All Art Is Propaganda

All Art Is Propaganda

Critical Essays

Book - 2008
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The little-known story of the Sharps whose rescue and relief missions across Europe during World War II saved the lives of countless Jews, refugees, and political dissidents. Official companion to the Ken Burns PBS film.

For readers captivated by the story of Antonina Zabinski as told in The Zookeeper's Wife and other stories of rescue missions during WWII, Defying the Nazis is an essential read.

In 1939, the Reverend Waitstill Sharp, a young Unitarian minister, and his wife, Martha, a social worker, accepted a mission from the American Unitarian Association: they were to leave their home and young children in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and travel to Prague, Czechoslovakia, to help address the mounting refugee crisis. Seventeen ministers had been asked to undertake this mission and had declined; Rev. Sharp was the first to accept the call for volunteers in Europe.

Armed with only $40,000, Waitstill and Martha quickly learned the art of spy craft and undertook dangerous rescue and relief missions across war-torn Europe, saving refugees, political dissidents, and Jews on the eve of World War II. After narrowly avoiding the Gestapo themselves, the Sharps returned to Europe in 1940 as representatives of the newly formed Unitarian Service Committee and continued their relief efforts in Vichy France.

A fascinating portrait of resistance as told through the story of one courageous couple, Defying the Nazis offers a rare glimpse at high-stakes international relief efforts during WWII and tells the remarkable true story of a couple whose faith and commitment to social justice inspired them to risk their lives to save countless others.
Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, c2008.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780807071830
Branch Call Number: 824.912 ORWELL G
Characteristics: xxxii, 374 pages ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Packer, George 1960-


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morrisonist Mar 18, 2016


Aug 17, 2015

Previous commenter got title wrong. It's Facing Unpleasant Facts.

Apr 21, 2015

Eric Blair, who wrote as George Orwell, was only 46 when he succumbed to tuberculous in 1950, but in his short life he had secured his place as one of the most important writers of the 20th century. The causal reader (and high school student) will always think of Orwell in connection with "1984" and "Animal Farm," but it's his non-fiction that is arguably more influential and enduring. This collection of his critical writings, compiled by New Yorker writer George Packer, is an excellent cross-section of his essays, which touch on politics, literature, film, theater, writing, and other subjects. Also check out the companion piece, "Facing Unpleasant Truths," which is a collection of his narrative essays.


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