WAR WITHIN AND WITHOUT: Diaries and Letters, 1939-1944 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
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WAR WITHIN AND WITHOUT: Diaries and Letters, 1939-1944

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This, the ""fifth and last"" volume of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's diaries and letters, finds the Lindberghs returning from self-imposed exile in Europe (following the kidnapping and death of baby Charles) only to be exiled at home by Charles Lindbergh's outspoken opposition to American participation in the war, his disdain for embattled Britain and his apparent tolerance for Nazi Germany. ""My marriage has stretched me out of my world,"" writes AML in October 1940, ""changed me so it is no longer possible to change back."" She had grown up among Eastern internationalists; had made her own name as a writer; and gloried in good talk--""steel against steel,"" as she says of a euphoric weekend visit from Saint-ExupÉry early on. Then came ""my new anti-war life"" and the vilification that she constantly protests against, citing Charles' sincerity and integrity; her own efforts in his behalf (most especially, in The Wave of the Future, ""to give a moral argument for isolationism""); and finally his 1941 Des Moines speech scoring the Jews as warmongers (along with the British and the Roosevelt Administration), for which he was condemned even by fellow American Firsters. Her diary entries disclose that she had known what was coming and had tried to dissuade him (""Because it is at best unconsciously a bid for anti-Semitism""); and she writes to one of her few remaining friends that she does not agree. But she is loyal to her vision of Lindbergh the Lone Eagle--who, until Pearl Harbor puts an end to his endeavors, is never seen here as anything but ""exhilarated at working at a cause."" The book pushes on through the war years--Charles advises Ford on aircraft production, the Lindberghs live in other rented houses in (at first) uncongenial Bloomfield Hills, there are servant problems, another child is born, and as always Anne tries to write. But the diminuition of contacts also means that her subjects are limited, that her sharp, sometimes cutting observation of people and situations (an early stay with Marion Davies and WRH is one of the best bits here) will be supplanted largely by throughts: profundities. One may judge her variously (her nobility sometimes sticks in the craw); but a fascinating human and historical document, regardless.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1980
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich