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Village of Secrets


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From the author of the New York Times bestseller A Train in Winter comes the extraordinary story of a French village that helped save thousands who were pursued by the Gestapo during World War II.

About the Author

Caroline Moorehead is the biographer of Bertrand Russell, Freya Stark, Iris Origo and Martha Gellhorn. Well known for her work in human rights, she has published a history of the Red Cross and a book about refugees, Human Cargo. Her biography of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Dancing to the Precipice, was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award in 2009. Caroline's most recent book was A Train in Winter. She lives in London.


"Brilliant... It is refreshing to read a book that so confidently abandons the rhetoric of heroism and tries to see its subjects for who they were... Moorehead has had to master a huge amount of background material, and she pulls it off with skill and a remarkable lightness of touch" -- Keith Lowe Mail on Sunday "Riven with complexity... Stories of this weight could occupy several volumes and would still disorientate with all the possibilities - both altruistic and malevolent - of human nature" -- Sinclair Mckay Telegraph " unsparing yet balanced account of the Vichy years...we need books like this to make it impossible for us to forget." -- Alan Judd Spectator "An especially poignant story... enthralling and meticulous book... amidst the horror of the Holocaust - and such horror is painfully evident in the lives of those left behind - this book shows that human kindness endured undimmed by the propaganda, the threats of violence and the vast rewards on offer for submitting to the will of Nazis" -- Harry Hodges Daily Express "Moorehead draws vivid portraits of those who helped...The emotional heart of the book beats in the children's stories...The story does not end with Liberation. Moorehead, a biographer and historian, scrupulously records the emotional fallout from the children's experiences" -- Edward Stourton The Times "A lot is known about the authors of this unhuman cruelty, the Nazi overlords and their villainous Vichy accomplices. Less well-documented are the heroes, the ordinary, decent people, who put their lives at risk by hiding and saving Jews from death camps. Village of Secrets is an impressive attempt to set straight the record, an uplifting tale of courage and morality...Moorehead travelled the world interviewing survivors and had access to archives that few have seen" -- Matthew Campbell The Sunday Times "Compelling and authoritative...latterly, Moorehead writes, there has been an emphasis on 'minimising collaborators and celebrating resisters'. She sets that record straight" -- Sue Gaisford Financial Times "Moorehead is not the first to have written of this remarkable safe enclave, but she has investigated the most thoroughly, tracking down survivors among the protectors and among the children...this is an inspiring book " -- Peter Lewis Daily Mail 'Book of the Week' "A tremendously well-written and important book and a testament to the qualities Camus lent La Peste's hero: 'humane, optimistic, tolerant, free-thinking, ever alive to injustice and acts of inhumanity'" -- Rebecca K Morris Independent "Caroline Moorehead's remarkable book is in essence the story of how a community, or rather group of communities, survived the travails of war with dignity. It is also a tale that gives a larger meaning to Hemingway's macho phrase, 'grace under pressure'... Moorehead is wary of attempts to simplify history and ignore the complications of memory... What, as the last memories dim, was the truth? Moorehead's question is implicit: is there such a thing? The reader is left with another question, equally difficult: 'what would I have done?'" -- Ian Bell The Herald "Fascinating and heartening story... Thorough, objective and readable... captivating" -- Roger Hutchinson Scotsman "Brilliantly captures the actions of an astonishing, taciturn wartime community" -- Dermot Bulger Sunday Business Post "A story of courage and determination, of heroic individuals...and of what can be done when people come together to oppose tyranny" Sunday Telegraph

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