Agent Josephine: American Beauty, French Hero, British Spy

Hachette Audio. Jul. 2022. 16:40 hrs. ISBN 9781549193132. $26.98. BIOG
Who makes the best secret agent? Someone nobody notices, or someone everyone notices? Josephine Baker was a world-renowned superstar in the 1940s. A singer, dancer, and actress who defied her humble beginnings in St. Louis, she went on to fame and fortune in Europe and wholly embraced her adopted country of France. During World War II, Baker stepped up to help fight the Nazis and became a courageous agent who helped turn the war in favor of the Allied forces. Lewis’s (Operation Relentless) biography covers missions beyond Baker’s role and highlights a little-known but intriguing story. The focus is on Baker’s war efforts, but listeners will also learn a little more about her life and loves and come to appreciate this amazing woman who left her mark beyond the entertainment industry. As a narrator, Lewis is serviceable, providing a solid, if basic, reading. Unfortunately, while he communicates his passion for his subject, production issues fail to make this a pleasurable listen.
VERDICT Despite the captivating tale of admirable bravery, this book could have benefited from a more skilled narrator and sound engineer. An optional audio purchase for most libraries.
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