Journey to Peking

A Secret Agent in Wartime China

Softcover $5.19
Book: Cover Type


Readers with a penchant for real-life cloak and dagger stories won't be disappointed with this memoir. Dan Pinck’s World War II adventures behind the Japanese lines in war-torn China resulted in vital information being passed along to the Allies and his up close-and-personal look at the world of covert military operations in that country will fascinate many. But the author does not focus on the heroics typically encountered in spy stories. Pinck ignores the glamour to give a totally candid view of events with an engaging style and self-deprecating wit. Just nineteen years old when he volunteered for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), he was assigned to an area near Hong Kong where he worked with some twenty local agents. The sole American agent in the area, Pinck coordinated the gathering of information about troop movements and shipping along the Japanese-held coast, efforts that resulted in the sinking of several enemy ships. Prior to Japan’s surrender he was mapping Japanese coastal emplacements in the area where an American invasion was scheduled.        


About the Author

Editorial Reviews

"Dan Pinck has written one of the best autobiographies on the life of the secret agent in the field that I have ever read: lively, amusing, true, and well-written. What more can one ask for?" —Robin W. Winks Townsend Professor of History, Yale University and author of Cloak and Gown: Scholars in the Secret War, 1939-196
"Having written three books dealing with the OSS, I can say that nothing I've read better captures the dash, the mystery, and the improbability of that citizen/spy service than Dan Pinck's vivid account of his adventures in wartime China. Pinck tells his tale with a survivalist saving sense of humor, recognizing that war is hell but not without its amusing absurdities. Here is truth told with the punch of a well-crafted novel." —Joseph Persico, author of Roosevelt's Secret War
"This spirited and irreverent memoir of life as an OSS agent in China is both excellent reading and a useful footnote to history." —Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Historian, writer, and former Special Assistant to President Kennedy
"This is a wonderful book." —Thomas Powers, author of The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA
"There is not a sentence in Dan Pinck's charm-laden memoir that does not proclaim him a writer in the most honorific sense of the word: someone who sees the world in a fresh, amused, ironic, stylish, sometimes oblique, finally always joyous way. Like all really good books, Journey to Peking widens its readers' horizons and makes life seem even richer and more fascinating than one had imagined." —Joseph Epstein, author of Snobbery and fourteen other books
"What most war memoires do is capture big events. What Dan Pinck -- who has done it all -- does is relate the day-in day-out experiences of being in a covert war, without overstatement. This is both quite a feat and a valuable addition to history." —W. E. B. Griffin, author of more than twenty-five novels of men at war, included in his series: Badge of Honor, Brotherhood of War and The Corp

“Wonderfully evocative of Northern Guangdong during the war and Peking afterwards. . . a page turner.” —Journal of Military History

“Dan Pinck’s attention to detail in this book is what makes it special. It is filled with the keen and colorful observations of a young man spending the war in a sleepy Chinese village; one largely unaffected by war. The rhythms of Chinese life are set against ‘The faded greenness of the landscape …[which]… reflected the burned-out appearance of bleached cloth, not prophesying much power even at the farthest horizons, where tall mountains shadowed smaller ones and the almost imperceptible border of hills.’ Journey to Peking will appeal to anyone interested in a realistic account of covert action, written as a beautiful piece of literature.” —The Journal of America’s Military Past