• Agent Josephine

  • American Beauty, French Hero, British Spy
  • By: Damien Lewis
  • Narrated by: Damien Lewis
  • Length: 16 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Agent Josephine  By  cover art

Agent Josephine

By: Damien Lewis
Narrated by: Damien Lewis
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $30.79

Buy for $30.79

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Singer. Actress. Beauty. Spy. During WW2, Josephine Baker, the world's richest and most glamorous entertainer, was an Allied spy in Occupied France. This is the story of her heroic personal resistance to Nazi Germany.

Prior to World War II, Josephine Baker was a music-hall diva renowned for her singing and dancing, her beauty and sexuality; she was the most highly paid female performer in Europe. When the Nazis seized her adopted city, Paris, she was banned from the stage, along with all "negroes and Jews". Yet, instead of returning to America, she vowed to stay and to fight the Nazi evil. Overnight she went from performer to Resistance spy. 

In Agent Josephine best-selling author Damien Lewis uncovers this little known history of the famous singer's life. During the years of the war, as a member of the French Nurse paratroopers—a cover for her spying work—she participated in numerous clandestine activities and emerged as formidable spy. In turn, she was a hero of the three countries in whose name she served: the US, the nation of her birth; France, the land that embraced her during her adult career; and Britain, the country from which she took her orders, as one of London’s most closely guarded special agents. Baker’s secret war embodies a tale of unbounded courage, passion, devotion, and sacrifice, and of deep and bitter tragedy, fueled by her own desire to combat the rise of Nazism and to fight for all that is good and right in the world.  

Drawing on a plethora of new historical material and rigorous research, including previously undisclosed letters and journals, Lewis upends the conventional story of Josephine Baker, revealing that her mark on history went far beyond the confines of the stage.

©2022 Damien Lewis (P)2022 PublicAffairs

What listeners say about Agent Josephine

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    42
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    35
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    44
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A documentary

Not a story but a good documentary by the 6th chapter I was beginning to wonder if this was about Josephine Baker or every other spy associated with her in some way. If the description of the book had disclosed this fact I may have enjoyed it more as is, I felt like it was a little bate and switch some Josephine and a lot of others

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An amazing little known story from WWII

Mr. Lewis writes outstanding WWII British Special Forces books, that I have long been captivated by. His newest book (this one), diverges a little from his SAS / Commando books and focuses more on spy craft intrigue by the famous, but somewhat now forgotten, American French superstar Josephine Baker. This book excellently and masterfully weaves her, and her entourage's WWII exploits, of spying for France and the UK during the early to middle years of WWII, and then focusing on her exploits as a troop entertainer in the latter part of WWII. This book could honestly be made in to a movie or show. I would highly recommend this book to any history lover, or anyone looking for a great story about a true hero.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Wish it had more stories

I think Josephine is an amazing person and deserves recognition, I just wish this had more stories, and could have been better if it just focused on Josephine. I guess I was expecting a biography on her, rather than the story of all the other agents and world war II France spy history. Like other reviews, I think the title is misleading.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Such a magnificent woman.

When World War II broke out, Josephine Baker was already one of the most famous women in the world, but she quickly began working as a spy for the Allies. Despite much danger and some severe illnesses, she provided important intelligence as well as tirelessly entertaining Allied troops. At the same time she fought for equality for all races.
There are several other interesting subjects in the book, notably British spy Biffy Dunderdale, who was a friend of Ian Fleming and said to be the model for Fleming’s character James Bond. It’s understandable that Fleming came up with a different name for his main character. This wouldn’t have the same impact: “The name is Dunderdale, Biffy Dunderdale.” Someone needs to write his biography.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great telling of another side of Josephine Baker’s amazing life

A brief review in The New Yorker described this book. Glad I followed through and gave it a listen. Here is the story of someone driven away and with the guts to go from the US by its racial caste system to secretly fight for that country and the rest of to be free from fascism. With the US on the brink of destruction from within— again due to metastasized racism— this book is a timely breath of fresh air. We need some Madame Bakers right now.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Who knew??

When I started with this book, all I knew was that Josephine Baker left the racist USA & became a wildly popular cabaret star in France. There was SO much more to her! I have read/listened to many books about WWII spies & the French underground, but Agent Josephine covered entirely new ground. Her very visibility, not something normally associated with spying, became her super power!

That said, the book felt padded, with tiresome repetitions & too many digressions.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story-poor audio presentation

I thoroughly enjoyed this book which intertwined the biography of Josephine Baker and the fascinating story of espionage in the Second World War. I'm so glad to have learned about this courageous woman.

I would like to point out to future listeners that the quality of the audio presentation was not nearly up to the standard I've previously experienced on Audible. The book was read by the author. His repeated mispronunciations of places and names was grating. For example-he pronounced Saint Louis, the city in Missouri, as Saint Louie, Roosevelt first syllable "roo", and the name Juanita as Ja-won-eeta. There were frequent spots in the presentation where he must have come back to make a correction or addition that seemed rather carelessly inserted. In short, I don't think the reading was edited much at all. The audio was produced by Hachette. I will be careful about purchasing future audios from this company.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hero

she lived a life that showed her beliefs unquestionably. Josephine was willing to give all for the people and countries she loved. It took a minute to train my ear to the English pronunciations, but that was the only problem I had!