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  • MacArthur's Spies

  • The Soldier, the Singer, and the Spymaster Who Defied the Japanese in World War II
  • Written by: Peter Eisner
  • Narrated by: Peter Eisner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Military

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Publisher's Summary

A thrilling story of espionage, daring, and deception set in the exotic landscape of occupied Manila during World War II.

On January 2, 1942, Japanese troops marched into Manila unopposed by US forces. Manila was a strategic port, a romantic American outpost, and a jewel of a city. Tokyo saw its conquest of the Philippines as the key in its plan to control all of Asia, including Australia. Thousands of soldiers surrendered and were sent on the notorious 80-mile Bataan Death March. But thousands of other Filipinos and Americans refused to surrender and hid in the Luzon hills above Bataan and Manila. MacArthur's Spies is the story of three of them and how they successfully foiled the Japanese for more than two years, sabotaging Japanese efforts and preparing the way for MacArthur's return.

From a jungle hideout, Colonel John Boone, an enlisted American soldier, led an insurgent force of Filipino fighters who infiltrated Manila as workers and servants to stage demolitions and attacks.

"Chick" Parsons, an American businessman, polo player, and expatriate in Manila, was also a US Navy intelligence officer. He escaped in the guise of a Panamanian diplomat and returned as MacArthur's spymaster, coordinating the guerrilla efforts with the planned Allied invasion.

And finally there was Claire Phillips, an itinerant American torch singer with many names and almost as many husbands. Her nightclub in Manila served as a cover for supplying food to Americans in the hills and to thousands of prisoners of war. She and the men and women who worked with her gathered information from the collaborating Filipino businessmen; the homesick, English-speaking Japanese officers; and the spies who mingled in the crowd.

Fans of Alan Furst and Ben Macintyre - and anyone who loves Casablanca - will relish this true tale of heroism when it counted the most.

©2017 Peter Eisner (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“It’s a barn-burner of a story, a fight for love and glory, and Eisner’s impeccable research and reporting bring it to life. Here’s looking at you, Claire.” (Washington Post)

“A well-researched, entertaining, and informative look at the resistance to the Japanese occupation.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Peter Eisner does a masterful job of telling the colorful, largely unknown story of an intrepid array of Americans in the Philippines who evaded capture by the Japanese in World War II and helped mount a powerful resistance movement against them. A sultry nightclub owner in Manila and a businessman who used his cover as a Central American consul to spy on the Japanese are just two members of a fabulous cast of characters that could have come straight from a Graham Greene novel.” (Lynne Olson, author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island)

What listeners say about MacArthur's Spies

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pete Andresen
  • 20-06-17

A Must For Travelers To Manila

What a gift for those of us who have heard stories of the Filipino Resistance in World War 2 but can't find the whole story! This research cuts to the core of how Americans and Filipinos tried to cope with the Japanese invasion of 1941-1942. I purchased the Audible version and it made the hours fly past!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bradley
  • 25-07-19

cool story

intresting story,but I thought the story was going to be focused on all the characters instead of the primary

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • L. Rubenstein
  • 27-11-17

Forgotten WWII history comes to life!

Peter Eisner does a excellent job of research on this long forgotten part of WWII during the occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese, the resistance that saved many lives of American prisoners, and the soldiers that took to the hills rather than surrender. It’s a true story of a very brave woman spy and the network she created, a true hero. The only drawback is that the author reads it himself in a monotone that makes you wish for a real actor. Great for history buffs and those looking for WWII stories still untold.