The author of The Irregulars and Tuxedo Park here brings us a stunning account of Julia and Paul Child's experiences as members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in the Far East during World War II. Here too are the tumultuous years when they, with their cohort Jane Foster, were caught up in Joseph McCarthy's spy hunt in the 1950s and behaved with bravery and honor. This is a fascinating portrait of a group of idealistic men and women who were recruited by the citizen spy service and dispatched to wage political warfare in remote outposts in Ceylon, India, and China. In particular, the eager, inexperienced 6-foot-2-inch Julia springs to life in these pages, a gangly golf-playing California girl who had never been farther abroad than Tijuana.
"The value of Conant's anecdotal approach is ... in its depiction of ordinary relationships in extraordinary circumstances—of the way friendships, feuds and romances develop in strange and secretive settings."—NYTBR