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Long Engagement: Memoirs of a Cold War Legend

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Born into a British Quaker family in 1916, Peet became a Marxist while still in his teens. He went on to become a soldier, a teacher of English in Vienna and Prague, a fighter in the international brigade in the Spanish Civil War, a policeman in Palestine and a foreign correspondent in Warsaw and Berlin. In 1950 he defected to East Germany, where he worked as a writer, editor and translator until his death in 1988. Peet is disarmingly candid about himself in this memoir, noting that he was ``a rather superficial person, with a wide range of not very profound knowledge.'' He is also critical of Communism. Alluding to Lenin's dictum that ``one must break eggs to make an omelet,'' he observes that there have been plenty of eggs broken but no omelet served. Peet clearly led an unusual life but his writing is plodding, making the story related here only occasionally interesting. Photos. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Before his death in 1988, former Reuters correspondent Peet worked for almost 40 years as a journalist on the far side of the Berlin Wall, having defected in 1950. As one might expect, these are memoirs with a difference. Somewhat surprisingly, Peet's tone throughout this book is cheerful and upbeat with an emphasis on his many adventures in exotic locales. An expert in Cold War espionage, Peet reputedly briefed such thriller writers as Len Deighton and Frederick Forsyth, but while such knowledge is intriguing, the book is rather overpriced. A secondary purchase.-- Ian Wallace, Agriculture Canada Lib., St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780947795641
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/1990
  • Pages: 256

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