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The Ideal Occupation [Paperback]

Walter Schwarz
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Revel Barker (8 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907841024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907841026
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 22.6 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 781,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful memoir 14 April 2011
By Nick
I found this a delightful memoir right from the first page where Walter tells of his determination, when he was only 13, to become a foreign correspondent. Clearly he had what it takes: from that moment he kept diaries and wrote letters to his parents from Paris, Oxford University and his army service in the Malayan jungle.

Walter wrote for the Guardian from Nigeria, Israel, India and France. What I liked best is that he doesn't show off: he admits his faults - and even a disaster or two like turning up stoned for interview with Israel's famous one-eyed General Dayan: he had inadvertantly eaten hash cakes. Covering the Nigerian civil war he finished up in a
Biafran gaol.

I also liked the way he brings in his game-for-adventure wife Dorothy who bred horses in France, where they lived successively in three chateaux, and their five children who shared in the fun.

Back home, he finished up as the Guardian's religious affairs correspondent. He visited a sex cult in Leicestershire and he held debates with readers about whether faith needs miracles.

Schwarz calls himself a lucky boy because his Dad took his Jewish family out of Austria to Britain when he was seven just before Hitler marched in. He tells how he grew up during the war feeling more patriotic than the native British, with Winston Churchill as his hero.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational guide to journalism and to life! 24 April 2011
What a wonderfully evocative book. About journalism, living out one's dream, and life itself. The author shares his childhood dreams and the ups and downs of realizing them. The account is very personal, with an interesting chronicle of a young man growing up in the second half of the 20th century, as well as his family. The author shares his family tragedies, namely the loss of 2 daughters. Many interesting events that Schwarz witnessed are described from the inside, such as the Biafra war and the intrigues of French politics. The book is also a page turner, with wit and a litness of tone allowing the reader to drift through this life lived to the full.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, human account 23 April 2011
Walter Schwarz provides a compelling, honest and very human insider perspective on his extraordinary life as a journalist, a profession he clearly adored. Experiencing many important events of history on a first hand basis, Walter Schwarz seemed to travel through his experiences with both the bemusement of an observer and the grit of a participant. The story offers an at times amusing and down to Earth perspective amidst challenging and critical circumstances. Schwarz's experiences span many important events of history, and encounter quite a number of infamous actors in the flesh. But throughout one has the feeling Schwarz saw it all, even moments of significant peril, as an adventure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing talent for the written word 27 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase
Finding Walter's name crop up numerous times in my mother's journal from 1948 (Nancy Westrop nee Clegg) it was wonderful to compare parallel lives through their memories - both were in the same school debating society;both got Open Exhibitions to Oxford to study History at the same time.I was rather disappointed to find that my dear mother was unmentioned in these memoirs.However although Walter's life was infinitely more exciting and purposeful as brought to life through the written word both individuals had an amazing talent for writing.
(my dear mother died two weeks ago and as a true historian kept all her old journals)
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