Here is the autobiography of the mid-European journalist whose Darkest Hour was perhaps, the best record to date of a...



Here is the autobiography of the mid-European journalist whose Darkest Hour was perhaps, the best record to date of a dramatic escape from collapsed and conquered France. The success of the earlier book will give this an impetus to sales which will help it take the hurdle of its less popular content and handling. For here is no sensational, wrecking tale of adventure, but an introspective, personal record of a literate idealist in a generation of change. Born in Russia, a Jew, he came in early youth to Vienna; he was brought up in moderate circumstances, was from childhood an aesthete, more interested in things of the soul and intellect than of practical considerations. He found his level as a writer while still in school, and became a journalist of note, usually in somewhat liberal journals, -- the Arbeiter-Zeitung, the Rote Fahne, even during his months at the front, -- during the last war. The Polish front, the Russian front, the Italian front -- he saw them all. His story records his association with such men as Stressor, la Kun, Paul Lavi, Karl Radek. The fateful picture of German collapse, the hopeless cause of the German Republic, the catastrophic pattern of Communism in Germany, in Austria. He established a news service which took him all over Europe, gave him insight into the significance of the Fascist disorders in northern Italy, the shortive early attempts of Hitler to gain power -- and he saw them for what they signified, even when 1923 seemed far from 1932. Mowrer, who shared his views, became a close friend (and with Dorothy Thompson helped his escape after the fall of France). Into this many faceted story of the road to war, he injects much that is purely personal, his affairs, his marriage; there are some episodes that stand out as game of dramatic writing, as for example the story of Anita Berber and the night in the gambling joint. An important book for those who are seeking various approaches to the undercurrent of various elements seething in pre-war Europe. But the average layman, who found Darkest Hour an exciting bit of adventure, will find this somewhat heavy going.

Pub Date: May 5, 1942


Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1942