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As they Were (Paperback)

France in the Dark Days of 1939-1940

WWII > Biography & Memoirs

Imprint: Bauhan Publishing
Pages: 288
Illustrations: Photographs
ISBN: 9780872333864
Published: 15th June 2024

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As They Were offers an inciteful and evocative glimpse of France during the “phony war” period between the September 1, 1939, German invasion of Poland and the Nazi attack on the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in May 1940. A. Peter Dewey, a young reporter for the Chicago Daily News, deftly chronicled the daily routines of life in Paris as its citizens, suspended between the world that they knew and an inevitable war ahead, tried to maintain the equilibrium of the French capital. Dewey spoke fluent French and considered the country the home of his heart: his parents had purchased the abandoned Abbaye de Sainte-Marie on the coast of Normandy in 1931 and restored it; the abbey was seized by the Nazis during the war and was later reclaimed by the family.

After Dewey was killed while on an OSS mission to Saigon in 1945, his friends and family gathered the writings he left behind and published them as a book in 1946. As They Were describes his experiences in France working as a reporter and a member of the Polish-American Volunteer Ambulance Service in the time leading up to the Nazi invasion. He managed to escape to Spain twelve hours before its border was closed.

This new edition of the book includes Peter’s photographs and an introduction by his daughter, Nancy Dewey Hoppin.

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