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The Inner Circle: A View of War at the Top [Paperback]

Joan Bright Astley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Memoir Club; New edition edition (22 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841041661
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841041667
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 904,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Joan Bright worked for General Ismay (Chief of Staff to Churchill as Minister of Defence) organising a very confidential service of information to the field-commanders, enabling them to be briefed on the secrets of what was happening or about to happen. As the war progressed and many Allied conferences were held, she became responsible for making in advance the arrangements for the many domestic necessities to be provided, where generals slept, etc. In these capacities, from the inside and at first hand, she was therefore able to observe most of Britain's leading men-of-war and also the men taking part in the great debates - Americans and Russians as well as British. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gutsy girl 31 Jan 2012
I ordered this book having visited the Churchill War Rooms and Joan Bright's name kept coming up in the literature. So I judged it could be quite informative. I was not disappointed. She started off as a shorthand typist and ended up organising the British side of the allied conferences planning the end of WWII and the post war world. There were few people at the top of the allied governments who were not on first name terms with her.

Although she was not a politician and she describes the 'downstairs' view of running a wartime government, she demonstrated a better understanding of war time strategic decision making than I got from (say) Liddell Hart. Perhaps this is because all the key papers went across her desk. She achieved this understanding without the benefit of a good secondary education.

Her writing style makes easy but compelling reading. To me it was more gripping than many books of fiction. The down side was that I devoured it too quickly and was disappointed when I got to the end. I wanted more. So I Googled her to find she spent the rest of her life socialising and writing military history books.

She was awarded the OBE for her wartime efforts and Ian Fleming part modelled Miss Moneypenny on her. That's a real lasting tribute. Book highly recommended too!
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5.0 out of 5 stars think this will be an interesting read 15 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
didnt know this book excisted but now i have it really looking forward to reading it.winston churchill very interesting man
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