McALLEN – Some people believe that books are, or should be, done away with. They want everything to be on television, the movies, and their computers. They are wrong.
As the McAllen - and all other - libraries prove, you can learn more and reach it well in libraries full of books. The chatter on computers does not have the impact that a library can give them.
McAllen's library, preparing to move into its huge new building in North McAllen in November or soon after, will offer the great assets books can provide.
Personally, I prefer to read my books rather than put them on computers. To each his own style, because reading a book at home seems better than putting it online, to me.
A book I got from the McAllen Library and brought home I read in three days, and don't think I would have skipped spaces and condensed it, as too many people do.
I have never read a true story about spies until this one dropped into the book titled "Agent Zigzag."
It is a true story of Nazi espionage, love and betrayal.
People who just read bits of things will have missed the damnedest true story about World War II that this careful reader has ever read.
Too much of today's talk on the computer is shallow and in my opinion, often inaccurate. This book is called one of the most extraordinary of stories of the Second World War. A German soldier trained to be a German spy after France had surrendered in the Second World War.
He seemed like a loyal German. He became a spy in England who survived four years as a double agent named Eddie Chapman. The Germans wanted him - he spoke good English - to find out, at all costs, where the Allies were going to invade Europe. He fed them chances and fooled them completely, but the Germans were certain he was right.
He was given an Iron Cross because they thought was going to win the war for them. Ironically, the British later gave him their highest medal for betraying the true invasion spot and vastly helping the war, even winning it.
He then disappeared from view for many years. He feared that some Germans might have found out his great accomplishment and would kill him long after the war.
Sixty years after the end of the war, and 10 years after Chapman's death, the British de-classified all his files of top-secret names and allowed the full story of the agent to be told for the first time.
This will make your hair turn white if you read it at night, because it is unbelievable and true. Agent Z-2, as he was called by the British, is now allowing the full story to be told for the first time.
There were many deaths by other German agents and of course by many English agents who went back to Germany. I could not put this book down, because I am a student of the Normandy invasion, which was the right place and this revealed how he fooled the Germans for two or three weeks that the real invasion would be somewhere else than Normandy.
It was a "damn close thing," one general said in Normandy, where the Germans might well have won the war if they had thrown everything at the beaches and destroyed the men who were ashore.
I am putting this back in the McAllen Library to give it to any people who will want to see this incredible story, all of it true, because the British spies checked everything that happened.
Youthful Ben MacIntyre, the author, made a tremendous true story of Nazi espionage. His English books are available at Harmony Books in New York or to check out at the McAllen Library if you want to read perhaps the best of all the true modern spy stories.
Even veteran spy-story readers will find this hard to take in a book full of murders, but it is the truth, quite clearly, from all the careful evidence sought and found, some blood-stained.
However, William Boyd of the Sunday London Telegraph in England called it "One of the most extraordinary stories of the Second World War."
And this is just one of the McAllen Library's exceptional and international stories we should keep and treasure for everyone in the future.