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A Train of Powder

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  57 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
West’s acclaimed account of a pivotal moment in twentieth century history—now available as an ebook

West’s exceptional observational skills shine in her coverage of the Nuremburg trials

Sent to cover the war crimes trials at Nuremberg for the New Yorker, Rebecca West brought along her inimitable skills for understanding a place and its people. In these accomplished articles,
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ebook, 320 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by Open Road Media (first published 1946)
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Moira Russell
Justly famous for the long (long, long) Nuremburg New Yorker articles, but my favourites were actually the shorter ones about the flashy gangster's murder and the would-be Russian spy, which is like a Smiley novel in miniature.


(Reading old, lengthy New Yorker articles on the Paperwhite is sort of nightmarish -- there's no sense of pagination or even paragraphing whatsoever, it just goes on and on and on, and no way to check to see how much of the chapter's left, either.)
k
Apr 30, 2013 k rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
love loved, except for the hints of racism in one of last essays, and the recurrent appearance of "feminine" and synonyms as a negative (homophobic) description of males. of its time and all.

what i loved was the precision of description, as though she saw and understood all, and among the quotes i noted here's one i've returned to several times in the month since i've read it: "It was one of the events which do not become an experience." cutting!
other favorite:

"If a man stranded on a desert isl
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Manik Sukoco
Dec 30, 2015 Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for a book dealing solely with the subject of the post-World War II Nuremberg trials, this one won't satisfy your thirst, despite the product description.
However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't give West's book your attention. The book is actually a series of short stories, all dealing with trials occurring in the aftermath of World War II. She begins with an account of Nuremberg, and the details West is known for shine through in her descriptions of the accused, of the town,
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Kirsten
Jan 26, 2013 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a Kindle Daily Deal on Amazon, and advertised as being solely about the Nurnberg trials, which is why I bought it. But the stories about other criminal trials were just as compelling -- in fact, I liked them better than the second and third parts on Nurnberg. Although Rebecca West tends to wander off on tangents, her writing is always evocative, and it's more like listening to a fascinating storyteller than reading a book and wondering when the writer will come to the point.
Peter Smith
Apr 26, 2015 Peter Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"There is an old story which describes a native of Cincinnati, returned from a trip to Europe, telling a fellow townsman of an encounter with a beautiful girl which which had brightened a night he had spent in Paris. On and on the story goes, dwelling on the plush glories of the restaurant, the loveliness of the girl and her jewels and her dress, the magic of a drive in the Bois de Boulogne, the discrete luxury of the house to which she took him, till it rises to a climax in a bedroom carpeted w ...more
Thom
Nowadays this would probably have been written by Jon Ronson, and would have been very funny but lacked the intellectual and emotional depth of West's writing - I wish there were more people writing like this now
Tom Leland
Jul 19, 2015 Tom Leland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She's been called the greatest news reporter ever -- I see why. West saw every situation from the largest possible perspective, yet often broke them down to the most minute particles. At times it was too much for me -- either her Britishness, or my lack of historical knowledge, or maybe her tendency to write so expansively, but for the most part, especially her reporting on the Nuremberg trials, were absolutely fascinating.
Calzean
Jan 25, 2015 Calzean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rebecca West has an eye for detail, an astute judgement of character, an ability to see the obvious when it is clouded by detail, propaganda or misreporting and a use of language that is up there with the best. Her book covers the end of the Nuremberg trials, a look at post war Germany, an unfortunate English spy and a racist trial in South Georgia. All interesting stories, all uniquely told.
Sandra
Dec 14, 2013 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With an amazing eye for detail and grasp of the big picture, Rebecca West gives us a front row seat to the Nuremberg trials and the players involved.. prosecutors, defendents, journalists, embassy personnel and more.
Alice Handley
Apr 25, 2008 Alice Handley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where does reporting become literature? I'd say about right here.
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Goodreads Librari...: New cover - a train of powder 3 13 Aug 19, 2015 02:32AM  
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Cicely Isabel Fairfield (21 December 1892-15 March 1983), known by her pen name Rebecca West, or Dame Rebecca West, DBE was an English author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. A prolific, protean author who wrote in many genres, West was committed to feminist and liberal principles and was one of the foremost public intellectuals of the twentieth century. She reviewed books for The T ...more
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