Download book The Parting Of Ways: A Personal Account Of The Thirties

Original Title The Parting of Ways: A Personal Account of the Thirties
Rating 4.33
ISBN 0720605865
ISBN13 9780720605860
Publicate Peter Owen Publishers
Number Pages 232 pages
Publish Date 1982 by Shiela Grant Duff

When Shiela Grant Duff left Oxford in 1934 she was determined, with youthful idealism, to prevent the outbreak of another world war like the one that had devastated her childhood. She decided to become a foreign correspondent and apprenticed herself to Edgar Ansel Mowbray, the famous anti-Nazi correspondent of the Chicago Daily News in Paris. For the rest of the decade she found herself -- still scarcely more than a student -- at the centre of decisive events, reporting many of the crucial stages on Europe's path towards war.

In The Parting of Ways Shiela Grant Duff recaptures these momentous years with extraordinary immediacy recreating the atmosphere of almost constant tension (punctuated by moments of exquisite relief), of hope and eventual disillusionment. In particular she provides a vivid account of the Sudentenland crisis which ended in the betrayal of Czechoslovakia at Munich. As Observer correspondent in Prague from 1936, and a close friend of the influential Czech patriot Hubert Ripka, she witnessed at first hand the slow strangulation of the Czechoslovak Republic, and her own anger and despair led her to play her own small part in the drama by acting as an unofficial intermediary between the Czechs and Winston Churchill.

Although destined to occupy a special place among the histories of the 1930s, The Parting of Ways may well come to be remembered best for its author's depiction of her friendships. Shiela Grant Duff provides a moving account of her close relationship with Goronwy Rees, and illuminating and often amusing portraits of other Oxford friends, in particular Douglas Jay and Isaiah Berlin. She also describes the brief but influential period she spent as persona assistant to Jawaharlal Nehru in 1935. Central to the book, however, is the story of her friendship with Adam von Trott, the young German aristocrat who was to be executed for his part in the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler. Quoting freely from their letters to each other, Shiela Grant Duff traces the troubled course of this relationship to the inevitable 'parting of ways'. That both were working ultimately for the same purpose -- the overthrow of Hitler -- but were unable to agree on the means to that end, lends a poignant and tragic irony to her account.

Acutely observed and deeply felt, The Parting of Ways throws searching new light on one of the most fateful decades in European history.

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