Excellent, well-presented evidence of the incalculable strengths and abilities of women to create and run a country.



In the final volume of the Resistance Quartet, Moorehead (A Bold and Dangerous Family, 2017) continues her work exalting the women of World War II who saved their countries from fascism.

The author now turns to the Piedmont region of Northern Italy and the city of Turin, which was a hotbed of fascism but also the epicenter of the resistance. Moorehead relies heavily on the diaries of participant Ada Gobetti, who, along with Bianca Serra, Frida Malan, and Silvia Pons, formed a core group within the thousands of women who drove the resistance from 1943 to 1945. Under 20 years of Mussolini’s rule, women were expected to be submissive and produce children. “One of the key beliefs in Fascist ideology,” writes the author, “was that men and women were inherently different.” But being ignored as insignificant made them perfect couriers and concealers of messages, escapees, and arms. These women, who produced underground newspapers, led strikes, and transported escapees, were crucial to the resistance, and Moorehead clearly delineates their determination and heroism throughout the exciting narrative. After Mussolini’s fall, Italy secured an armistice with the Allies, but the Germans moved in to take over the country. Thus, a multifaceted war began, but was it civil war, a war of liberation, or a class war? With multiple governments and armies, it was chaotic. The Italian army had little leadership, and most of the soldiers abandoned their posts. With more than 100,000 disbanded soldiers, it fell to the women to help. In the Piedmont hills, a dozen separate groups eventually winnowed down to a six-party coalition while help from the Allies was difficult to find. Turin’s Liberation Day, April 26, 1945, was organized by the women of the resistance and featured a complete stoppage of factories, trams, courts, and shops. The partisan groups, men and women, quickly established government offices and handled expected reprisals. This is a highly satisfying conclusion to the author’s series.

Excellent, well-presented evidence of the incalculable strengths and abilities of women to create and run a country.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-268635-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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