On May 13, 1939, the luxury liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, one of the last ships to leave Nazi Germany before World War II erupted. Aboard were 937 Jews—some had already been in concentration camps—who believed they had bought visas to enter Cuba. The voyage of the damned had begun.
Before the St. Louis was halfway across the Atlantic, a power struggle ensued between the corrupt Cuban immigration minister who issued the visas and his superior, President Bru. The outcome: The refugees would not be allowed to land in Cuba.
In America, the Brown Shirts were holding Nazi rallies in Madison Square Garden; anti-Semitic Father Coughlin had an audience of fifteen million. Back in Germany, plans were being laid to implement the final solution. And aboard the St. Louis, 937 refugees awaited the decision that would determine their fate.
Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts have re-created history in this meticulous reconstruction of the voyage of the St. Louis. Every word of their account is true: the German High Command’s ulterior motive in granting permission for the “mission of mercy;” the confrontations between the refugees and the German crewmen; the suicide attempts among the passengers; and the attitudes of those who might have averted the catastrophe, but didn’t.
In reviewing the work, the New York Times was unequivocal: “An extraordinary human document and a suspense story that is hard to put down. But it is more than that. It is a modern allegory, in which the SS St. Louis becomes a symbol of the SS Planet Earth. In this larger sense the book serves a greater purpose than mere drama.”
Painstakingly researched, the story behind the decision to send the Enola Gay to bomb Hiroshima is told through firsthand sources. From diplomatic moves behind the scenes to Japanese actions and the US Army Air Force’s call to action, no detail is left untold.
Touching on the early days of the Manhattan Project and the first inkling of an atomic bomb, investigative journalist Gordon Thomas and his writing partner Max Morgan-Witts, take WWII enthusiasts through the training of the crew of the Enola Gay and the challenges faced by pilot Paul Tibbets.
A page-turner that offers “minute-by-minute coverage of the critical periods” surrounding the mission, Enola Gay finally separates myth and reality from the planning of the flight to the moment over Hiroshima when the atomic age was born (Library Journal).
These agencies rank as two of the oldest and most powerful in the world, and Thomas's wide-sweeping history chronicles a century of both triumphs and failures. He recounts the roles that British intelligence played in the Allied victory in World War II; the postwar treachery of Great Britain's own agents; the defection of Soviet agents and the intricate process of "handling" them; the often frigid relationship that both agencies have had with the CIA, European spy services, and the Mossad; the cooperation between the British and Americans in the search for Osama bin Laden; and the ways in which MI5 and MI6 have fought biological warfare espionage and space terrorism.
All told, this is the story of two agencies led by men---and women---who are enigmatic, eccentric, and controversial, and who ruthlessly control their spies. Based on prodigious research and interviews with significant players from inside the British intelligence community, this is a rich and even delicious history packed with intrigue and information that only the author could have attained.
- Mossad's secret meeting in 2013 with Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief to plan for Israel to use Saudi to attack Iran should the Geneva discussion fail to be honored by Iran.
- The attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor that will be the flight path to an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
- Mossad's new cyber-war unit preparing to launch its own pre-emptive strike.
- Why Mossad's former director, Meir Dagan, has spoken out against an attack on Iran.
- Mossad agents who operate in the "Dark Side" of the internet to track terrorists.
- Mossad's drone and its first killing.
- Mossad's role in the defense of Israel's Embassy in Cairo during the Arab Spring.
- An introduction to Mossad's new director, Tamir Pardo.
These and other stunning details combine to give Gideon's Spies the sense of urgency and relevance that is characteristic of truly engrossing nonfiction.
Accused of being "silent" during the Holocaust, Pope Pius XII and the Vatican of World War II are now exonerated in Gordon Thomas's newest investigative work, The Pope's Jews. Thomas's careful research into new, first-hand accounts reveal an underground network of priests, nuns and citizens that risked their lives daily to protect Roman Jews.
