The Princess Spy The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones
The hidden history of an ordinary American girl who became one of the OSS’s most daring World War II spies before marrying into European nobility.
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When Aline Griffith was born in a quiet suburban New York hamlet, no one had any idea that she would go on to live “a life of glamour and danger that Ingrid Bergman only played at in Notorious” (Time). As the United States enters the Second World War, the young college graduate is desperate to aid in the war effort, but no one is interested in a bright-eyed young woman whose only career experience is modeling clothes.
Aline’s life changes when, at a dinner party, she meets a man named Frank Ryan and reveals how desperately she wants to do her part for her country. Within a few weeks, he helps her join the Office of Strategic Services—forerunner of the CIA. With a code name and expert training under her belt, she is sent to Spain to be a coder, but is soon given the additional assignment of infiltrating the upper echelons of society, mingling with high-ranking officials, diplomats, and titled Europeans. Against this glamorous backdrop of galas and dinner parties, she recruits sub-agents and engages in deep-cover espionage.
Even after marrying the Count of Romanones, one of the wealthiest men in Spain, Aline secretly continues her covert activities, being given special assignments when abroad that would benefit from her impeccable pedigree and social connections.
“[A] meticulously researched, beautifully crafted work of nonfiction that reads like a James Bond thriller” (Bookreporter), The Princess Spy brings to vivid life the dazzling adventures of a spirited American woman who risked everything to serve her country.
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