Decca by Jessica Mitford
The Letters of Jessica Mitford

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“Decca” Mitford lived a larger-than-life life: born into the British aristocracy—one of the famous (and sometimes infamous) Mitford sisters—she ran away to Spain during the Spanish Civil War with her cousin Esmond Romilly, Winston Churchill’s nephew, then came to America, became a tireless political activist and a member of the Communist Party, and embarked on a brilliant career as a memoirist and muckraking journalist (her funeral-industry exposé, The American Way of Death, became an instant classic). She was a celebrated wit, a charmer, and throughout her life a prolific and passionate writer of letters—now gathered here.

Decca’s correspondence crackles with irreverent humor and mischief, and with acute insight into human behavior (and misbehavior) that attests to her generous experience of the worlds of politics, the arts, journalism, publishing, and high and low society. Here is correspondence with everyone from Katharine Graham and George Jackson, Betty Friedan, Miss Manners, Julie Andrews, Maya Angelou, Harry Truman, and Hillary Rodham Clinton to Decca’s sisters the Duchess of Devonshire and the novelist Nancy Mitford, her parents, her husbands, her children, and her grandchildren.

In a profile of J.K. Rowling, The Daily Telegraph (UK), said, “Her favorite drink is gin and tonic, her least favorite food, trip. Her heroine is Jessica Mitford.”

From the Hardcover edition.

About Jessica Mitford

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Jessica Mitford-of the notorious Mitford clan-was one of the most celebrated muckraking journalists of our time. Among her books are Daughters and Rebels, The Trial of Dr. Spock, and Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking. Until her death in 1996, she lived in Oakland, California, with her husband, the labor lawyer Robert Treuhaft.From the Hardcover edition.
Published May 6, 2010 by Knopf Group E-Books. 768 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, History. Non-fiction

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The New York Times

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From the late 1930s through the 1950s, the words “Peer’s Daughter” were regularly lodged in British tabloid headlines above the startling doings of one or another of the Mitford sisters, daughters of the less startling, but equally eccentric, Lord and Lady Redesdale.

Nov 17 2006 | Read Full Review of Decca: The Letters of Jessica...

The Guardian

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When she received the manuscript, however, Decca told its author, David Pryce-Jones, that, while she thought his portrayal of Unity's 'vile' anti-Semitism accurate, he had failed to capture her lovable side: 'Why did I adore her ...

Dec 03 2006 | Read Full Review of Decca: The Letters of Jessica...

Publishers Weekly

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Best known for her classic funeral-industry exposé, The American Way of Death , Jessica Mitford (1917– 1996) was fifth of the famous Mitford sisters, but rebelled against her privileged English roots to become a member of the American Communist Party and union organizer, a civil rights activist a...

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San Francisco Chronicle

Sussman provides a tantalizing footnote: "Redgrave told Decca in a letter that she loved 'the idea of a film in which the heroines are communist & fascist!' " Redgrave added, " 'I have always loved Decca and Unity.' " It's a pity she never made a movie about the charismatic Mitford sisters, and a...

Nov 03 2006 | Read Full Review of Decca: The Letters of Jessica...

London Review of Books

In 1934, one of the most disturbing aspects of the Red Menace and the creeping influence of Moscow – for the Daily Mail at least – was a public school magazine called Out of Bounds.

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The American Spectator

Seeing her chance to do battle with her hated trifecta of greed, hypocrisy, and sentimentality, she rescued the subject from her husband's lawyerly approach and quickly became the most notorious woman in the country.

Jul 20 2007 | Read Full Review of Decca: The Letters of Jessica...

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