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In 1943, Marchesa Iris Origo, an American married to an Italian landowner, found herself raising a young family in the middle of a civil war and a simultaneous foreign invasion.
Worse, she had divided loyalties, since her country of adoption was at war with her country of origin. But her principal concern was not politics, it was survival, and in her journal she noted each day's events.
"The story is tense, with a true, unforced excitement. But the story has a deeper value than drama. The Marchesa and her husband fought a private war for humanity, a war also waged by hundreds of Italian peasants who, at the risk of their lives, gave food and clothing to poor strangers-- escaped Allied POWs--for no political cause or ideology, but in charity and pure compassion." --Eric Linklater
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