The True Story of Geoffrey Pyke: Genius, Fugitive, Spy
The extraordinary untold story of an enigmatic genius who changed warfare forever
From the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, M: Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster
In the World War II era, Geoffrey Pyke was described as one of the world's great minds. An inventor, adventurer and polymath, he was an unlikely hero of both world wars. He earned a fortune on the stock market, founded an influential pre-school, and is seen as the father of the U.S. Special Forces.
In 1942, he convinced Winston Churchill to build an aircraft carrier out of reinforced ice. He escaped from a German WWI prison camp, wrote a bestseller, and aided Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. He even launched a private attempt to avert the outbreak of the Second World War by sending into Nazi Germany a group of pollsters disguised as golfers.
And he may have been a Russian spy.
70 years after his death, Henry Hemming reveals Pyke's astonishing story in full: his brilliance, his flaws, and his life of adventures, ideas, and secrets.
“Hemming makes Geoffrey Pyke a fascinating object of study”
Columbus Post Dispatch
“This admirable and thoroughly enjoyable book should rescue a weirdly original and innovative talent from oblivion”
Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
“Hemming has told his story in a biography that reads wonderfully like an adventure story and looks set to restore to Pyke the fame he deserves”
Lara Feigel, Guardian
“This is a fascinating biography […] Hemming succeeds in celebrating the achievements of this true original”
Mail on Sunday
“It is as if he had been invented by G. K. Chesterton and given posthumous fame by John le Carré – which underlines the extraordinary accomplishment of his actual biographer Henry Hemming”
Sir Michael Holroyd
“They say truth is stranger than fiction – and never more so than in this riveting biography”
“Throws fascinating light on a forgotten hero of the Second World War”
Barry Forshaw, Independent
“An unlikely tale of true espionage ... Fans of Graham Greene and Alan Furst will revel in this well-told true-life story”
“[A] masterful biography…Hemming's superlative text is nearly as nimble as Pyke's mind, and he reveals who this remarkable innovator really was”