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Germany Calling: A Personal Biography of William Joyce, Lord Haw-Haw

Germany Calling: A Personal Biography of William Joyce, Lord Haw-Haw
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Mary Kenny’s stunning biography of the notorious Lord Haw-Haw is the most intimate, revealing and dramatic account yet of one of the twentieth century’s most infamous lives.

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William Joyce – aka ‘Lord Haw-Haw’- was the notorious propaganda voice for Adolf Hitler, and the last man to be hanged for treason by the British Crown. But how did this ‘crazy mixed-up Irishman’ scale the heights of Mosley’s infamous Party? How did he infiltrate the very heart of the Third Reich to become one of World War II’s most enduring legends?

Dramatic, groundbreaking and compassionate, Germany Calling explores the lost roots and darkest motivations of one of the most reviled figures of the modern age.

Praise for Germany Calling:

‘Mary Kenny has written an absorbingly elegant study. To all [Joyce’s] shabby dreams, loyalties and cruelties Kenny brings both compassion and a clear mind. A biography whose even-handed beauty of expression combines Irish gravity with Irish spark’ –The Guardian

‘This book is a classic. [Mary Kenny’s] fascination with Joyce’s story has produced a book – and I know no higher praise for a biography – which is in the same league as AJ Symon’s … The Quest for Corvo. Mary Kenny’s book made me laugh aloud, and weep, and think. It is sympathetic, in all the right ways, to the monster it portrays’ – Evening Standard

‘Kenny presents for us an appalling man from an appalling time, but such is her narrative skill that we never entirely hate him, seeing in him the possibilities of distinction that were almost obliterated when he went over to the dark side’ – The Sunday Times

‘Popular hate figures are not easy subjects for the biographer. Rebecca West, who sat through Joyce’s trial for high treason in 1945, dismissed him as a “queer little Irish peasant who had gone to some pains to make the worst of himself”. In Germany Calling Mary Kenny has painted a more rounded portrait of Lord Haw-Haw, whose propaganda broadcasts for the Third Reich brought him to the scaffold at Wandsworth’ – The Times

Mary Kenny has worked tirelessly to present us with a fascinating portrait of one of Galway’s most infamous sons, whose sneering jibes on Berlin radio during World War II, as Hitler’s chief English-language announcer, earned him the nom de guerre Lord Haw-Haw. The real strength of Kenny’s book is that it contains a wealth of detail regarding Joyce’s Irish roots, which no earlier studies managed to achieve’ – Sunday Business Post

‘Germany Calling is undoubtedly Kenny’s best work. Comprehensive and authoritative, it nonetheless manages to be as impelling in its sweeping mastery of material as a thriller. The fact is that Germany Calling is a triumph. This sensitive and entertaining biography is the crowning achievement of an unorthodox writer’s career’ – Irish Independent

‘Mary Kenny is the perfect biographer for this bizarre figure. [Joyce] was a clever man who could have been a don. Kenny shows, though Joyce’s flights of political opinion soared to heights of rancour and bad taste, his core beliefs were not so different to many Irishmen of the period’ – Irish Examiner

‘Mary Kenny, with the aid of intelligence files released by the British government and other fresh material, has given flesh to [Joyce’s] story. Mary Kenny says she saw in Joyce some of her own flaws. It is, perhaps, this sympathy that has enabled her to produce such a convincing and gripping biography’ – Sunday Independent

‘The British government was on shaky legal ground in hanging American Joyce, but in those days better men were being executed for lesser sins. He was a wretched misfit, who allowed his intelligence to be perverted for the service of monsters’ – Sunday Telegraph


Mary Kenny


C-format, paperback





Release Date


Additional Information

Weight 0.366 g
Dimensions .234 × .156 × .20 mm


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