The Meinertzhagen Mystery: The Life and Legend of a Colossal Fraud

The Meinertzhagen Mystery: The Life and Legend of a Colossal Fraud

by Brian Garfield


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The Meinertzhagen Mystery: The Life and Legend of a Colossal Fraud by Brian Garfield

Tall, handsome, charming Col. Richard Meinertzhagen (1878–1967) was an acclaimed British war hero, a secret agent, and a dean of international ornithology. His exploits inspired three biographies, movies have been based on his life, and a square in Jerusalem is dedicated to his memory. Meinertzhagen was trusted by Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben Gurion, T. E. Lawrence, Elspeth Huxley, and a great many others. He bamboozled them all. Meinertzhagen was a fraud. Many of the adventures recorded in his celebrated diaries were imaginary, including a meeting with Hitler while he had a loaded pistol in his pocket, an attempt to rescue the Russian royal family in 1918, and a shoot-out with Arabs in Haifa when he was seventy years old. True, he was a key player in Middle Eastern events after World War I, and during the 1930s he represented Zionism's interests in negotiations with Germany. But he also set up Nazi front organizations in England, committed a half-century of major and costly scientific fraud, and -- oddly -- may have been innocent of many killings to which he confessed (e.g., the murder of his own polo groom -- a crime of which he cheerfully boasted, although the evidence suggests it never occurred at all). Further, he may have been guilty of at least one homicide of which he professed innocence. A compelling read about a flamboyant rogue, The Meinertzhagen Mystery shows how recorded history reflects not what happened, but what we believe happened.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597971607
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication date: 02/01/2008
Pages: 386
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Brian Garfield is the author of novels that have been made into Hollywood movies (including Hopscotch and Death Wish), a former president of the Mystery Writers of America, and the author of the nonfiction work, The Thousand-Mile War: Alaska and the Aleutians in World War II. He lives in Studio City, California.

Table of Contents

Preface     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
Legend     1
Haversack     14
Nandi     38
Syce     69
Tanga     81
Nairobi     102
Zion     120
Adrift     134
Family     159
Espionage     174
Birds     193
Warfare     211
Kensington     226
Glossary     248
Notes     249
Selected Bibliography     331
Index     343
About the Author     353

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