A Quiet American: The Secret War of Varian Fry




The story of Varian Fry, called the “real Rick” of Casablanca, is perhaps one of the most unknown, yet extraordinary sagas of World War II.

This penetrating biography follows Varian Fry through his adult life–from his beginnings in the 1930s as a Harvard graduate and political journalist to his arrival in Marseille in 1940 where he managed to spirit away thousands of Europe’s cultural elite by falsifying passports, creating new identities, and always resorting to subterfuge.

The list of those saved includes: Hannah Arendt, Andre Breton, Franz Werful and his wife Alma Mahler, Heinrich Mann, Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Andre Masson, and Max Ernst among others.


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