Rommel’s army is a day from Cairo, a week from Tel Aviv. The SS is ready for action. Espionage brought the Nazis this far. Espionage can stop them – if Washington wakes up to the danger.
As World War II raged in North Africa, General Irwin Rommel was guided by an uncanny sense of his enemies’ plans and weaknesses. In the summer of 1942, he led his Axis army swiftly and terrifyingly toward Alexandria, with the goal of overrunning the entire Middle East. Each step was informed by detailed updates on British positions. The Nazis, somehow, had a source for the Allies’ greatest secrets.
Yet the Axis powers were not the only ones with intelligence. Brilliant Allied cryptographers worked relentlessly at Bletchley Park, breaking down the extraordinarily complex Nazi code Enigma. From decoded German messages, they discovered that the enemy had a wealth of inside information. On the brink of disaster, a fevered and high-stakes search for the source began.
War of Shadows is the cinematic story of the race for information in the North African theater of World War II, set against intrigues that spanned the Middle East. Years in the making, this book is a feat of historical research and storytelling, and a rethinking of the popular narrative of the war. It portrays the conflict not as an inevitable clash of heroes and villains but a spiraling series of failures, accidents, and desperate triumphs that decided the fate of the Middle East and quite possibly the outcome of the war.
Gershom Gorenberg is a historian and journalist who has been covering Middle Eastern affairs for over 35 years. He is the author of three critically acclaimed books – The Unmaking of Israel, The Accidental Empire, and The End of Days – and coauthor of Shalom, Friend: The Life and Legacy of Yitzhak Rabin, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. A columnist for the Washington Post, Gorenberg has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and Foreign Policy, and in Hebrew for Haaretz. He has been a visiting professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he led a workshop on writing history. He lives in Jerusalem.