Book Title: Sisterhood of Spies : The Women of the Oss
Author: Judith Pearson
Format: Paperback | 320 pages
Publication Date: 15 Mar 2009
The daring missions and cloak-and-dagger skullduggery of America's World War II intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), are well documented and have become the stuff of legend. Yet the contributions of the four thousand women who made up one-fifth of the OSS staff have gone largely unheralded. Here for the first time are their fascinating stories, told by one of their own.
A seasoned journalist and veteran of sensitive OSS and CIA operations, Elizabeth McIntosh draws on her own experiences and in-depth interviews with more than one hundred OSS women to uncover some of the most tantalizing stories and best-kept secrets of the war in Europe and Asia. Serving all over the world side-by-side with men, this amazing contingent of women was recruited from a wide variety of professional disciplines and from the highest social and political circles of Europe and the United States. Captured in rich detail, sometimes in the participants' own words, are the riveting tales of clandestine spies, saboteurs, cryptographers, cartographers, analysts, and experts in propaganda, recruiting, and communications, as well as the less visible but no less important clerks, drivers, and secretaries.
With an eye for detail and a dramatic flourish worthy of the best spy fiction, McIntosh weaves intimate portraits of dozens of remarkable women into the storied development and operations of the OSS. Along with famous names like Julia Child and Marlene Dietrich, readers discover such intrepid agents as Amy"Cynthia" Thorpe, who seduced a Vichy official and stole the French naval codes; Virginia Hall, who despite a wooden leg twice entered France to organize the Maquis resistance and run an underground railroad for downed fliers; and others who recruited double agents, pioneered propaganda and subversion techniques, and tracked the infamous Nazi commando Otto Skorzeny.