The Baton and the Jackboot - Then and Now

September 24, 2014 5:04 PM

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The Baton and the Jackboot - Then and Now

Have you ever played that game about which famous characters you would love to be seated next to at a dinner party? For some, it might be Homer or Shakespeare or Abe Lincoln. My choice has varied over the years. Sometimes it's historical -- Brutus, for instance; other times, it's cultural -- like Christopher Marlow or a young Tolstoy. The quality of conversation would be amazing and then there are all those questions to be asked.

But I have just read a book, whose author is now at the top of my dinner party list. Her name is Berta Geissmar and she was born in Mannheim, Germany in 1892 and died in London in 1949. She was a doctor of philosophy, a musician, and an author who wrote one of the most compelling memoirs I have ever...

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