Agent in Italy: A Memoir of a Spy in World War II with a Study Guide

I couldn’t hear a sound, either from the corridor and offices beyond the door or from the sleeping city of Milan outside. All the rest of the world could have died.

It was stifling. Italian police stations are badly ventilated. My throat was very dry and I kept coughing. I smoked another cigarette but that made it worse. The smoke hung in the dead air.

I tried the door again. My wet palm slipped on the unclean handle. The door was still locked, of course.

I didn’t know exactly what time it was because they’d taken my watch away from me. I guessed about three in the morning. I was going to be shot at six.

Thus begins this amazing; book—both a thrilling story of personal danger in Italy’s underground movement, and a fully detailed, authentic report on the crumbling of Italian Fascist morale under the terror of German occupancy.

The gripping adventures experienced by S. K. during his undercover work in Italy give us a picture of methods which more than match all we have heard of German and Russian espionage work. Yet they are absolutely bona fide—the author’s credentials have been carefully checked. He remains anonymous for the protection of those colleagues still carrying on the Democratic revolution.

Working with groups of fearless Italian patriots, it was S. K. who first revealed to the outside world through confidential information on Germany’s flame-throwing tanks, the intention of Mussolini to move against Greece, the use of American dollars for the purchase of oil in French African ports by submarine captions, the shipping of Messerschimitts to Central America, the existence of camouflaged airports in Nicaragua and Bolivia, the sending of Stukas to Japan, and the building of new Condors in Holland.

In addition to these sensational disclosures, agent in Italy now reveals fully detailed story of the German occupation of Italy, giving facts and figures, including an estimate of 400,000 Germans now keeping the junior Axis partner under shaky control.

Filled with tense and breathless incident, this book, the first to disclose the bitter ordeal of Italy, bring the excitement of the mystery novel to one of the most important factual documents of our day.

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Agent In Italy

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An Army of Amateurs

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AN ARMY OF AMATEURS is the incredible story of the resistance of the ordinary Frenchman in the street to the Nazis—secretly sapping the strength of the invading armies until the final Allied victory. Here is a picture of a group of dedicated but inexperienced citizens who risked their lives and displayed enormous courage—winning despite the many blunders that amateurs were bound to make.

Philippe De Vomécourt, who with his two brothers, and the aid of Great Britain, helped to organize the resistance, began his operations by obtaining a job with the Nazis as an inspector of railroad trucks-enabling him to see that these trucks failed to get to the proper destination, to plan “escape routes” and assist in smuggling Jews to safety.

It was not long, however, before the Nazis began to suspect Philippe of being a traitor and eventually the luck of the de Vomécourt brothers ran out. One of them—who saw to it that every single torpedo ship leaving Germany was blown up—paid for his work by death in a concentration camp. Philippe was sentenced to hard labor but soon showed his unfailing ingenuity and daring by managing to escape—taking with him fifty-three other prisoners. Departing for England with a small group, he returned to France before D-Day to supervise the cloak-and-dagger activities of his own group, Special Operations Executive, enlisting anyone who was willing to help them harass the Germans.

AN ARMY OF AMATEURS is an important book, packed with heroism, hair raising escapes, and some sharp criticism of France’s allies.

Philippe De Vomécourt was born in France in 1902 and educated in England. As a young man, he joined the Flying Corps (British) in World War I, later studying agriculture and managing a farm in Africa. After marrying, he lived in the New Herbrides and then Australia before settling in France.

Scene of crowd marching and title of Runaway Russia

Runaway Russia: An American Woman Reports on the Russian Revolution

A “Gripping Account” —The Wall Street Journal

Florence Harper was the first American female journalist in Petrograd. Sure that trouble was coming, she waited “as I would for a circus parade.” From the women’s bread protests of the heady first days when the mob seemed “good-natured” to the later horror of the “Marseillaise”-singing crowds being mowed down by machine guns, she remained undaunted, repeatedly returning to the streets despite the dangers she courted daily. She searched the morgues so that she could do a story on the victims. ‘‘I did not wait to count the coffins. It was too harrowing,” she reports. She did watch the hated police being thrown off roofs and also ran the gantlet of the mutinous Kronstadt sailors, who she recalls “all looked like cutthroats.” Allied officers at her hotel smashed the contents of its cellars till they were “literally knee deep in everything from champagne to vodka” to prevent the mob from getting at them. The stoicism and sympathy with which she endured it all shine forth from this gripping account.
Helen Rappaport, The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2017

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To read this ebook using Readium on a computer, or for Google Play Books on your tablet, or iBooks on an iPad, download this epub format.

