|About the Book|
During World War II, Ernest Hemingway happily devoted much more of his time and energy to the field of intelligence than to his normal literary pursuits. He had relationships with the intelligence section of the US embassy in Havana as well as withMoreDuring World War II, Ernest Hemingway happily devoted much more of his time and energy to the field of intelligence than to his normal literary pursuits. He had relationships with the intelligence section of the US embassy in Havana as well as with at least three US intelligence agencies: the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In addition, he dealt with the Soviet Union’s intelligence service at the time, the NKVD.aThe threshold question for each organization was, what could, or should, Hemingway do for the war effort? Two of the organizations decided officially not to have anything to do with the novelist- the others tried to put him to work as an auxiliary spy. In that capacity he more than once demonstrated willingness to take risks and work hard, but in the end, no matter what others had in mind for him, Hemingway made his own way through the war and, for the most part, did not produce much for anyone except himself and his literary executors.Although many of the details of Hemingway’s wartime work are not well known, the general outlines of the story are. At the beginning of 1941, before the United States entered WW II, Hemingway and his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, were living in Cuba. In the first quarter of that year, the two went to China on an assignment for Collier’s Weekly, a well-regarded magazine that featured investigative reporting and commentary. Upon their return to Cuba, they settled back into their comfortable routine at Finca Vigia, a spectacular hillside estate by the sea, a few miles outside Havana.There, Hemingway had a remarkable circle of friends and acquaintances, from literary figures and artists, to barmen and prostitutes, sailors and hunters, and even some government officials. Among those officials was Spruille Braden, the colorful and energetic American ambassador, and his subordinate, Robert P. Joyce.