The Fascinating Life and Tragic End of the Polish Countess Who Became a Heroic British Spy

Krystyna Skarbek was said to be “Winston Churchill’s favorite spy;” she led an extraordinary life that peaked with clandestine acts of heroism during World War II—and ended tragically just a few years later. Six decades after her death, a biopic is said to be in the works. It’s about time. »10/08/15 6:10pm10/08/15 6:10pm


Diary of Soviet Ambassador to London Rewrites History of World War II

From 1932 to 1943, the Soviet ambassador to London kept a personal diary, the details of which were only recently revealed. It tells the exceptional story of a diplomat who tried to harmonize Soviet and British interests, while also demonstrating how events could have unfolded very differently. »9/10/15 9:45am9/10/15 9:45am

How the Nazis Robbed Their Country of Its Scientific Legacy (And Gave it to the World)

The gutting of Germany’s intellectual heritage is far from the worst crime committed by the Nazis, but it was a crime nonetheless. The irony is it was a crime that contributed to their loss of the war. But it also robbed the country of its intellectual riches decades after the war was over.
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The Strange Case Of The Doll Seller Who Desperately Wanted To Be A Spy

Velvalee Dickinson, a Stanford grad who’d worked in the financial industry, moved to New York City from San Francisco in 1937, where she soon opened a shop that sold collectible dolls. But by 1942, she’d added a third entry to her resume or at least she really, really tried to: spying on behalf of Japan. »6/08/15 4:35pm6/08/15 4:35pm

The Secret 1949 Radiation Experiment That Contaminated Washington

The physicists who invented the nuclear bomb worked out of Los Alamos in New Mexico, but the people who did the dirty work of making the bombs were in Hanford, Washington. Throughout the Cold War, Hanford churned out plutonium for our nuclear arsenal. It was also, conveniently, a place to experiment with radiation. »6/03/15 2:53pm6/03/15 2:53pm