You know the movie. The history is even more dramatic.
“A compelling read, packed with a Casablanca-worthy cast of characters and a penetrating look at the inside workings of Vichy France…History buffs will love the colorful stories and the grand geopolitical scheming.” – Foreign Policy
“Recommended for history buffs who will relish the author’s skilled presentation of a little-known theater in World War II.”—Library Journal
In November 1942, as a part of Operation Torch, 33,000 American soldiers sailed undetected across the Atlantic and stormed the beaches of French Morocco. Seventy-four hours later, the Americans controlled the country and one of the most valuable wartime ports: Casablanca.
In the years preceding, Casablanca had evolved from an exotic travel destination to a key military target after France’s surrender to Germany. Jewish refugees from Europe poured in, hoping to obtain visas and passage to the United States and beyond. Nazi agents and collaborators infiltrated the city in search of power and loyalty. The resistance was not far behind, as shopkeepers, celebrities, former French Foreign Legionnaires, and disgruntled bureaucrats formed a network of Allied spies. But once in American hands, Casablanca became a crucial logistical hub in the fight against Germany—and the site of Roosevelt and Churchill’s demand for “unconditional surrender.”
Rife with rogue soldiers, power grabs, and diplomatic intrigue, Destination Casablanca is the riveting and untold story of this glamorous city—memorialized in the classic film—at the heart of World War II.
“A fulcrum of history-wartime Casablanca-jumps to life in Meredith Hindley’s masterful page-turner. Spies, jazz legends, generals, traitors, writers, war icons and assassins light up a tale of high-stakes intrigue in one of the world’s great exotic settings.”―Jonathan W. Jordan, bestselling author of Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe
“Meredith Hindley deftly weaves together a history of the city of Casablanca and the events leading to the Anglo-American invasion and conquest of Northwest Africa in 1942-1943. Fascinating characters such as performer Josephine Baker and writer Arthur Koestler, along with a multitude of refugees, spies, and resistance fighters give her account unusual texture and variety. The military successes were capped by the Casablanca summit conference of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. A great read.”―Richard Breitman, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, American University
“Here is an important, well-researched, and well-written account of a major aspect of World War II that is generally neglected in the existing literature. The reader is offered a convincing picture of the complicated interactions of the Americans and British with the supporters of Vichy and of the Free French, the local Muslim and Jewish leaders and population, and the agents of Germany. This reader does not know of any other successful unravelling of this theater’s complexities.”―Gerhard L. Weinberg, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina