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The Resource Agent Jack : the true story of MI5's secret Nazi hunter, Robert Hutton

Agent Jack : the true story of MI5's secret Nazi hunter, Robert Hutton

Label
Agent Jack : the true story of MI5's secret Nazi hunter
Title
Agent Jack
Title remainder
the true story of MI5's secret Nazi hunter
Statement of responsibility
Robert Hutton
Title variation
MI5's secret Nazi hunter
Title variation remainder
the true story of MI5s secret Nazi hunter
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"June 1940: Europe has fallen to Adolf Hitler's army, and Britain is his next target. Winston Churchill exhorts the country to resist the Nazis, and the nation seems to rally behind him. But in secret, some British citizens are plotting to hasten an invasion. [This book] tells the ... true story of Eric Roberts, a seemingly inconsequential bank clerk who, in the guise of 'Jack King,' helped uncover and neutralize the invisible threat of fascism on British shores"--
Writing style
Review
  • In this meticulous WWII espionage history, Bloomberg UK correspondent Hutton (Romps, Tots and Boffins) relates the story of British spy Eric Roberts and the Fifth Column, a secret MI5 operation to identify Nazi sympathizers in the U.K. Posing as Gestapo agent “Jack King,” Roberts recruited more than 500 British fascists to help prepare for the German invasion of England. In reality, the would-be saboteurs were under close watch by MI5’s countersabotage division. Drawing on documents declassified in 2014, Hutton describes Roberts’s recruitment efforts and the balancing act he managed between cultivating his network and not allowing its members to commit any serious mischief. In one case, he arranged for local police to stake out a warehouse in Leeds that had been targeted for firebombing. The police failed to respond to the agreed upon signal, however, and only the incompetence of the arsonists prevented the warehouse’s destruction. Hutton argues that MI5 kept Roberts’s reports, which exposed ordinary citizens as well as the daughter of a popular composer, classified for 70 years because they undermined “the story Britain told itself about the war.” This entertaining, detailed narrative presents a chilling portrait of England under siege. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed 09/09/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 36, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Though British Nazi sympathizers never posed a major threat, MI5 took them seriously. This account of its energetic battle makes entertaining reading. Capably bringing to light a forgotten World War II story, British political correspondent Hutton (Would They Lie to You?: How To Spin Friends and Manipulate People, 2015) begins in the 1920s with his major character, Eric Roberts, a bored bank clerk who had joined a tiny fascist group (Mussolini had many admirers during his early years). While there, he was recruited as a spy by an oddball anti-Bolshevik organization run by a wealthy businessman. Roberts turned out to have a talent for undercover work, and MI5, Britain's minuscule internal security agency, was happy for assistance from this private intelligence service. Roberts continued to clerk, devoting free time to unpaid spying, at first on communists but then against British Nazi sympathizers. In 1940, finally flush with money, MI5 hired him full-time. A different MI5 department handled German spies; Roberts' superiors concentrated on their British supporters, which, to their surprise, were not scarce. Even during the war's darkest days and with prewar fascists behind bars, a scattering of Britons hoped for a Nazi victory. Their efforts revealed a mostly comic-opera incompetence, but MI5 took no chances, setting up a fake fifth-column organization with Roberts ("Agent Jack") posing as its Nazi agent/leader. A trickle of volunteers signed up and recruited friends. Most varied from useless to wacky, but a number "were capable of inflicting serious harm on the British war effort. Had Roberts not posed as their Gestapo spymaster, they might have approached Germany directly themselves." Few were arrested, because a trial would have blown Roberts' cover. After an undistinguished postwar decade, Roberts retired into obscurity. Many MI5 records from WWII were destroyed, and others remain classified. While there are no firsthand participants alive to give evidence, Hutton has done an impressive job assembling transcripts, letters, interviews, and declassified documents into a delicious spy story. Even though there is little derring-do, this is a delightful account of World War II espionage. (Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2019)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10825594
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Hutton, Robert
Dewey number
940.54/8641092
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
D810.S8
LC item number
H87 2019
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Roberts, Eric A
  • Spies
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Intelligence officers
  • Intelligence service
  • Espionage, British
  • Nazis
  • World War, 1939-1945
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the true story of MI5's secret Nazi hunter
Label
Agent Jack : the true story of MI5's secret Nazi hunter, Robert Hutton
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-291) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
'A great deal about sabotage and arson' -- 'Thoroughly familiar' -- 'A splendid beacon for the Germans' -- 'Every person within the fortress' -- 'He is quite ruthless where Germans are concerned' -- 'Agents in every country in the world' -- 'So stupid and so obvious' -- 'No organised body' -- 'A masterful and somewhat masculine woman' -- 'Somewhat melodramatic ideas' -- 'Such methods were necessary' -- 'You bomb them, and blow the lot' -- 'A twinge of uneasiness' -- 'Oozing with gratitude' -- 'A National Socialist atmosphere' -- 'The more violent it was, the better' -- 'Carrying on the struggle' -- 'The Gestapo department' -- 'A great source of trouble.'
Control code
2019032549
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
xiv, 313 pages
Isbn
9781250221766
Lccn
2019032549
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)1079865905
Label
Agent Jack : the true story of MI5's secret Nazi hunter, Robert Hutton
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-291) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
'A great deal about sabotage and arson' -- 'Thoroughly familiar' -- 'A splendid beacon for the Germans' -- 'Every person within the fortress' -- 'He is quite ruthless where Germans are concerned' -- 'Agents in every country in the world' -- 'So stupid and so obvious' -- 'No organised body' -- 'A masterful and somewhat masculine woman' -- 'Somewhat melodramatic ideas' -- 'Such methods were necessary' -- 'You bomb them, and blow the lot' -- 'A twinge of uneasiness' -- 'Oozing with gratitude' -- 'A National Socialist atmosphere' -- 'The more violent it was, the better' -- 'Carrying on the struggle' -- 'The Gestapo department' -- 'A great source of trouble.'
Control code
2019032549
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
xiv, 313 pages
Isbn
9781250221766
Lccn
2019032549
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)1079865905

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