History occurs every moment, this sentence is already history, but often times history remains hidden for many years. Governments love to ‘classify’ information, particularly information that might be embarrassing. Huffing, puffing, and posturing, we are told that ‘This information is classified for 50 years because of state security reasons’, or some other ridiculous claim! With the world moving as fast as it is, I can think of no situation that would require this amount of secrecy!

Legerdemain by James Heaphey is about to take the lid off one of the finest pieces of deception and manipulation by the US government against our allies and enemies in the early 1950’s. The Cold War was raging, although the Cuban Missile Crisis was still a decade away, nuclear nerves were already frayed.

This might surprise many of you, but the exotic country of Morocco played a pivotal part in the nuclear ballet between The US and the USSR. Most scholars acknowledge that from 1954 it became a staging and storage location for American Nukes, but what if they were wrong? Did the government not only mislead the US population, but also France, who at that time controlled Morocco, and NATO, whose skirts they were hiding under with their rather strange air base?

I have been salivating to get my hands on this book, and a pre release copy found it’s ways to a very good home in my tender care! It is not written in the cold history style, it is a human story, told by the man James Heaphy, who was actually there when this was all happening. And lets face it, ‘eye witness’ is the best witness to have.

I have been bugging the poor publisher a lot about this book (apologies Don), in fact I am sure that the History Publishing Company has me on ‘call ignore’ by now! But I did get a couple of great quotes from the nice lady that was the proof reader for this project. When asked who this book would appeal to she said “This is a man’s book that women will love to read”, and of course with the setting being the steamy and exotic city of Casablanca “Is this the book that will finally one-up, Bogart and Bergman”. Well if you want my opinion, yes it is.

Oh, and the review is coming soon!

Simon Barrett


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