Saturday, March 18, 2017

Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Chronicling Ernest Hemingway's Relationship With The Soviets

Nicholas Reynolds, author of a new book on Hemingway, was interviewed on NPR.

CIA archivist Nicholas Reynolds discusses his new book, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway's Secret Adventures. It describes Hemingway's relationship with Soviet intelligence.


You'd think it might be hard to find new insights into one of the most famous lives in literature, but Nicholas Reynold's new book does just that - "Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway's Secret Adventures," which reveals a secret that a writer who stripped them from the lives of others concealed in his own - that he'd offered to be a spy for Soviet intelligence and tried to spy for the U.S., too, during World War II.

Nicholas Reynolds, a former historian at the CIA Museum, joins us in our studios. Thanks so much for being with us.

NICHOLAS REYNOLDS: It's my pleasure.

SIMON: I'll explain in the interest of full disclosure, I'm on the Hemingway Council. Now, Hemingway is perhaps the best known American novelist. And even before he wrote "For Whom The Bell Tolls," he went off to witness the Spanish Civil War and crossed from being a journalist into a participant, didn't he?

REYNOLDS: Absolutely. So Hemingway before the Spanish Civil War was largely apolitical. And it was only in the Spanish Civil War that he starts to develop his own signature brand of politics. And if I had to characterize them in two or three words, I'd say anti-fascism is the governing idea there.

SIMON: And that wound up putting him in touch with elements of the Soviet espionage establishment?

REYNOLDS: That's exactly right. In Spain, on the anti-fascist side, the only serious support was from the Soviet Union. On the fascist side, that is, the nationalists, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy were supporting Francisco Franco.

You can listen to the interview and/or read the rest of the transcript via the below link:

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