A Quiet American: The Secret War of Varian Fry


by: Marino, Andy
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description Offers a close-up look at the life of Varian Fry, an American political journalist and closet homosexual, who masterminded the escape from occupied Europe of nearly two thousand of Europe's intelligensia, many Jewish refugees, including Marc Chagall, Enrico Fermi, Hannah Arendt, and many others. 35,000 first printing. Amazon.com Review What bookish, young Harvard man Varian Fry described as his "own little war" involved no small ambition: working under the nose of the Nazis through the early years of World War II, Fry set out almost single-handedly to rescue a hefty portion of Europe's cultural and intellectual capital. Literally boatloads of Europe's best and brightest minds--poets, scientists, philosophers, musicians, painters--found safe haven with Fry and safe passage from Europe, eluding the ubiquitous Gestapo plainclothesmen ("the green fedoras") and the street-by-street raids by their Vichy cronies. Writer ( Herschel: The Boy Who Started World War II), thanks in no small part to the earlier research of editor Donald Carroll, details the war years of this man, dubbed "America's Oskar Schindler" and the New York-based Emergency Rescue Committee that he helped found to fund his work. Reading like a cross between Casablanca and A Year in Provence, A Quiet American follows Varian Fry from his tumultuous beginnings convincing (among others) Eleanor Roosevelt of the necessity of his mission to his work with gangsters and gun-runners in the streets of Marseilles in order to secure the safety of Europe's intelligentsia, including such luminaries as , , , and . The comparison to Oskar Schindler is apt and well deserved, but Fry's tale is all the better for his unique transformation: while Schindler was something of an opportunist-made-good, Fry was an effete, preppy intellectual, sincerely inspired by idealistic notions, whose secret work shaped him into a scrappy, resourceful hero. --Paul Hughes From Publishers Weekly Nations" by Israel, the same designation given to Oskar Schindler. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal We have all heard of Oskar Schindler and his famous list. Now we have the remarkable story of an American journalist named Varian Fry who, through a sophisticated and astonishing network of subterfuge in southern France, managed to spirit some of this century's most famous artists and authors out of Nazi-occupied Europe in 1940 and 1941. By the time he left France, just ahead of the Nazis, Fry had aided nearly 1500 refugees in their flight to America, including such luminaries as Hannah Arendt, Heinrich Mann, Marc Chagall, Enrico Fermi, and Max Ernst. Marino (Herschel: The Boy Who Started World War II) tells a gripping story of wartime Europe and daily life for those under the Nazi microscope. Fry's personal life is itself amazing; when coupled with his exploits in Marseille, it becomes a riveting story. For general collections.AEdward Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Booklist This interesting story has an interesting origin. Thirty-five years ago an editor learned that Fry helped save Marc Chagall from the Nazis and began, but abandoned, a biography. Marino here completes it. When France fell, Fry was a 33-year-old aesthete, associated with international affairs journals in New York. A German refugee politician beseeched him to rally U.S. intellectuals to save those of Europe who had collected in unoccupied France; Fry's efforts gave rise to the Emergency Rescue Committee. Marino recounts how Fry, not exactly the man-of-action type, talked himself into being the committee's man in Marseilles. He spirited about 1,500 people to freedom in 1940^-41, among them such irreplaceable cultural figures as poet Andre Breton, novelist Thomas Mann, and painter Max Ernst. Future historiography benefited with the escapes of Golo Mann and Konrad Heiden, the latter the first revealing biographer of Hitl


Product Code: 9780312203566
ISBN: 031220356X
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 1999-10-29
Number of Pages: 288 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1st
Dimension: 5.98 x 1.5 x 9.41 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds