(1 customer review)

Looking for Trouble


Looking for Trouble

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SKU: 9780571367542 Category: Tag:


Author: Virginia Cowles; Christina Lamb (Introduction by)
Format: Hardback
Publication date: 18/01/2022
Imprint: FABER & FABER
ISBN: 9780571367542

This sensational 1941 memoir of life on the frontline of wartime Europe by a ‘magnificent‘ (Antony Beevor) trailblazing female reporter is a rediscovered classic, introduced by Christina Lamb:‘I was blown away … The Forrest Gump ofjournalism …Incredible.’

Madridin the Spanish Civil War
Pragueduring the Munich crisis
Berlinthe day Germany invaded Poland
Helsinkias the Russians attacked
Moscowbetrayed by the Nazis
Parisas it fell to the Germans
Londonon the first day of the Blitz
Virginia Cowles has seen it all.

As a pioneering female correspondent, she reported from Europe from the 1930s into the Second World War, watching ‘the lights in the death-chamber go out one by one’ from the frontline – always in the right place at the right time.

Flinging off her heels under shellfire; meeting Hitler (‘an inconspicuous little man’); gossiping with Churchill by his goldfish pond; dancing in the bomb-blasted Ritz; readingThe Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialismon a Soviet train; eating reindeer with guerrilla skiers … Introduced by Christina Lamb, Cowles’ incredible dispatches will make you an eyewitness to the twentieth-century as you have never experienced it before.

An amazingly brilliant reporter … One of the most engrossing and illuminatingly effective books that the war has produced.’New York Times Book Review

What readers are saying:

The Forrest Gump of early World War II

The queen of historical name-dropping

Holy cow! What a wonderful find!!

Most unexpectedly great book that I have read in years. Reads like a novel [but] this is real life.

The best book I’ve read this year … Exquisitely written [day-to-day] drama of history … Breathtakingly fresh.

I can’t recommend this book enough. Cowles’ voice and humanity are her greatest assets, but her willingness to be where the action was – and always find trouble – paid off.

A marvel. Her ability to capture anecdotes and dialogue that offer surprising insights into historic personages and events is a frequent source of wonder. It was difficult for me not to drive my family crazy wanting to read them quotes.

The intrepid Virginia Cowles was in the right places at the right times and connected to the right people. What a life she led!

Additional information

Weight 661 g
Dimensions 216 × 135 × 40 mm

1 review for Looking for Trouble

  1. Hedley’s Books

    I’ve never heard a book about the Second World War described as ‘chatty’, but this is how Looking for Trouble comes across, in absolutely the best way.

    Virginia Cowles was an American society gossip columnist turned frontline war reporter. She convinced her newspaper to send her to cover the Spanish Civil War in 1937, at just 27 years old, with no experience reporting on battlefields.

    This is an easy read, but expertly crafted.

    The way she’s able to observe personalities and character traits, even in the midst of a nightmare, make it unlike any other books on war. I found it gripping, from cover to cover.

    Berlin on the day Germany invaded Poland; an abandoned Paris awaiting its fate; traveling to the frontline near the Arctic Circle as Russia clashes with a heroic Finland (85,000 Russians were killed by the Finnish winter army), every page is fascinating.

    She uses her charm and novelty-value as a female reporter to interview leaders from all sides, including Mussolini, Churchill, and Hitler (an ‘ordinary and rather inconspicuous little man’), as well as everyday people in Germany, Prague, Russia, and London during the first days of the blitz.

    The scenes are so clear. You can imagine it all taking place last week.

    The book was re-released last year, but it was originally published in January 1941 while Cowles was reporting and the outcome of the war far from certain.

    I can’t recommend it highly enough!

    – Alex Hedley

    Comes in a gifty hardback from Hedleys Books. Link in bio.

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