In chronicling the daring activity that went on for years, Grose keeps readers on edge with a heartwarming story of ordinary...

READ REVIEW

A GOOD PLACE TO HIDE

HOW ONE FRENCH VILLAGE SAVED THOUSANDS OF LIVES IN WORLD WAR II

In his American debut, Grose tells a little-known story of a pacifist pastor and the heroic Huguenot population of a plateau in France. These are the ordinary people of a handful of parishes who saved thousands from the Nazis.

Word spread quickly that the villages around Le Chambon-sur-Lignon would help not only Jews, but also illegal aliens and young men avoiding deportation to Germany’s factories. Perhaps it was the Huguenot background of persecution that fostered a people who kept secrets, minded their own business and helped their fellow sufferers. When André Trocmé took over as pastor from Charles Guillon, he preached nonviolent resistance and love of one's enemies. The plateau was a popular summer vacation spot and had little other attraction. There were no minerals, agriculture or wine production, which a nation at war might requisition, so it was effectively a safe haven. As a vacation spot, it had a wealth of guesthouses and hotels. All the pieces fell into place for the plateau after Trocmé met a Quaker who convinced him to take in children released from prison camps. Guillon moved to Geneva, where he was able to channel cash from American Quakers into the area. Oscar Rosowsky, an 18-year-old Latvian typewriter repairman, was a master forger, and Virginia Hall, an American spy, arranged for parachute supply drops after D-Day. In addition, some of the most important players in this operation were the Boy Scouts. Trocmé and many of his guides were Scouts with survival skills, and they were able to lead escapees safely to Switzerland. Almost everyone in the region took in at least one refugee, and they were so discreet that few neighbors knew of the others’ actions. The author ably narrates this inspiring story of “the courage and leadership of some remarkable men and women.”

In chronicling the daring activity that went on for years, Grose keeps readers on edge with a heartwarming story of ordinary heroes who just did what was required.

Pub Date: April 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60598-692-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pegasus

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

NIGHT

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

Did you like this book?

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more