The fact that Lorna Arnold, now aged 96 and blind, has written a memoir of her life, is itself remarkable. Even more so is the story she tells - watching her father's airship during World War I, working in intelligence and the diplomatic service in World War II, helping to administer postwar Berlin, serving in Washington, then - to her surprise - becoming the official historian of the UK Atomic Energy Authority. Her meticulous and enthralling account of the catastrophic Windscale fire in 1957, for instance, is rivetting reading, an exemplary demonstration of official history at its best, forthright, unsparing and penetrating. This memoir shows that in her ninth decade she still writes with a freshness and clarity to cherish. Highly recommended.
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