wurdnurd, February 18, 2010 (view all comments by wurdnurd)
I’d never heard of the Mitford family, perhaps because I was a couple of generations too late, but this family lurked in the background of global politics and popular culture for decades. Lovell’s treatment of the drama, intrigue and controversy is sympathetic and mostly unbiased, even when discussing the Mitford’s extreme involvement in and support of the Nazi party. By the end of the book, I was marveling at how one family would be so tied up in world history, yet not really be a part of it at all. An insightful, thoughtful biography.
Donna Trujillo, November 26, 2007 (view all comments by Donna Trujillo)
We forget that history is writ large by small individuals who sit at common dinner tables, attend the same parties, devote themselves to the same everyday tasks and who bump into one another at the weddings of mutual friends and renegade cousins. Never is this clearer than in this book about the Mitford sisters, six remarkable women who emerged from the same aristocratic British family as the representative faces of the Twentieth Century's defining ideologies. Diana was the Fascist, Decca was the Communist, Nancy the Democrat, Pam the country girl, Debo the debutante and Unity the Hitler groupie. For each and all, it was not uncommon to spend afternoon tea time with Hitler then dine with Churchill, all the while engaging in the intimate struggles of sisterhood and ideology.
To read this book is to understand how public partisanship can explode in the halls of government then melt into a chummy luncheon, how a Democratic Kennedy can be married to a Republican governor, how a Bush can hold hands with a sheik on Monday and bomb him on Tuesday.
Sisters the Saga of the Mitford Family is a carefully woven collective biography of six women whose individual stories are more than enough to satisfy the most avid biography junkie. But when the stories are told together against the backdrop of the entire Twentieth Century, the result is a delicious tangle of history, celebrity and intrigue that is both fascinating and moving.
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W. W. Norton & Company -
This is the story of a close, loving family splintered by the violent ideologies of Europe between the wars. Jessica was a Communist; Debo became the Duchess of Devonshire; Nancy was one of the bestselling novelists of her day; the beautiful Diana was the most hated woman in England; and Unity Valkyrie, born in Swastika, Alaska, would become obsessed with Adolf Hitler.
"[A] balanced, well-researched, and beautifully written biography....[an] exceptional achievement."--Bay Area Reporter, Tavo Amador
"Fascinating, the way all great family stories are fascinating."--Robert Gottlieb,
This is the Story of a close, loving family splintered by the violent ideologies of Europe between the wars. Jessica was a Communist; Debo became the Duchess of Devonshire; Nancy was one of the best-selling novelists of her day; the ethereally beautiful Diana was the most hated woman in England; and Unity Valkyrie, born in Swastika, Alaska, would become obsessed with Adolf Hitler.
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