Awakening: when the sea turned the land inside out -- The writer and the commissar: going to war in Spain -- Returning to Spain: to stay the course -- The bell tolls for the republic: Hemingway bears witness -- The secret file: the NKVD plays its hand -- To spy or not to spy: China and the strain of war -- The crook factory: a secret war on land -- Pilar and the war at sea: a secret agent of my government -- On to Paris: brave as a Saladang -- At the front: the last months of the Great War against fascism -- "The creeps": not war, not peace -- The Cold War: no more brave words -- No room to maneuver: the mature antifascist in Cuba and Ketchum -- Calculating the hidden costs.
A former CIA officer and curator of the CIA Museum reveals the untold story of Ernest Hemingway's secret life as a spy for both the Americans and Soviets before and during World War II, and explores how his espionage activities influenced his literary work.
An international cloak-and-dagger epic ranging from the Spanish Civil War to the liberation of Western Europe, wartime China, the Red Scare of Cold War America, and the Cuban Revolution, here is the stunning story of a literary icon's dangerous secret life--including his role as a Soviet agent--that fueled his art and his undoing. In 2010, official CIA historian Nicholas Reynolds, a longtime American intelligence officer, former U.S. Marine colonel, and Oxford-trained historian, began to uncover clues suggesting Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway's involvement in mid-twentieth-century spycraft was far more complex, sustained, and fraught with risks than has been previously supposed. Now Reynolds's deeply researched narrative reveals his discoveries for the first time, bringing to light the whole story of this hidden side of Hemingway's life: his recruitment by Soviet spies to work with the NKVD (forerunner to the KGB), followed by a complex set of secret relationships with American agencies, including the FBI, the Department of State, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a precursor to the CIA. Starting with Hemingway's sympathy to antifascist forces during the 1930s, Reynolds illuminates Hemingway's immersion in the life-and-death world of the revolutionary left, from his passionate commitment to the Spanish Republic; his successful pursuit by Soviet NKVD agents, who valued Hemingway's influence, access, and mobility; his wartime meeting with communist leader Chou En-Lai, future premier of the People's Republic of China; and finally to his undercover involvement with Cuban rebels in the late 1950s and his sympathy for Fidel Castro. Reynolds equally explores Hemingway's participation in various roles as an agent for the United States government, including hunting Nazi submarines with ONI-supplied munitions in the Caribbean on his boat, Pilar; his command of an informant ring in Cuba called the "Crook Factory" that reported to the American embassy in Havana; and his on-the-ground role in Europe, where he helped OSS gain key tactical intelligence for the liberation of Paris and fought alongside the U.S. infantry in the bloody endgame of World War II. As he examines the links between Hemingway's work as an operative and as an author, Reynolds reveals how Hemingway's secret adventures influenced his literary output and contributed to the writer's block and mental decline (including paranoia) that plagued him during the postwar years--a period marked by the Red Scare and McCarthy hearings, which destroyed the life of anyone with Soviet connections. Reynolds also illuminates how those same experiences played a role in some of Hemingway's greatest works, while also adding to the burden that he carried at the end of his life and perhaps contributing to his suicide. A literary biography with the soul of an espionage thriller, this book is an essential contribution to our understanding of the life, work, and fate of one of America's most legendary authors.--Adapted from jacket.