To outwit Adolph Hitler, British spies even looked to the stars, according to top secret MI5 files recently released by Britain’s National Archives at Kew, in West London. Somehow, in the early 1940s, Louis de Wohl, astrologer, bogus noble and cross-dressing bon vivant, managed to dupe MI5, Britain’s eminent security service, into believing that he could predict the Führer’s confounding wartime strategy.By NANCY MACDONALD
FIDEL CASTRO did unseat a tyrannical dictator, but his country needed political revolution, not economic revolution (“Hasta la vista, baby,” World, March 3). The fact is that the rebel leader inherited the best economy in the Caribbean, rich with literate, skilled people and a health care system that was the best in Latin America.
The venom practically drips from the pages. Prosecutors have employed “slander, trickery and deceit” against him. The courts have swallowed “fabricated” evidence “fraudulently designed” by police and the Crown to secure a conviction.By CHARLIE GILLIS
Those who think globalization is the blessing (or curse) of our times should look hard, argues Timothy Brook’s entrancing Vermeer’s Hat (Penguin), at the images painted by the 17th-century Dutch master. Here a soldier’s hat is made of North American beaver pelts; there a woman stands beside a Turkish carpet, quite possibly bought with silver mined in Peru.
The troubled life and career of baseball star Darryl Strawberry overshadows that of more contemporary scandal-plagued ball players such as Roger Clemens. During his time at the New York Mets, Strawberry, now 46, was compared to the old home-run king Hank Aaron.
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