Istanbul Intrigues

Barry Rubin, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $18.95 (301p) ISBN 978-0-07-054200-6
With material enough for a score of espionage thrillers, Rubin ( Modern Dictators ) offers a behind-the-scenes view of WW II from the vantage point of neutral but vulnerable Turkey, conveying the fear- and adventure-fraught atmosphere of strategically important Istanbul. There, as desperate refugees, fleeing before the Nazis' advance through the Balkans, struggled to survive by any means, some as Allied agents, spies from both sides hobnobbed and vied for the favors of beautiful women. Aided by access to Allied and Axis archives and by interviews with dozens of former agents, the author weaves a wealth of data into his smooth, spine-tingling narrative. He brings to life characters such as the Vatican's vicar to Istanbul, Angelo Roncalli (who was to become Pope John XXIII), who aided victims on both sides, and a British ambassador's valet who worked for the Germans--one among hundreds of agents and informers employed by 17 intelligence services. Rubin also records rivalry among U.S. agencies, most of whom, he claims, were amateurs compared to the British. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-0-88687-656-2
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