The Violent Decade

Frank Gervasi, Author W. W. Norton & Company $25 (639p) ISBN 978-0-393-02464-7
Gervasi calls the decade 1935-1945 a ``cataclysm''; as Hearst bureau chief in Rome, then a war correspondent for Collier's , he was in the eye of the storm. His stirring, gutsy chronicle captures significant details as well as the big picture with the vivid immediacy of a newsreel. In Madrid, Gervasi ( War Has Seven Faces ) witnessed the October 1934 uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War; in Italy, he saw Mussolini building a police state. He covered the 1938 Munich talks, and went to Palestine in 1940 where thousands of Jewish refugees were pouring in. He watched the British rally to resist Hitler, interviewed General MacArthur in Manila and Jan Smuts in Cape Town; he covered the bloody Allied landing at Anzio, Italy in 1944. Somehow he found time to lunch with Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, meet Hemingway and Garbo, and file dispatches from Washington, Marseilles, Cairo, Budapest, India, Singapore, Burma. His first-rate journalism coalesces into an epic historical narrative. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/06/1989
Release date: 07/01/1989
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