Investigating assassination plots, conspiracies, and secret conversions, Thomas unveils faked documentation, quarantines, and more extraordinary actions taken by Catholics and the Vatican. The Pope's Jews finally answers the great moral question of the War: Why did Pope Pius XII refuse to condemn the genocide of Europe's Jews?
In the aftermath of the 1990–1991 Gulf War, Mossad agent David Morton has carte blanche to stop terrorist Khalil Raza from releasing a form of anthrax capable of wiping out millions in minutes.
A megalomaniac terrorist holds the world hostage, threatening to poison every major city with a deadly virus. He has the means—a lethal poison—and demonstrates its potency by adding a small vial of it to the drinking water in a small South African town, killing all of the inhabitants. With only seven days to meet his demands, the world’s leaders call on David Morton, a brilliant and ruthless Mossad agent. The result is a tense global chase, leading from China to Athens, London, Libya, South Africa, Tel Aviv, and New York, drawing good and evil closer and closer in a battle to the death.
Deadly Perfume penetrates the real world of intelligence-gathering to reveal its secret subculture, with its hidden loyalties and agendas. In David Morton, Gordon Thomas has imagined a world so terrifyingly real that it poses the question, Is it imagined at all?
The underground Jewish group Haganah arranged for the purchase of a small American steamer as part of an ambitious and daring mission: to serve as lifeboat for more than four thousand survivors of Nazi rule and transport them to Palestine. Renamed Exodus 1947, the ship and its young crew left France en route to the future state of Israel. The Holocaust survivors aboard Exodus endured even more hardships when the Royal Navy stopped the ship in international waters, used force in boarding (killing two passengers and one crewmember) and eventually deported its human cargo to internment camps in Germany. The death of the ship's captain in late 2009 generated headlines throughout the world. Enriched with new survivors' testimonies and previously unpublished documentation, Operation Exodus is the deeply moving saga of a people who risked all in search for a home.
It happened at 5:13 a.m. on April 18, 1906, in San Francisco. To this day, it remains one of the worst natural disasters in American history—and this definitive book brings the full story to vivid life.
Using previously unpublished documents from insurance companies, the military, and the Red Cross, as well as the stories of those who were there, The San Francisco Earthquake exposes villains and heroes; shows how the political powers tried to conceal the amount of damage caused by the earthquake; reveals how efforts to contain the fire actually spread it instead; and tells how the military executed people without trial. It also features personal stories of people who experienced it firsthand, including the great Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, the banker Amadeo Giannini, the writer-adventurer Jack London, the temperamental star John Barrymore, and the thousands of less famous in their struggle for survival.
From the authors of The Day the Bubble Burst, The San Francisco Earthquake is not only “gripping, can’t-put-it-down reading,” but an important look at how the city has handled catastrophe in the past—and how it may handle it in the future (Los Angeles Herald Examiner).
In late April 1902, Mount Pelée, a volcano on the Caribbean island Martinique, began to wake up. It emitted clouds of ash and smoke for two weeks until violently erupting on May 8. Over 30,000 residents of St. Pierre were killed; they burned to death under rivers of hot lava and suffocated under pounds of hot ash. Only three people managed to survive: a prisoner trapped in a dungeon-like jail cell, a man on the outskirts of town, and a young girl found floating unconscious in a boat days later.
So how did a town of thousands not heed the warnings of nature and local scientists, instead staying behind to perish in the onslaught of volcanic ash? Why did the newspapers publish articles assuring readers that the volcano was harmless? And why did the authorities refuse to allow the American Consul to contact Washington about the conditions? The answer lies in politics: With an election on the horizon, the political leaders of Martinique ignored the welfare of their people in order to consolidate the votes they needed to win.
A gripping and informative book on the disastrous effects of a natural disaster coupled with corruption, The Day the World Ended reveals the story of a city engulfed in flames and the political leaders that chose to kill their people rather than give up their political power.