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Photo of WEB DuBois

W.E.B. Du Bois: His Was the Voice by Emma Gelders Sterne (For Young Adults)

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Teacher, social scientist, historian, poet, prophet—his was the voice that demanded equality, respect and dignity for the black man in a society that denied his humanity.

The memory of Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois is as important to the past and future of this country as any revolutionary figure before or since. Yet for years he was unknown to white America and, as a victim of the McCarthy witch hunts of the fifties, rejected by his countrymen. In this dramatic, candid biography, Emma Gelders Sterne presents W. E. B. Du Bois to a new generation that is entitled to the truth about the black man who cried “Freedom Now!” and “Black Power” when no one was willing to listen.

Drawing from the private papers of Du Bois himself, his publications, and the confidences of those who knew and worked with him, Mrs. Sterne has written an unconventional story that reads like fiction but tells the little-known facts of a fascinating life. Thanks to the support of Dr. Herbert Aptheker, Du Bois’ close friend and literary executor, Mrs. Sterne was allowed to examine unpublished materials by and about Du Bois.

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in Massachusetts in 1868, three years after the emancipation of the slaves. His entire life was devoted to freeing those former slaves and their offspring from the burden of second-class citizenship. A brilliant scholar and orator who was graduated with honors from Fisk, Harvard, and the University of Berlin, Du Bois was a pioneer social scientist, champion of the emerging African nations, and a founder and controversial member of the NAACP.

He wrote nineteen books, hundreds of articles and poems, and created and edited two literary magazines. But most remarkable of all was W. E. B. Du Bois the man: a uniquely American patriot and prophet who, denied the right to return to his homeland, died in exile in Ghana in 1963—still a revolutionary at the great age of ninety-five.

A testimonial from a librarian:

“To the youth of today (and those of age who engage in creative thinking) from a librarian who believes in the power of the ‘word . . .’ ”

“I urge you to read this book. It will make you think. William Du Bois searched all of his life for directions that black and other Americans should take. I do not agree with some of the directions he has suggested and you may or may not! But he has anticipated this reaction and left an answer: ‘What I have done well will live long and justify my life. What I have done ill or never finished can now be handed down to others.’

“He was a man who was jailed by his government and refused entrance to the land of his birth. He was ignored by the people he sought to help and yet he left another message especially for you: ‘One thing I charge you. As you live, believe in life. Always human beings will progress to greater, broader, and fuller lives….’ ”

Harriett B. Brown
Supervisor of Libraries
Board of Education, New York City

The Author:
EMMA GELDERS STERNE, a former teacher and editor, has written more than twenty books in the past forty years, including Mary McLeod Bethune; Benito Juarez, Builder of a Nation; I Have a Dream; and They Took Their Stand. The recipient of many awards over the years, she was honored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, which established a children’s fund in her name.

Download Your Copy of Serenade to the Big Bird by Bert Stiles in Epub or Kindle Format.

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Serenade to the Big Bird – Bert Stiles

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Serenade to the Big Bird – Bert Stiles

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Grade Level:
This book is easy Reading. Grade level is 5.6 according to the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula.

From reviews:
“A book of terrific impact. Perhaps the best to come out of World War II.” From The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“THE serenade is a simple and moving story of the war in the air. The big bird was a Flying Fort. She had a crew of ten men and all but one of them were 20 to 24 years old. Bert Stiles was the co-pilot. He had been in college before he joined and had ability as a writer. The pilot was Sam Newton. Beach, who was 34, was the ball turret gunner. and the only man in the crew who was married. He had been a mechanic before the war. He was a sleepy sort of guy. They went out on missions together into Germany from England. They ran into flak and had the daylights scared out of them, and burned out their guns shooting down 109’s and Focke-Wulfs. They dropped bombs on Berlin and other cities, and hated war, and did not like to think what their bombs had done. …“There was none of the tense struggle of physical combat in young Stiles’ life. You just sat there and took it—faced death up in the cold sky and couldn’t do anything about it. Any time you might disintegrate in a blast of flame. It didn’t help the nerves.” From a review in The New York Times.

Bert Stiles flew 35 missions as co-pilot of a Flying Fortress—the “big bird” of the title. SERENADE TO THE BIG BIRD is a vivid, close-up view of life in the bomber squadrons of the U.S. Eighth Air Force in World War II. Bert Stiles was a combat co-pilot of a B-17, flying missions over France and Germany in the spring and summer of 1944. This is his book, written between missions— a beautiful and terrible and gripping story of one plane and its crew.

Your Review Copy of Serenade to the Big Bird by Bert Stiles in Epub and Kindle Formats

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Serenade to the Big Bird – Bert Stiles

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Serenade to the Big Bird – Bert Stiles