Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Covert Affair by Jennet Conant

I've been remiss in posting about what I've been reading. I've been busy getting the site set up for the book I'm writing with Linda Lewis Keeney, One Brave Thing a Day. (Shameless plug, I know, but I'm full of arugula!)

Here's to getting back on track with updating my current reads, though. A few days ago I finished the advance copy of the latest history by Jennet Conant (The Irregulars)-- A Covert Affair: The Adventures of Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS.

It was a great read. How could I not love a book that quotes this letter from Julia to Paul when he was being investigated by the HUAC?

"You are finer, better, more lovable, more attractive, deeper, nicer, nobler, cleverer, stronger, and more wonderful [than other men]... I am so damned lucky even to know you, much less (or more) to be married to you." (pp 20-1)

Conant does a great job of revealing bits about these now-familiar dears. What the title doesn't adequately convey is that the Childs are only about 1/3 of the book, though. The other 2/3 are dedicated to their OSS colleagues and their adventures in the Pacific during and after WWII and the horrors of McCarthyism after the war.

This was a fun-to-read history that taught me loads about the OSS, the politics in the Pacific Theater, and the Red Scare.

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