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Invisible Walls

Invisible Walls

‘Memoirs of such richness are rare . . . a joy’ JAMES NAUGHTIE

‘A remarkable personal journey, by one of the great political correspondents of our world – eloquent, enlightening, exhilarating’ PHILIPPE SANDS

A trailblazer for women in journalism, Hella Pick arrived in Britain in 1939 as a child refugee from Austria. Over nearly four decades she covered the volatile global scene, first in West Africa, followed by America and long periods in Europe. In her thirty-five years with the Guardian she reported on the end of Empire in West Africa, the assassination of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, the Vietnam peace negotiation in Paris, the 1968 student revolt in France, the birth of the Solidarity movement in Poland, and the closing stages of the Cold War. A request for coffee on board a Soviet ship anchored in Malta led to a chat with Mikhail Gorbachev. A request for an interview with Willy Brandt led to a personal friendship that enabled her to come to terms with Germany’s Nazi past.

Her book is also a clarion call for preserving professionalism in journalism at a time when social media muddy the waters between fact and fiction, and between reporting and commentary.

INVISIBLE WALLS tells the dramatic story of how a Kindertransport survivor won the trust and sometimes the friendship of world leaders, and with them a wide range of remarkable men and women. It speaks frankly of personal heartache and of a struggle over her Jewish identity. It is also the intensely touching story of how, despite a gift for friendship and international recognised achievements as a woman journalist, a continuing sense of personal insecurity has confronted her with a series of invisible walls.
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Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General / Autobiography: General

On Sale: 18th March 2021

Price: £19.99

ISBN-13: 9781474618946

Reviews

Memoirs of such richness are rare. Hella Pick's personal and journalistic journey from Nazi Europe to Brexit teems with humanity, diamond insights into the leaders and events of our time, and endless fun. A joy
James Naughtie
Hella Pick, the doyenne of post-war foreign correspondents, had a ringside seat throughout the Cold War, from her journalist's start in West Africa to her Guardian postings in the UN and USA, to her commanding role in reporting on the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. This is a moving and fascinating autobiography that captures a world that now feels distant
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
Hella Pick arrived in England in 1939 on one of the last Kindertransport trains from Austria and became one of the luckiest as well as the most skillful journalists of her generation. She always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. These memoirs offer a shrewd, detached and wise insight into some of the great events of the late 20th century
Jonathan Sumption
Hella Pick's vivid and moving account of her trailblazing life on the inside track of international politics over four dramatic decades is a revelation - and a triumph of her extraordinary spirit
Cate Haste
Thrilling and moving, Hella Pick's odyssey from child exile to trailblazing woman journalist and confidante of world leaders shines a bright light on two of the greatest challenges of our time: achieving gender equality and the refugee's struggle for identity and belonging
Simon May
An elegant and engaging memoir. Hella Pick escaped the Nazi death-camps to come to Britain and became the doyenne of diplomatic journalists. Hers is an inspirational story
Lionel Barber
In her extraordinary memoir, Hella Pick reveals why she is one of the foremost Foreign Correspondents of her age . . . this is a memoir of great hope and a fascinating testimony, often with telling microscopic detail, that explains how we just managed to make it through the five decades after the Second World War without blowing ourselves up
Misha Glenny
An extraordinary life, told by a veteran among Foreign Correspondents who reported in-depth on the forces which shaped the Cold War - and its uneasy aftermath. From the building of the Berlin Wall to its demise, the scramble for Africa, power play of Washington and New York and rise of China, Hella Pick has been on hand with her notebook and keen eye. Her odyssey from a child sent to Britain in the Kindertransport to doyenne of the foreign corps is a rich journey of discovery - professional and personal
Anne McElvoy
Hella Pick is the doyenne, the queen, of diplomatic writers. Her memoirs are beautifully written, and filled with revealing and moving detail. If you want to understand why the world is in the state it is, Hella's story helps to explain it all. At the end, I closed it with real regret
John Simpson
A remarkable personal journey, by one of the great political correspondents of our world - eloquent, enlightening, exhilarating
Philippe Sands
An extraordinary life, and Hella Pick's impressive insights are remarkable
Thomas Harding, author of 'The House by the Lake'
From pre-war Vienna to Fleet Street via the Kindertransport, Hella Pick's memoir is an enjoyable mix of the personal and political, following her journey from refugee to senior journalist with a front-row view of world politics
Katharine Viner, Editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media
Hella Pick lived through, and reported on, many of the most seismic moments of the past fourscore years or so. Now she turns her exceptional reporting skills on herself - and the result is fascinating, moving and truly inspiring
Alan Rusbridger, Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and former Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian