“Enthralling and intelligent, a masterly exploration of the sinister labyrinth that was wartime France . . . It is a remarkable book, utterly fascinating.” —Allan Massie
Not long after 2:00 p.m. on June 21, 1943, eight men met in secret at a doctor’ s house in Lyon. They represented the warring factions of the French Resistance and had been summoned by General de Gaulle’s new envoy, a man most of them knew simply as “Max.”
Minutes after the last man entered the house, the Gestapo broke in, led by Klaus Barbie, the infamous “Butcher of Lyon.” The fate awaiting Barbie’s prisoners was torture, deportation, and death. “Max” was tortured sadistically but never broke: he took his many secrets to his grave. In that moment, the legend of Jean Moulin was born.
Who betrayed Jean Moulin? And who was this enigmatic hero, a man as skilled in deception as he was in acts of heroism? After the war, his ashes were transferred to the Panthéon—France’s highest honor—where his memory is revered alongside that of Voltaire and Victor Hugo. But Moulin’s story is full of unanswered questions: the truth of his life is far more complicated than the legend conveniently manufactured by de Gaulle.
Resistance and Betrayal tells for the first time in English the epic story of France’s greatest war hero, a Schindler-like character of ambiguous motivation. A winner of the Marsh Prize for biography, praised by Graham Greene and Julian Barnes, Patrick Marnham is a brilliant storyteller with a keen appreciation for the complex maze of moral compromises navigated in times of war. Told with the drama and suspense of the best espionage fiction, Resistance and Betrayal brings to life the dark and duplicitous world of the French Resistance and offers a startling conclusion to one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Second World War.
"Enthralling and intelligent, a masterly exploration of the sinister labyrinth that was wartime France… Marnham wonderfully brings to light the moral confusion of the time. It is a remarkable book, utterly fascinating." — Alan Massie
"The betrayal and murder of Jean Moulin, who was appointed by de Gaulle as leader of the Resistance, is a story which has gripped France for more than half a century. Moulin was captured in Lyons in June 1943 after Gestapo agents burst into a secret meeting he was holding in a doctor’s house. He was subjected to days of horrendous torture, but died without talking. Exactly who betrayed him has long been one of the great mysteries of the Second World War… Patrick Marnham is very good on French self-deception: a moral self-deception which began with Vichy for psychological reasons and continued under de Gaulle… [His] book is as gripping as a detective story." — Anthony Beevor, author of Stalingrad
"Resistance and Betrayal is a gripping account of the last days of the French Resistance hero who was tortured to death by Klaus Barbie. Moulin’s ashes now lie in the Pantheon. But who was the real Jean Moulin? Was he a secret Soviet agent, trying to bring about a Communist takeover? Was he betrayed by the other Resistance leaders? Marnham’s biography is a brilliant mix of political thriller and wartime history." — J.G. Ballard, author of Crash