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.”
- 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.
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.
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).
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?
The Vatican has remained one of the last unexamined mysteries of the modern world. For centuries, pomp and pageantry have hidden from view the dramatic, sometimes sinister, realities that haunt the office of Supreme Pontiff and the men who make up his papacy. Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts now bring their tremendous investigative talent to this most secret of institutions, offering us an unrivaled portrait and day-to-day account of the lives, personalities, and relationships of the three most recent popes: an equally fine account of the hour-by-hour deliberations of the closely guarded conclaves at which two popes were elected in the fateful year of 1978; and a remarkable rendering of the concrete issues facing the institutional papacy—in foreign affairs, economic matters, and the human factor—the highly individual ambitions, loyalties, and hatreds that characterize the men and women who serve the Holy Father.
The result is a book that is ahead of the world’s headlines, a book that makes headlines of its own. Not only have the authors brought the world of the Vatican into the open, their sleuthing has uncovered several major news stories. Pontiff includes a day-to-day account of the assassination attempt by Mehmet Ali Agca upon John Paul II: Agca’s history and family, his right-wing political connections, his activities and jailing in Turkey, his escape from jail aided by the KGB, his movements through terrorist training camps in Libya and Syria, and a complete investigation of the Bulgarian connection that led to the shooting in St. Peter’s Square. Here, also, is the story of John Paul II’s involvement with the creation of Solidarity in Poland, and his almost-daily secret contacts with Lech Walesa, as well as the unprecedented letter to Brezhev threatening his resignation from the papal throne. In addition, owing to the authors’ intricate web of connections at the Vatican (including many cardinals), the book contains previously unknown information about the man entrusted with the Church’s money, Paul Marcinkus, and his relationship with the shadowy Michele Sindona. Pontiff is a fascinating revelation of a world previously unknown to us, and an intimate view of a few men in Rome trying to lead an increasingly unwilling world to their own vision of salvation.
The first complete book on the Tiananmen Square tragedy reveals how diplomats from the United States, Britain, and Europe knew exact details of the impending massacre of the students in Tiananmen. In a vivid narrative window into secret meetings in the Oval Office, CIA headquarters, and the private compound of China’s leaders, more than one hundred interviewees contribute to an untold story.
Chaos Under Heaven reveals America and the West’s betrayal of the children of China, who, for a brief moment in history, brought democracy to their homeland. In this stunning book, Gordon Thomas takes readers inside the tragic drama of those fifty-five days when the young people of China, crying out for freedom, rebelled against the old men of the Long March.
At stake were America’s and the world’s roles in the future of China. Once castigated by Karl Marx as a “carefully preserved mummy in a hermetically sealed coffin,” China has become the superpower of the Pacific. As the students’ demand for democracy escalated, the Western nations realized that their carefully cultivated ambitions for China were at risk. Their goal was to preserve the status quo.
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.