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my brief internet search has been giving me mixed results, so i’m not sure if this is breaking news. but tomorrow, the CIA is going to release about 750,000 pages detailing the names of military and civilian operatives who were involved in an extensive spy ring for the US during World War II. they worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), an earlier form of the now CIA, studying military plans, creating propaganda and infiltrating enemy ranks – the very definition of a national spy in a wartime situation.
while I’m sure the “French” chef, Julia Child, wasn’t exactly trading secrets b/w the US and France, that would have been the perfect cover b/c it’s so seemingly obvious that no one would suspect. i think this only adds to her legend, and her grandeur. that was she was a spy for the US, not only did she save us from horrible ‘just fry everything’ american cooking, but she potentially helped the Allies win the war. a true patriot. can’t wait to see how Smith spins this into “julia child a spy – a true Smithie” or maybe it’ll just become part of Smithlore, something giddily whispered during campus tours. she is definitely one of the beloved alums, every year there is a Julia Child Day at Smith, usually in the fall, where all the cooks on campus pull out all their french cooking techniques to make this fancy but simple tasty food. i have to admit, i’m not the biggest fan of French cooking, perhaps i’ve just never eaten the right stuff or had the correct experience. but julia child is a fascinating subject. not just for the smith connection and what she did for our school, but her conceptions of cooking, gender, and relationship dynamics. i’m not sure if this Page 6 of the previously quoted NY Post is true, but it does make for an interesting study of how cooking, nationalism, gender, history, and conceptions of Smith College intersect. Julia Child defied the stereotypical Smithie image in many ways, but her story and manner is also one of our best representations of the all-women’s college philosophy.