A Covert Affair by Jennet Conant audiobook

A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS

By Jennet Conant
Read by Jan Maxwell

Simon & Schuster Audio
13.92 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781442341920

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By bestselling author Jennet Conant, a stunning account of Julia Child’s early life as a member of the OSS in the Far East during World War II, and the tumultuous years when she and Paul Child were caught up in the McCarthy witch hunt and behaved with bravery and honor. Bestselling author Jennet Conant brings us a stunning account of Julia and Paul Child’s experiences as members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in the Far East during World War II and the tumultuous years when they were caught up in the McCarthy Red spy hunt in the 1950s and behaved with bravery and honor. It is the fascinating portrait of a group of idealistic men and women who were recruited by the citizen spy service, slapped into uniform, and dispatched to wage political warfare in remote outposts in Ceylon, India, and China. The eager, inexperienced 6 foot 2 inch Julia springs to life in these pages, a gangly golf-playing California girl who had never been farther abroad than Tijuana. Single and thirty years old when she joined the staff of Colonel William Donovan, Julia volunteered to be part of the OSS’s ambitious mission to develop a secret intelligence network across Southeast Asia. Her first post took her to the mountaintop idyll of Kandy, the headquarters of Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, the supreme commander of combined operations. Julia reveled in the glamour and intrigue of her overseas assignment and lifealtering romance with the much older and more sophisticated Paul Child, who took her on trips into the jungle, introduced her to the joys of curry, and insisted on educating both her mind and palate. A painter drafted to build war rooms, Paul was a colorful, complex personality. Conant uses extracts from his letters in which his sharp eye and droll wit capture the day-to-day confusion, excitement, and improbability of being part of a cloak- and-dagger operation. When Julia and Paul were transferred to Kunming, a rugged outpost at the foot of the Burma Road, they witnessed the chaotic end of the war in China and the beginnings of the Communist revolution that would shake the world. A Covert Affair chronicles their friendship with a brilliant and eccentric array of OSS agents, including Jane Foster, a wealthy, free-spirited artist, and Elizabeth MacDonald, an adventurous young reporter. In Paris after the war, Julia and Paul remained close to their intelligence colleagues as they struggled to start new lives, only to find themselves drawn into a far more terrifying spy drama. Relying on recently unclassified OSS and FBI documents, as well as previously unpublished letters and diaries, Conant vividly depicts a dangerous time in American history, when those who served their country suddenly found themselves called to account for their unpopular opinions and personal relationships.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

Selected for the April 2011 Indie Next List

A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, April 2011

By bestselling author Jennet Conant, a stunning account of Julia Child’s early life as a member of the OSS in the Far East during World War II, and the tumultuous years when she and Paul Child were caught up in the McCarthy witch hunt and behaved with bravery and honor.

Bestselling author Jennet Conant brings us a stunning account of Julia and Paul Child’s experiences as members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in the Far East during World War II and the tumultuous years when they were caught up in the McCarthy Red spy hunt in the 1950s and behaved with bravery and honor. It is the fascinating portrait of a group of idealistic men and women who were recruited by the citizen spy service, slapped into uniform, and dispatched to wage political warfare in remote outposts in Ceylon, India, and China.

The eager, inexperienced 6 foot 2 inch Julia springs to life in these pages, a gangly golf-playing California girl who had never been farther abroad than Tijuana. Single and thirty years old when she joined the staff of Colonel William Donovan, Julia volunteered to be part of the OSS’s ambitious mission to develop a secret intelligence network across Southeast Asia. Her first post took her to the mountaintop idyll of Kandy, the headquarters of Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, the supreme commander of combined operations. Julia reveled in the glamour and intrigue of her overseas assignment and lifealtering romance with the much older and more sophisticated Paul Child, who took her on trips into the jungle, introduced her to the joys of curry, and insisted on educating both her mind and palate. A painter drafted to build war rooms, Paul was a colorful, complex personality. Conant uses extracts from his letters in which his sharp eye and droll wit capture the day-to-day confusion, excitement, and improbability of being part of a cloak- and-dagger operation.

When Julia and Paul were transferred to Kunming, a rugged outpost at the foot of the Burma Road, they witnessed the chaotic end of the war in China and the beginnings of the Communist revolution that would shake the world. A Covert Affair chronicles their friendship with a brilliant and eccentric array of OSS agents, including Jane Foster, a wealthy, free-spirited artist, and Elizabeth MacDonald, an adventurous young reporter. In Paris after the war, Julia and Paul remained close to their intelligence colleagues as they struggled to start new lives, only to find themselves drawn into a far more terrifying spy drama. Relying on recently unclassified OSS and FBI documents, as well as previously unpublished letters and diaries, Conant vividly depicts a dangerous time in American history, when those who served their country suddenly found themselves called to account for their unpopular opinions and personal relationships.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The value of Conant’s anecdotal approach is... in its depiction of ordinary relationships in extraordinary circumstances—of the way friendships, feuds and romances develop in strange and secretive settings.”  New York Times Book Review
"A Covert Affair is a skillfully told tale of espionage, combining just enough background information with the right amount of boisterous anecdote to make the reader feel simultaneously amused and informed.”  Salon
“A brilliantly researched and written account… a well-researched and well-written account of this period in American history…Conant, a terrific writer, conducted voluminous research and crafted a fascinating story that reads as though she was actually there.”  Seattle Times
“It is a wallop of a story, people engaging in the sorts of international dangers that is the stuff of the movies…all jungles and cities and intrigue and risk, with an exquisite attention to detail that illuminates the OSS and its players.”  Oregonian

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jennet Conant

Author Bio: Jennet Conant

Jennet Conant is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington and Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II. A former journalist, she has written for Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, Newsweek, and the New York Times. She lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 13.92
Audience: Adult
Language: English