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Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America | [Annie Jacobsen]

Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America

Drawing on exclusive interviews with dozens of Paperclip family members, colleagues, and interrogators, and with access to German archival documents (including papers made available to her by direct descendants of the Third Reich's ranking members), files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and lost dossiers discovered at the National Archives and Harvard University, Annie Jacobsen follows more than a dozen German scientists through their postwar lives and into one of the most complex, nefarious, and jealously guarded government secrets of the 20th century.
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Publisher's Summary

The explosive, dark secrets behind America's post-WWII science programs from the author of the New York Times best seller Area 51.

In the chaos following WWII, some of the greatest spoils of Germany's resources were the Third Reich's scientific minds. The U.S. government secretly decided that the value of these former Nazis' knowledge outweighed their crimes and began a covert operation code-named Paperclip to allow them to work in the U.S. without the public's full knowledge. Drawing on exclusive interviews with dozens of Paperclip family members, colleagues, and interrogators, and with access to German archival documents (including papers made available to her by direct descendants of the Third Reich's ranking members), files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and lost dossiers discovered at the National Archives and Harvard University, Annie Jacobsen follows more than a dozen German scientists through their postwar lives and into one of the most complex, nefarious, and jealously guarded government secrets of the 20th century.

©2014 Annie Jacobsen (P)2014 Hachette Audio

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  •  
    Jeremy tokyo 03-07-14
    Jeremy tokyo 03-07-14 Member Since 2011

    There was one chapter on cryptography and I found it fascinating...

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    "This book will be read in all history classes soon"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Operation Paperclip to be better than the print version?

    This book will be read in all history classes soon

    I want to keep this short... This book is an amazing compendium of a subject that has never before been truly explored. Annie's research is amazing: aka you will be shocked and amazed and what you learn!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The frankness of the narrative.


    What does Annie Jacobsen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her narration really emphasizes the book's main points!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The last part, when she lists all the crimes/criminals... one by one... methodically


    Any additional comments?

    just amazing!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 08-07-14
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 08-07-14 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "The Osenberg list"

    In 1945, Operation Overcast (renamed Operation Paperclip for the paperclips attached to the dossiers of the scientist) began. More than 1600 German scientist were secretly recruited to work for the United States. There was a race between the United States and the U.S.S. R. to obtain these scientists. At the time Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt and Rabbi Steven Wise publically opposed the program.

    In 1998 President Clinton signed the Nazi War Crimes disclosure Act, which pushed through the declassification of American’s intelligence records, including F.B. I., Army Intelligence and C.I.A. files of German agents, scientists and war criminals. Jacobsen accessed these documents, along with her research in various special collections, interviews with former intelligence personnel and relatives of the scientists. This makes Jacobsen’s account the most in-depth to date. The author tracked 21 of these Nazi scientists. Eight of her subjects worked directly with the upper echelon of the Nazi government. Some of these are Werner Von Braun, Hubertus Strughold, Walter Dornberger, and Arthur Rudolph, Fritz Hoffman. The author described in detail the hunt for the Nazi secret chemical and biological warfare sites and the hunt for the scientist.
    Jacobsen focuses mostly on biologists, chemists and physicians. She said the rocket scientist had already been widely written about.

    The author painstakingly covers the various scientist works for the Nazis; I wish she would have equally covered their work in American. We know the benefit of the work by the rocket scientist in developing the Saturn rocket. German Chemist Fritz Hoffman was assigned by the U.S. to research toxic agents for military use. He is credited with the development of Agent Orange. It was used to defoliate trees in Vietnam. Hoffman died in 1967. Other German scientist worked in the area of aeronautical medicine, research into diabetes, neurological disease and also developing equipment. I believe one of them developed the ear thermometer. The book is an achievement of investigative reporting and historical writing. I would have preferred Jacobsen provide us with enough information about the works preformed in America to help us answer the question ----was our deal with the devil worth it? The author narrated the book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sharon san diego, california, United States 03-15-14
    sharon san diego, california, United States 03-15-14 Member Since 2013

    love to read and love audio books!Favorite authors: Marcia Willett,Nevil Shute,Mary Stewart,and Jacqueline Winspear. I could go on and on but wont bore you! I belong to a book group and we often" Listen" to the books we have selected for the month while using a paper copy for the discussion notes. It really enhances the quality of the story.

