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This is grand reading, both as a human document and as the adventure of a great people. Ruth Mitchell is discounted by some as too violently partisan -- her life and faith and fanatical devotion are tied up with the fate of the Serbs in Yugoslavia, and this is their story. She holds no brief for those who belittle Mihailovitch and his amazing achievement in holding together a segment of a fighting race, guerillas and Chetniks (of which group she is a sworn member, acting as intelligence officer on the danger line after the invasion). She hates the Croats almost more bitterly than she hates the Germans -- and takes no middle ground as to their deserved fate. Where Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon was a background picture and history of the Yugoslavs, Ruth Mitchell's book is definitely the picture of Yugosalv at war, with only brief and revealing searchlight on those aspects of the past that throw light on why they fight and how. Racial, political, economic, psychological factors are studied. But hers is a book closer to the people, where Rebecos West seemed to be on the fringe of the intellectuals and the officials, not the peasants and the working classes. Ruth Mitchell spent many months in jail, both in Jugoslavia and in Germany; but this is not only a picture of her own horrible experiences, but the stories of her fellow prisoners, with what light that throws on conditions there after the occupation. Good adventure -- and an important slant on a section of the world that may be tomorrow's battleground -- a backdoor to Germany, where a fighting race has never acknowledged defeat.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1943
Publisher: Doubleday, Doran