of Blond Ambition - A Biography of Boris Johnson

Author: Sonia Purnell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2012

A major and controversial new biography of one of the most compelling and contradictory figures in modern British life. Born Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, to most of us he is just 'Boris' - the only politician of the age to be regarded in such familiar, even affectionate terms. Uniquely, he combines comedy with erudition, gimlet-eyed focus with jokey self-deprecation, and is a loving family man with a roving eye. He is also a hugely ambitious figure with seemingly no huge ambitions to pursue - other than, perhaps, power itself. In this revealing biography, written from the vantage point of a once close colleague, Sonia Purnell examines how a shy, young boy from a broken home became our only box-office politician - and most unlikely sex god; how the Etonian product fond of Latin tags became a Man of the People - and why he wanted to be; how the gaffe-prone buffoon charmed Londonders to win the largest personal mandate Britain has ever seen; and how the Johnson family built our biggest - and blondest - media and political dynasty. The first forensic account of a remarkable rise to fame and power, Just Boris unravels this most compelling of political enigmas and asks whether the Mayor who dreams of crossing the Thames to Downing Street has what it takes to be Prime Minister.

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