Quercus unveils Damien Lewis book on
Josephine Baker’s secret war

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In December 2021 Baker, music hall and movie star and civil rights activist, entered the French Panthéon – now Quercus reveals a new book to tell her story


 
Q uercus announce: 'During WW2, Josephine Baker, the world's richest and most glamorous black female entertainer, was an Allied spy in Occupied France and across the wider world. This is the extraordinary story of her heroic personal resistance to Nazi Germany

'Prior to World War II, Josephine Baker was a music hall diva renowned for her singing and exotic dancing, her movie roles and her beauty; she was one of the most highly-paid female performers in Europe. When the Nazis seized her adopted home, Paris, she was banned from the stage, along with all "negroes and Jews." 'Yet, instead of returning to America, she vowed to stay and to fight the evils of Nazism. Overnight she went from performer to Resistance hero and spy.

 

 

 

'In his forthcoming book best-selling author and military historian Damien Lewis uncovers the hitherto littleknown tale of the famous singer's secret life during WWII. During the war years, serving as a member of the French nursing air-corps - a cover for her spying work with France’s Deuxieme Bureau - she participated in numerous clandestine activities and emerged as formidable spy.

'She became a hero of the three countries in whose name she served: the US, the nation of her birth; France, the land that embraced her during her adult career; and Britain, the country from which she took her orders, as one of London's most closely-guarded special agents.

'Baker's secret war embodies a tale of unbounded courage, passion, devotion and sacrifice, and of deep and bitter tragedy, fuelled by her own desire to combat the rise of Nazism come what may, and to fight for all that is good and right in the world.

'Drawing on a plethora of new historical material, first-hand interviews and rigorous research, including previously undisclosed letters and journals and newly-released government files, Lewis upends the conventional story of Josephine Baker’s war, revealing that her mark on history went far beyond the confines of stage, screen and song.