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Destination Casablanca

Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II
Narrated by: Matthew Waterson
Length: 17 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In November 1942, as a part of Operation Torch, 33,000 American soldiers sailed undetected across the Atlantic and stormed the beaches of French Morocco. Seventy-four hours later, the Americans controlled the country and one of the most valuable wartime ports: Casablanca.

In the years preceding, Casablanca had evolved from an exotic travel destination to a key military target after France's surrender to Germany. Jewish refugees from Europe poured in, hoping to obtain visas and passage to the United States and beyond. Nazi agents and collaborators infiltrated the city in search of power and loyalty. The resistance was not far behind, as shopkeepers, celebrities, former French Foreign Legionnaires, and disgruntled bureaucrats formed a network of Allied spies. But once in American hands, Casablanca became a crucial logistical hub in the fight against Germany - and the site of Roosevelt and Churchill's demand for "unconditional surrender".

Rife with rogue soldiers, power grabs, and diplomatic intrigue, Destination Casablanca is the riveting and untold story of this glamorous city - memorialized in the classic film - at the heart of World War II.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Meredith Hindley (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Here is an important, well-researched, and well-written account of a major aspect of World War II that is generally neglected in the existing literature. The listener is offered a convincing picture of the complicated interactions of the Americans and British with the supporters of Vichy and of the Free French, the local Muslim and Jewish leaders and population, and the agents of Germany. This listener does not know of any other successful unravelling of this theater's complexities." (Gerhard L. Weinber, professor emeritus, University of North Carolina)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A city of intrigue

I greatly enjoyed this reading. The author has deftly interwoven the lives of politicians, celebrities and spies into a story of the US entry into WWII. Read this and then watch the movie “Casablanca” for a treat.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AJC
  • NJ--United States
  • 07-19-19

FILM FANS WILL BE FASCINATED BY THE REAL STORY

Destination Casablanca is a history, telling if you will, of the events in and around Casablanca from the Fall of France in WW II through the Independence of Morocco. In great detail, the author gives insight into Casablanca's administration by the Vichy government of France. And properly tells the story of the major players in Casablanca at the time. We learn of Vichy administrators, resistance fighters, the Sultans, the refugees, diplomats, and spies. The listener (Audible version) learns about the planning of Operation Torch, the Allied landings in Morocco, and how the American military had to deal with all parties concerned in controlling Casablanca and Morocco. This book does a good job of focusing on Casablanca in WW II, and this city of legend's ties to the film Casablanca. It does a good job of pointing out what was true and not so true in that Classic Film. My only negative is the author, because of, it seems, his fascination with certain personalities spends a little too much time on minutia. Overall I can recommend this book.

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  • Larry
  • Prairie Village, KS USA
  • 08-24-18

Beyond Bogart and Bacall

In the run up to the United States entry into World War II, Casa Blanca stood at a crossroads of politics, culture and ideology unmatched anywhere or at any time. This book tells the fascinating stories of the people and events that came rushing together in a critical time and at a critical junction of events. Casa Blanca, the movie, was truer than most know but not nearly as incredible as the actual facts. Any fan of the movie will get great satisfaction from this historical analysis of this place, this time and these people.

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Extremely Interesting

The story is exciting especially for non fiction. The intrigue that played out by all the players in North Africa during the war is right out of a spy novel or political thriller.

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  • The i-MC
  • 11-11-18

Spell-binding.

One of the best 'Audible's in my time as a member - in every respect. I'm sure it helped that I am a massive fan of the Bogart film, but the way this book is written just grips you throughout, the narrator is brilliant, the story is incredible, (the film is more accurate than you would expect - in terms of sentiment), and the author's research is intuitive and incisive. You don't have to be a hardcore WW2 historian to enjoy this one - it's a human story on so many levels.