The untold story of an enigmatic genius who changed warfare forever
In the World War II era, Geoffrey Pyke was described as one of the world's great mindsto rank alongside Einstein. Pyke was an inventor, adventurer, polymath, and unlikely hero of both world wars. He earned a fortune on the stock market, founded an influential pre-school, wrote a bestseller, and came up with the idea for the US and Canadian Special Forces. In 1942, he convinced Winston Churchill to build an aircraft carrier out of reinforced ice.
Pyke escaped from a German WWI prison camp, devised an ingenious plan to help the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, and launched a private attempt to avert the outbreak of the Second World War by sending into Nazi Germany a group of pollsters disguised as golfers.
And he may have been a Russian spy.
In 2009, long after Pyke's death, MI5 released a mass of material suggesting that Pyke was in fact a senior official in the Soviet Comintern. In 1951, papers relating to Pyke were found in the flat of “Cambridge Spy” Guy Burgess after his defection to Moscow. MI5 had “watchers” follow Pyke through the bombed-out streets of London, his letters were opened, and listening devices picked up clues to his real identity. Convinced he was a Soviet agent codenamed Professor P, MI5 helped to bring his career to an end.
Henry Hemming is the first reporter to sift through this extraordinary new information and finally tell Pyke's astonishing story in full: his brilliance, his flaws, and his life of adventures, ideas, and secrets.
|Edition description:||First Trade Paper Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Henry Hemming is the author of four previous works of nonfiction, including Misadventure in the Middle East. He has written for the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Times, Economist, FT Magazine, and the Washington Post, and appeared on Radio 4's “Today” programme and NBC's “Today” show. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.
Table of Contents
Author's Note ix
How to Become a War Correspondent 11
How to Escape 44
How to Become Invisible 67
Pyke Hunt, Part 1 99
How to Raise Your Child (and Pay for It) 114
How to Resolve an Epidemic of Anti-Semitism, a Royal Scandal and the Threat of Fascism 157
How to Prevent a War Pyke Hunt, Part 2 217
How to Defeat Nazism 235
Pyke Hunt, Part 3 256
How to Change the Military Mind 261
Pyke Hunt, Part 4 281
How to Succeed in America 295
Pyke Hunt, Part 5 324
How to Win the War with Ice 329
How to Survive 372
How to Live 386
Pyke Hunt, Part 6 407
Epilogue, or, How to Think Like a Genius 428
List of Illustrations 481