Format Hardcover
Publication Date 12/03/24
ISBN 9781639367627
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 400

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Agent Zo

The Untold Story of a Fearless World War II Resistance Fighter

Clare Mulley

The incredible and inspiring story of Elzbieta Zawacka, the World War II female resistance fighter known as Agent Zo.

During World War II, Elzbieta Zawacka—the WWII female resistance fighter known as Agent Zo—was the only woman to reach London as an emissary of the Polish Home Army command. In Britain, she became the only woman to join the Polish elite Special Forces, known as the "Silent Unseen.” She was secretly trained in the British countryside, and then she was the only female member of these forces to be parachuted back behind enemy lines to Nazi-occupied Poland. There, while being hunted by the Gestapo (who arrested her entire family), she took a leading role in the Warsaw Uprising and the liberation of Poland.

After the war, she was discharged as one of the most highly decorated women in Polish history. Yet the Soviet-backed post-war Communist regime not only imprisoned (and tortured) her, but also ensured that her remarkable story remained hidden for over forty years.

Now, through new archival research and exclusive interviews with people who knew and fought alongside Agent Zo, Clare Mulley brings this forgotten heroine back to brilliant life—while transforming how we value the history of women resistance fighters during World War II.

Clare Mulley is an award-winning author and historian. A regular contributor to BBC, Newsnight, and Channel 5 in Britain, Radio 4, and podcasts (Spectator, BBC History Extra, Dan Snow's History Hit etc), and a popular public speaker, Clare also writes and reviews non-fiction for the Telegraph, Spectator, and History Today. She lives in England.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“The astonishing story of an extraordinary woman—for so long silent and unseen bit now, thanks to Clare Mulley’s forensic research and razor-sharp eye for detail, no longer forgotten.” Jonathan Freedland, author of The Escape Artist, The Many Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World
"Agent Zo is a triumph. The deftly told life of this remarkable heroine helps restore women to their rightful place in the record of the Second World War. Absolutely essential reading.” Hallie Rubenhold, bestselling author of The Five
“This is a terrific story, told with passion and authority, about a Polish woman resistance fighter of extraordinary courage and ingenuity. Not simply a page turner, this is an important addition to the literature of World War Two, a story for our times about female heroism which should be widely known.” Anne Sebba, author of Ethel Rosenberg
"A remarkable story of resistance, elegantly told.” Roger Moorhouse, author of The Forgers
"Gripping, moving and important: an amazing and until-now neglected story of female WW2 heroism and secret derring-do. This tale of the resistance fighter Agent Zo is amazingly told and deeply researched by the excellent historian of WW2 espionage Clare Mulley.” Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The World: A Family History of Humanity
Praise for Clare Mulley’s The Spy Who Loved:

"One of the most exciting books I've read this year." The Spectator
"Brings alive a glamorous, swashbuckling heroine.” The Sunday Times (London)
"A stunning biographical achievement." Alison Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"This book, massively researched and excitingly told, brings an extraordinary heroine back to life.” The Daily Mail