Scholars of Mayhem by Daniel Guiet and Timothy Smith

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: PhD in killing Nazis.

Quick synopsis: The story of Jean Claude Guiet and his team of saboteurs in World War II France.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: Once France was liberated, you could tell which women collaborated with the Germans by their telltale shaved head which was done against their will to shame them.

Fun Fact for History Nerds: One of the inventions which was born of World War II espionage? A cold weather vehicle known as the “weasel” which was the precursor of the snow mobile.

My Take: Spying was nasty business in World War II.

There are a lot of books on spying in World War II. What makes this book different is one of the authors is the son of the subject, Jean Claude Guiet. His son tells the story almost as a parable of a time his father is not particularly excited to relive. Anyone who is the child of someone who has seen combat will know what it’s like when a parent wants to avoid the subject altogether.

The story is very streamlined and personal which allows the reader to be more immersed and gain a better understanding of the day to day as a spy. It also makes it pretty clear how easy it is to make one wrong move and end up on your way to execution.

If you don’t want to read a sprawling book on World War II or just need an introduction to espionage in World War II, this book if definitely for you.

Verdict: A great book for anyone who likes their World War II history more focused on a small group as opposed to the whole war.

If You Liked This Try:

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Scholars of Mayhem by Daniel Guiet and Timothy Smith
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