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    "Exposure of the Systematic stonewalling of facts"

    A very interesting documentation of Operation Paperclip and what lies hidden behind the American Scientist Programs in post war America. The systematic cover-up of facts that dozens if not hundreds of Americans took part in , to bring NAZI WAR CRIMINALS to America to further our Space and Chemical Weapons Programs .
    How some in the Military whitewashed the Nazi pasts of dozens of Doctors and Scientists allowing them to live the "American Dream", become respected members of the space pioneer elite and escape punishment for their atrocities during WW2.
    The narration (by the author)was not as good as a professional but a fascinating story.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 06-17-14
    Saud 06-17-14

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

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    "Interesting study, dry delivery"

    Some information presented in this book have more disturbing implications than others, and some actually outline the arguably positive outcomes of this arrangement. It, however, bridges the gap after the fall of the Nazis and the transformation of technological and military advancements in the West.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Pascoe San Francisco, CA United States 02-13-15
    Richard Pascoe San Francisco, CA United States 02-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic book!"

    There's so much incredible historical information in this audio book. Now I must buy the printed book so that I can go back and review what I just listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pg United States 11-21-14
    pg United States 11-21-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Fascinating and Depressing"
    Where does Operation Paperclip rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    upper one-third


    What did you like best about this story?

    in-depth research and detail


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The author narrated, and I found her voice too "light" for the heavy subject matter.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Nazi next door....


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stpal001 05-16-14
    stpal001 05-16-14 Member Since 2012
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    "The truth is out there"
    What made the experience of listening to Operation Paperclip the most enjoyable?

    Outstanding research packed with newly declassified material. I thought I understood Operation Paperclip very well. I did not know it at all. But I do now.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard J. Peach Boston 04-12-14
    Richard J. Peach Boston 04-12-14 Member Since 2013

    RP

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    "Nazism Today"
    What did you love best about Operation Paperclip?

    Just all the detailed stories of these Nazi scientists and the crimes against humanity that were overlooked by the US military


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well the most interesting Nazi scientist has to be Dr. Schreiber


    What does Annie Jacobsen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Anytime an author reads their own book they bring an enthusiasm to it. She read it very clear and was great at pronouncing all the German names


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole thing was disheartening to read. That our government would just ignore these Nazi war criminals and think no one would care


    Any additional comments?

    A great very information and factual. I had heard about Operation Paperclip before but Annie Jacobsen really broke it down.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Winnipeg, MB, Canada 04-24-14
    David Winnipeg, MB, Canada 04-24-14 Member Since 2010
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    "This is a book I have been waiting for!"
    Would you listen to Operation Paperclip again? Why?

    Absolutely, I find this part of history fascinating. A story about how easy it is to compromise our morals in the name of serving a larger purpose. The ends don't always justify the means.


    What about Annie Jacobsen’s performance did you like?

    One of the few times where an Author does a decent job of narrating their own books. Except for a few pronunciation errors she does a great job.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The discussion of the horrible conditions in the Middle Work labor camp were the V2 rockets were assembled. And how those actions were overlooked when Von Braun and company were brought to the US to head their rocket program


    Any additional comments?

    Love Annie Jacobsen's research based journalism. Her 2 books are extremely well written. With the exception of the one chapter in Area 51 dealing with UFOs her books appear to be very well researched and factual. This story was particularly chilling because you really wonder if the arguable gains made in terms of developing science were worth the price played in allowing the nazi monsters to go free. Too many of them didn't pay nearly enough for their crimes. Truly a regrettable time in american history.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryon 02-15-14
    Bryon 02-15-14
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    "To be fair I didn't get past the introduction"
    Would you try another book from Annie Jacobsen and/or Annie Jacobsen?

    Probably not


    What could Annie Jacobsen have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Leave her righteous indignation out of it, or at least save it for her own personal take in a chapter to itself.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Annie Jacobsen’s performances?

    Not really. Her tone was vaguely supercilious.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    It became apparent just a few paragraphs into the introduction this was not going to be a dispassionate historical account, but rather, morals and judgement, dispensed in great righteous dollops. What ever happened to articulate factual historical recounting and letting us, the little ole reader, for themselves, decide what moral judgment, if indeed any is even needed. If you've already decided it was pure evil incarnate, I cannot expect to get an accurate narrative of the history.

    5 of 22 people found this review helpful
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