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History Happy Hour

Episode 204: Pearl Harbor Spy

Guest: Ronald Drabkin

Sunday, June 30, 2024

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This Week on History Happy Hour: Franklin Rutland was a British World War I hero at the Battle of Jutland, becoming internationally known as “Rutland of Jutland.” He became a fixture of high society in Golden Age Hollywood – and a spy for the Japanese as they built their naval power in the Pacific. Then he became a double agent – could he have prevented Pearl Harbor?

Chris and Rick welcome Ronald Drabkin, author of Beverly Hills Spy: The Double-Agent War Hero Who Helped Japan Attack Pearl Harbor.


Ronald Drabkin's obsession with espionage history started when he was as a child in Los Angeles, where he vaguely understood that his father had been working for the US military in counterintelligence. Later he discovered that his grandfather had also been in “the business,” and it drove a voyage of discovery into previously classified documents on three continents. He is the author of many peer-reviewed articles on Japanese espionage. His career prior to writing was at early-stage startups in the US, where he was an early adopter of Google and Facebook advertising. He currently lives in Tokyo.

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