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The leafy Avenue de Foch, one of the most exclusive residential streets in Nazi-occupied France, was Paris' hotbed of daring spies, murderous secret police, amoral informers, and Vichy collaborators. So when American physician Sumner Jackson, who lived with his wife and young son, Phillip, at Number 11, found himself drawn into the Liberation network of the French resistance, he knew the stakes were impossibly high. Just down the road at Number 31 was the "mad sadist" Theodor Dannecker, an Eichmann protégé charged with deporting French Jews to concentration camps. And Number 84 housed the Parisian headquarters of the Gestapo, run by the most effective spy hunter in Nazi Germany.
From his office at the American Hospital, itself an epicenter of Allied and Axis intrigue, Jackson smuggled fallen Allied fighter pilots safely out of France, a job complicated by the hospital director's close ties to collaborationist Vichy. After witnessing the brutal round-up of his Jewish friends, Jackson invited Liberation to officially operate out of his home at Number 11 - but the noose soon began to tighten. When his secret life was discovered by his Nazi neighbors, he and his family were forced to undertake a journey into the dark heart of the war-torn continent from which there was little chance of return.
Drawing upon a wealth of primary source material and extensive interviews with Phillip Jackson, Alex Kershaw recreates the City of Light during its darkest days. The untold story of the Jackson family anchors the suspenseful narrative, and Kershaw dazzles listeners with the vivid immediacy of the best spy thrillers. Awash with the tense atmosphere of World War II's Europe, Avenue of Spies introduces us to the brave doctor who risked everything to defy Hitler.
" Avenue of Spies delivers a crisp, pulse-pounding narrative. Kershaw recreates the drama and suspense of war-torn occupied Paris. A taut thriller, the book is centered on an intrepid American family and is filled with a cast of unforgettable characters. Avenue of Spies is like sipping a fine wine: sublime!" (Patrick K. O'Donnell, best-selling author of First SEALs: the Untold Story of the Forging of America's Most Elite Unit)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Constance on 09-26-15
Gripping, inspirational, and informative!!
At the risk of sounding too 'Jerry Maguire', Alex Kershaw had me at 'The Bedford Boys' and I've been of huge fan of his ever since! 'Avenue of Spies' tells the story of an American doctor and his family (wife and son) who, living just steps away from the center of Nazi evil in Paris, became part of the French Resistance. The story is told mainly through the eyes of a 16 year old, now an old man, who loved and worshipped his father and all the good that he stood for. It shares some details about their daily life under Nazi occupation, and without giving away too much (no spoilers here!), explains what happened to them as a result of their choice to fight. And something I really liked about this book is that Alex puts their story into context by explaining what was happening in Paris and how the City of Light managed to avoid total destruction. (No Herr Hitler, Paris is NOT burning!!) I listened to the audio version of this book (great narrator!) that included an interview with Alex where he offered some insight as to how this story came to be. If you're interested in World War II history and enjoy reading about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, I highly recommend adding 'Avenue of Spies' to your reading list!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Gregory on 09-19-16
First rate, heroic story
What made the experience of listening to Avenue of Spies the most enjoyable?
Great story that tells what true heroes are made of.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Avenue of Spies?
When the father, Dr. Jackson, refused to possibly save himself and stayed with his patients.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful