Sleeping With the Enemy is a bubble-bursting kind of book.
When most people think of Coco Chanel, they probably picture her like I used to, as played by Audrey Tautau in Coco Before Chanel (2009). Either a hard-working young thing from the provinces, or the ambitious and innovative fashion icon she became later in her life.
After reading Hal Vaughan’s 2011 book, Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel, Nazi Agent, a new image comes to mind, and it’s not good. At best, Chanel was a powerful woman who would do anything to survive, to succeed, and to walk away from the war unscathed. At worst? Chanel was an anti-semitic Nazi collaborator and morphine-addicted snob who not only slept with the enemy, but aided them.
Hal Vaughan’s book relies on documents from a variety of archives and other legitimate sources, including German files discovered in the Soviet Union. They…
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