Paper Bullets: Two Artists Who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis

Write a Review
Gift wrapping:
Options available

Description Hide Description- Show Description+

**Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction**

Paper Bullets is the first book to tell the history of an audacious anti-Nazi campaign undertaken by an unlikely pair: two French women, Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe, who drew on their skills as Parisian avant-garde artists to write and distribute “paper bullets”—wicked insults against Hitler, calls to rebel, and subversive fictional dialogues designed to demoralize Nazi troops occupying their adopted home on the British Channel Island of Jersey. Devising their own PSYOPS campaign, they slipped their notes into soldier’s pockets or tucked them inside newsstand magazines.

Hunted by the secret field police, Lucy and Suzanne were finally betrayed in 1944, when the Germans imprisoned them, and tried them in a court martial, sentencing them to death for their actions. Ultimately they survived, but even in jail, they continued to fight the Nazis by reaching out to other prisoners and spreading a message of hope.

Better remembered today by their artist names, Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, the couple’s actions were even more courageous because of who they were: lesbian partners known for cross-dressing and creating the kind of gender-bending work that the Nazis would come to call “degenerate art.” In addition, Lucy was half Jewish, and they had communist affiliations in Paris, where they attended political rallies with Surrealists and socialized with artists like Gertrude Stein.

Paper Bullets is a compelling World War II story that has not been told before, about the galvanizing power of art, and of resistance.

Author: Jeffrey H. Jackson

Hardback Published 10 November 2020 336 pages

“Every page is gripping, and the amount of new research is nothing short of mindboggling. A brilliant book for the ages!”—Douglas Brinkley, Rice University Professor and bestselling author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

“This is a Nazi resistance story like none you’ve ever heard or read, a story with two unlikely heroines who risked their lives in their subversive—and often wildly creative—struggle to face down evil. Paper Bullets prompts us to explore the boundaries of art, love, gender, and politics—and to question the true meaning of courage.”—Hampton Sides, bestselling author of In the Kingdom of Ice and On Desperate Ground

“Cataloguing everything from their small but fearless acts of resistance to their harrowing stints in prison cells, author Jeffrey H. Jackson had us utterly riveted. His well-researched history goes deep into the characters of these two unlikely heroes, whose rebellion was fueled by love and compassion. Malherbe and Schwob’s inspiring story is barely known, but Paper Bullets will make you want to shout it from the rooftops.”Apple Books (Best Book of November)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest updates on new products and upcoming sales

No thanks