Please join us as we welcome bestselling historian Lynne Olson to mark the publication of her latest book, Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler. This is the little-known true story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, who headed the largest spy network in occupied France during World War II.

In Madame Fourcade’s Secret War, Olson, the author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island, reveals how, in 1941, a 31-year-old Frenchwoman, a young mother born to privilege and known for her beauty and glamour, became the leader of a vast intelligence organization—the only woman to serve as a chef de résistance during the war. Olson will be in conversation with Benjamin C. Hett, professor of history, Hunter College, and the author of the acclaimed The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic.

As Olson and Hett will discuss, Fourcade was strong-willed, independent, and a lifelong rebel against her country’s conservative, patriarchal society. Her group’s name was “Alliance,” but the Gestapo dubbed it “Noah’s Ark” because its agents used the names of animals as their aliases. The name Marie-Madeleine chose for herself was “Hedgehog:” a tough little animal, unthreatening in appearance, that, as a colleague of hers put it, “even a lion would hesitate to bite.” As Olson’s book documents, no other French spy network lasted as long or supplied as much crucial intelligence—including providing American and British military commanders with a 55-foot-long map of the beaches and roads on which the Allies would land on D-Day—as Mme. Fourcade’s Alliance.

**CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER** Lynne Olson – Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler | Posted on February 22nd, 2019 | Book Discussions, Public Programs