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War in Val D'Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944 Paperback – 4 Aug 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby; New edition edition (4 Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749004231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749004231
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 331,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

It is hard to belive that the popular Italian region of Tuscany, or Chiantishire as it is known these days, was, just 40 years ago, a no-man's land fought over by conflicting armies and ideologies. But British-born writer and wife of an Italian Marchese Iris Origo kept a diary during the Second World War, and has left behind her a compelling account of those turbulent times. Even while German troops were occupying her house, she wrote at night about her valiant attempts to shelter refugee children, burying her diary in the garden each morning. What makes this elegantly written testament so enduringly powerful is Origo's bravery in secretly taking in escaped Allied soldiers, and her modesty--she was too "busy" to be afraid. She also reveals a clear-sighted understanding of the peasants' desperate situation: "Profoundly disillusioned, cynical, tired, fully conscious that more suffering and privations still lie ahead, they are a defeated nation--and the only universal incentive still left is that of self-preservation." Origo is the exception--fearlessly involved in distributing illicit aid, she ran the gamut of German bullets. Essentially, though, hers was a personal war--that of compassion and humanity against politically motivated invaders. -- Lilian Pizzichini

Review

'It is jolting to recall, through Origo's sober and self-effacing prose, the atrocious conditions of the summer of 1944, as the Allies fought their way painfully up the peninsula from the beachhead of Anzio.' Financial Times

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