Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: I believe the English term for a guy like this is “cheeky.”

Quick synopsis: The story of Eddie Chapman, the most unexpected double agent of World War II.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: One of the men in this book was known as “Passion Pants.”

Fun Fact for History Nerds: Eddie Chapman is the only non-German to be awarded the Iron Cross. Don’t worry, he was actually working for the good guys. He was just that convincing.

My Take: Eddie Chapman was…complicated.

He was a devoted companion. He was also very devoted to multiple women simultaneously. He was a criminal but refused to betray his country. He was a very successful German spy…according to them. He was moody, charming, and impossible to keep still or quiet.

When you watch TV shows today, they often try to have this conflicted main character who is flawed but also worth rooting for. Eddie Chapman is the perfect example from history.

Ben Macintyre is the spy master for these books. He knows how to write about them and make the story interesting at every turn. It also helped that Chapman was watched so intently, you don’t need to guess what he is thinking or what anyone else thought of him.

Why read fiction when a guy like this existed?

Verdict: A great book for anyone who loves World War II, spies, or just a person with more layers than an onion.

If You Liked This Try:

  • Wendy Lower, Hitler’s Furies
  • Lynne Olson, Last Hope Island
  • Larry Loftis, Code Name: Lise
  • Tim Brady, Three Ordinary Girls
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Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre
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