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The Traitors

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781473620346

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 13th July 2017

Genre: Humanities / History / Military History / Second World War

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‘An epic tale of love, dishonour, bravery, cowardice, betrayal and high-treason. Beautifully written. A stunning debut’ Damien Lewis

Playboy. Fascist. Strongman. Thief.

John Amery is a drunk and a fanatic, an exiled playboy whose frail body is riven by contradictions. Harold Cole is a cynical, murderous conman who desperately wants to be seen as an officer and a gentleman. Eric Pleasants is an iron-willed former wrestler; he is also a pacifist, and will not be forced into fighting other men’s battles. William Joyce can weave spells when he talks, but his true gifts are for rage and hate.

By the end of the Second World War, they will all have betrayed their country. The Traitors is the story of how they came to do so. Drawing on declassified MI5 files, it is a book about chaotic lives in turbulent times; idealism twisted out of shape; of torn consciences and abandoned loyalties; and the tragic consequences that treachery brings in its wake.


An epic tale of love, dishonour, bravery, cowardice, betrayal and high-treason. Beautifully written. A stunning debut
Damien Lewis
A terrific read that is lucid, insightful and beautifully written. Josh Ireland's masterful prose breathes life into these complex, deceitful, yet profoundly fascinating traitors. Set against a backdrop of violent extremism and political failure, The Traitors rings a loud warning bell from history
Giles Milton
Josh Ireland's achievement is to tell the story of some of Britain's most inglorious, notorious and vainglorous characters in the most glorious and elegant way. He provides a warning for our times from this true story, painting the most vivid of pictures with the sharpest of novelist's pens
John Bew
Startlingly vivid . . . unmistakably a book of our times
Prospect Magazine
In this clever, racy book [Josh Ireland] tells the stories of four British citizens who served Nazi Germany . . . full of energy and stylish phrase-making
The Times
[Ireland] comments intelligently on their motives and describes enough of their worlds and views to give us essential context
The Spectator
Ireland's book gives a good flavour of the personality defects that caused men to betray their country . . . Ireland tells their stories entertainingly, and examines their motives without prejudice
Daily Telegraph
Absorbing . . . Josh Ireland organises this testament of treachery with vim and purpose . . . he skewers his subjects with a piercing revulsion
Mail on Sunday
A well-written and very readable account of these four unappealing characters . . . this is a tough subject to get to grips with. Ireland's book is a very worthy effort
Literary Review
His book is timely, certainly, in raising questions about patriotic loyalty . . . Josh Ireland writes with friendly immediacy. He is a suave raconteur who gets the pace of his stories right
Ireland tells his four characters' stories with immense skill, to reveal their motives and lead them to inevitable ruin. In the process, he raises a question of great importance now: what is patriotism, and why should we care?
Observer, Books of the Year
Ireland gives a vivid account of this repellent, but fascinating, quartet
Daily Mail