Agent Josephine

Singer and dancer Josephine Baker charmed audiences all over the world. At her height, she was the highest-paid female performer working in Europe. However, when Nazis seized Paris, Baker suddenly found herself banned from the stage. Rather than go to America, she remained in Europe as a spy.

In Agent Josephine: American Beauty, French Hero, British Spy, Damian Lewis offers a thorough and well-researched portrayal of Baker and her complicated life. His inviting narrative excels in educating readers about Baker’s time working as a spy, making her a hero in the U.S., France, and Britain.

Many people today recognize Baker’s influence as an entertainer but few know about her wartime efforts. In order to write this work, Lewis consulted various letters and journals to offer a more informed portrait of Baker’s life beyond her career in entertainment. Her clandestine activities, challenges, and successes as a spy are well-documented in this fascinating work. The narrative is further supported by interesting photographs of Baker and various points of interest pertaining to her time in Europe.

Lewis succeeds in offering this well-researched and exceptional examination of Baker as an entertainer and hero.


Agent Josephine: American Beauty, French Hero, British Spy is available for purchase via Public Affairs Books.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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