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A Chill in the Air by Iris Origo
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A Chill in the Air

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A Chill in the Air by Iris Origo
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Aug 07, 2018 | ISBN 9781681372648

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    Aug 07, 2018 | ISBN 9781681372648

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“It’s almost impossible to imagine a better time to read A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary, 1939–1940…Trenchant, intelligent, and written with a cool head…it can be read not only as a historical document but as an urgent message, a stealth paper airplane sent to us from a shadowed past…One of the vital interests of the diary is watching the alert, perspicacious mind of a supremely intelligent person coming alive to the situation around her.” —Cynthia Zarin, The New Yorker

“One of the great values of this brief but highly readable earlier diary is that it was written when the direction of history—whether there would be a war and how it would turn out—was far less clear.” –Alexander Stille, The New York Times Book Review

“A gripping insight into the period leading up to the summer of 1940, when Mussolini aligned with Hitler against the Allies…[Origo] kept this diary as a record of what she learnt from gossip, hearsay, newspaper reports and the foreign radio broadcasts she tuned into, in an attempt to cut through the propaganda and piece together the true global picture.” —The Telegraph

“A reminder of what an intelligent, scholarly and perceptive writer Origo was, and of the deep affection she felt for her adopted country. She had no illusions about its shortcomings, but she understood them in a way few foreigners ever have done.” —Caroline Moorehead, The Times Literary Supplement

“What Iris Origo captures here, poignantly and with great clarity, is the silence that falls when peacetime debate is replaced by the brute simplicity of armed combat.” —Lucy Hughes-Hallett
A Chill in the Air proves Origo a strikingly attentive and perceptive chronicler of ordinary people and everyday life during extraordinary times.” —The National (UK)
“Origo’s compelling and illuminating journal is a potent blend of sifted news reports, collected rumours and collated views. In and around this, Origo sprinkles her own shrewd reflections, keen-eyed observations and ever-increasing doubts.” —The Herald (UK) 

“This volume, a worthy counterpart to War in the Val d’Orcia, focuses on Mussolini’s fatal miscalculation that, heedless of the dangers for Italy, he could side with Hitler to extract maximum profit from a German victory. Origo decided in March 1939 to keep the diary to help her remain ‘steady’ as the government of her adopted homeland became increasingly hostile to her two countries of origin.” —The Guardian

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