A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi – Occupied Paris
by Alex Kershaw
Wow! I’m usually not a big non fiction fan but Avenue of Spies just made me one! I have to admit I did grab a copy since I tend to read anything I can get my hands on when dealing with WWII. Avenue of Spies was different from most since this one dealt with an American doctor in Paris. This was almost like all the page turning suspense books I’ve read. The author does a great job at presenting the real life events of the Sumner Jackson and his family. Doctor Jackson was and is a hero in my eyes. He didn’t just stand back and let all those horrible events pass by he did his part in helping people escape even though it meant if caught his family would be treated as traitors and sent to concentration camps. Which is what happened, for Sumner, his wife and their son. Phillip their son was able to give accounts of their life and helped shape this book and made it an amazing read for any history buff. There were so many unsung heroes during WWII and Doctor Sumner Jackson, his wife and son were among those that no one had heard about until now thanks to author Alex Kershaw. I’m so honored to have read their story and it will stay with me always. Avenue of Spies is one of those books that I will place on my bookshelf, next to my copy of Diary of Anne Frank and read again and again.
summary: The leafy Avenue de Foch, one of the most exclusive residential streets in Nazi-occupied France, was Paris’s hotbed of daring spies, murderous secret police, amoral informers, and Vichy collaborators. So when American physician Sumner Jackson, who lived with his wife and young son Phillip at Number 11, found himself drawn into the Liberation network of the French resistance, he knew the stakes were impossibly high. Just down the road at Number 31 was the “mad sadist” Theodor Dannecker, an Eichmann protégé charged with deporting French Jews to concentration camps. And Number 84 housed the Parisian headquarters of the Gestapo, run by the most effective spy hunter in Nazi Germany.
From his office at the American Hospital, itself an epicenter of Allied and Axis intrigue, Jackson smuggled fallen Allied fighter pilots safely out of France, a job complicated by the hospital director’s close ties to collaborationist Vichy. After witnessing the brutal round-up of his Jewish friends, Jackson invited Liberation to officially operate out of his home at Number 11–but the noose soon began to tighten. When his secret life was discovered by his Nazi neighbors, he and his family were forced to undertake a journey into the dark heart of the war-torn continent from which there was little chance of return.
thank you Blogging for Books, Crown Publishing, Alex Kershaw for allowing me to read the Jackson’s family acts of bravery. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.