Get a free audiobook

Operation Paperclip

The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America
Written by: Annie Jacobsen
Narrated by: Annie Jacobsen
Length: 19 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

The explosive, dark secrets behind America's post-WWII science programs from the author of the New York Times best seller Area 51.

In the chaos following WWII, some of the greatest spoils of Germany's resources were the Third Reich's scientific minds. The U.S. government secretly decided that the value of these former Nazis' knowledge outweighed their crimes and began a covert operation code-named Paperclip to allow them to work in the U.S. without the public's full knowledge. Drawing on exclusive interviews with dozens of Paperclip family members, colleagues, and interrogators, and with access to German archival documents (including papers made available to her by direct descendants of the Third Reich's ranking members), files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and lost dossiers discovered at the National Archives and Harvard University, Annie Jacobsen follows more than a dozen German scientists through their postwar lives and into one of the most complex, nefarious, and jealously guarded government secrets of the 20th century.

©2014 Annie Jacobsen (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JAH
  • 2019-05-25

excellent audiobook

listened to it a week. loved every second of it. great journalism, writing and narration. will be listening to her other books

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • 2014-08-07

The Osenberg list

In 1945, Operation Overcast (renamed Operation Paperclip for the paperclips attached to the dossiers of the scientist) began. More than 1600 German scientist were secretly recruited to work for the United States. There was a race between the United States and the U.S.S. R. to obtain these scientists. At the time Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt and Rabbi Steven Wise publically opposed the program.

In 1998 President Clinton signed the Nazi War Crimes disclosure Act, which pushed through the declassification of American’s intelligence records, including F.B. I., Army Intelligence and C.I.A. files of German agents, scientists and war criminals. Jacobsen accessed these documents, along with her research in various special collections, interviews with former intelligence personnel and relatives of the scientists. This makes Jacobsen’s account the most in-depth to date. The author tracked 21 of these Nazi scientists. Eight of her subjects worked directly with the upper echelon of the Nazi government. Some of these are Werner Von Braun, Hubertus Strughold, Walter Dornberger, and Arthur Rudolph, Fritz Hoffman. The author described in detail the hunt for the Nazi secret chemical and biological warfare sites and the hunt for the scientist.
Jacobsen focuses mostly on biologists, chemists and physicians. She said the rocket scientist had already been widely written about.

The author painstakingly covers the various scientist works for the Nazis; I wish she would have equally covered their work in American. We know the benefit of the work by the rocket scientist in developing the Saturn rocket. German Chemist Fritz Hoffman was assigned by the U.S. to research toxic agents for military use. He is credited with the development of Agent Orange. It was used to defoliate trees in Vietnam. Hoffman died in 1967. Other German scientist worked in the area of aeronautical medicine, research into diabetes, neurological disease and also developing equipment. I believe one of them developed the ear thermometer. The book is an achievement of investigative reporting and historical writing. I would have preferred Jacobsen provide us with enough information about the works preformed in America to help us answer the question ----was our deal with the devil worth it? The author narrated the book.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeremy
  • 2014-03-07

This book will be read in all history classes soon

Would you consider the audio edition of Operation Paperclip to be better than the print version?

This book will be read in all history classes soon

I want to keep this short... This book is an amazing compendium of a subject that has never before been truly explored. Annie's research is amazing: aka you will be shocked and amazed and what you learn!

What did you like best about this story?

The frankness of the narrative.

What does Annie Jacobsen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her narration really emphasizes the book's main points!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The last part, when she lists all the crimes/criminals... one by one... methodically

Any additional comments?

just amazing!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carroll
  • 2015-04-20

A great narrative of what follows wars....

While I can tell the author was aghast at what she uncovered, this is an amazing tale of reaping the scientific experience of one foe to ready America for a next, larger foe. While many knew of Wernher von Braun's route to America & NASA, the tale of so many other key innovators was unreported since the 1960's. Well worth the listen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • SAMA
  • 2014-06-17

Interesting study, dry delivery

Some information presented in this book have more disturbing implications than others, and some actually outline the arguably positive outcomes of this arrangement. It, however, bridges the gap after the fall of the Nazis and the transformation of technological and military advancements in the West.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robyn
  • 2016-08-12

Important book marred by narration

This is an important book, full of interesting information which examines some of the worst practices of the Nazi regime, and sheds disconcerting light on the 'pragmatism' (should we say 'double standards') which can apply when our own governments have an agenda to pursue or an ideology to install at any cost. Jacobsen obviously undertook a great deal of research in order to tell this story in such rich and interesting detail. As for the narration, her voice is pleasant enough and I would not be too bothered by her somewhat flat presentation, but some or her pronunciations had me on edge dreading the next time I heard them. Egregious examples include Werner, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Harz, and Göring. I am a 'words person' and may place more emphasis than most on this point, but it would prevent my buying another audiobook narrated by Jacobsen which is a pity because this book suggests that her work is well worth reading/listening to.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Quinn Rusnell
  • 2016-05-26

Holy mispronunciation, Batman!

This book was great.

But it's definitely not read by the author as the cover or the mobile app claims, and I had to look past the reader's ghastly and cringe-inducing mispronunciations of many of the German names. "Warner" Von Braun? Hermann "Goaring"? Admiral "Doonitz"? Joseph "Gubbles"?

Has she seriously never heard these names pronounced before? Good grief.

Despite that I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in WWII history. Jacobsen has done a huge service to fans of history by illuminating this dark and hidden chapter.

In a veritable deal with the devil, the US military tracked down the Third Reich's top scientific minds knowing that if they didn't the Russians surely would. And they were right. It will change the way you think about America's space program and scientific progress to find out how many of these former Nazis and war criminals were brought to the US to fill influential positions.

And the terrifying thing is that it may have been necessary after all.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • stpal001
  • 2014-05-16

The truth is out there

What made the experience of listening to Operation Paperclip the most enjoyable?

Outstanding research packed with newly declassified material. I thought I understood Operation Paperclip very well. I did not know it at all. But I do now.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sharon
  • 2014-03-15

Exposure of the Systematic stonewalling of facts

A very interesting documentation of Operation Paperclip and what lies hidden behind the American Scientist Programs in post war America. The systematic cover-up of facts that dozens if not hundreds of Americans took part in , to bring NAZI WAR CRIMINALS to America to further our Space and Chemical Weapons Programs .
How some in the Military whitewashed the Nazi pasts of dozens of Doctors and Scientists allowing them to live the "American Dream", become respected members of the space pioneer elite and escape punishment for their atrocities during WW2.
The narration (by the author)was not as good as a professional but a fascinating story.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joel
  • 2016-07-22

Eye Opening Narrative of Where the Nazis Went

this was a great book following where some of the top scientist and engineers of the Nazi scientist and engineers went after the war; being absorbed into the USA and the USSR sometimes to continue their work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Russ
  • 2016-07-17

Outstanding

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Outstanding. A must read. I am patriotic, 110% American but this is an eye opener

1 of 1 people found this review helpful