Bond. James Bond.
007 is a masculine film icon. Heâ€™s handsome, debonair, and dangerous. He completely epitomizes the French idea of savoir faire â€” the ability to know what to do in any situation.
Bond is so damn manly, itâ€™d be easy to think that he was purely the creation of author Ian Flemingâ€™s imagination. But in fact, Bond was inspired by a real-life WWII spy, and his life and career was even more Bond-like than James Bond himself.
My guest todayÂ has written a biography of the real-life inspiration for James Bond. His name is Larry Loftis and heâ€™s the author of the bookÂ Into The Lionâ€™s Mouth:Â The True Story of Dusko Popov: World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond. TodayÂ on the show we talk about Dusko Popov and his career as a double agent during WWII. Larry and I discuss how Dusko got involved with spying, the insanely dangerous missions he went on, and the real-life encounter between him and Ian Fleming that inspired one ofÂ popular culture’s most iconic characters.
- How Larry stumbled across the amazing, true-life story of Dusko Popov
- How Popov became a double agent for the UK during WWII
- Why being a spy is one of the most dangerous jobs to have during war
- How Popov was reporting to six different agencies from three different countries at the same time
- Why Popov took theÂ enormous risk of becoming a double-agent
- Dusko’s Bond-like personality and charm
- Why Lisbon was a hotbed of espionage activity during WWII
- Ian Fleming’s career as a naval intelligence officer
- The real-life backgammon bet that Ian Fleming saw Dusko partcipate inÂ that inspiredÂ Casino Royale
- Popov’s mission in the United States
- How J. Edgar HooverÂ made Popov’s job of keeping his German cover difficult
- How Walter Winchell nearly blew Popov’s cover by writing an article about his relationship with movie star Simone Simon
- Why returning back to Lisbon by orders of the Germans consitutedÂ Dusko’s “jumping into the lion’s mouth”
- Popov’s training with famed combat fighters William Fairbairn and Eric Sykes
- Popov’s life after the war
- Life lessons on being a man from Dusko Popov
- And much more!
Resources/Studies/People Mentioned in Podcast
- Dusko Popov
- Johnny Jebsen
- Ian Fleming
- British Naval Intelligence
- Double Cross Committee
- Casino Royale
- Comparison of Dusko Popov and James Bond
- Simone Simon
- Captain Ewen Montagu
- William Fairbairn
- Eric Sykes
- My podcast with Chris McDougall that talks about William Fairbairn’s and Eric Sykes’ combat fighting techniques
Into the Lion’s MouthÂ is a history book that reads like a fast-paced spy thriller. You’ll learn a ton about WWII espionage while anxiously wondering what’s going to happen next to Dusko. The perfect summertime read.
Listen to the Podcast! (And donâ€™t forget to leave us a review!)
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