She boldly hitchhiked from Brooklyn, New York to Wisconsin.
While in Wisconsin, she received a fellowship for one-thousand dollars from the Institute of International Education, in Cologne, Germany. A year later, in , she became the youngest woman to receive her doctorate, in Cologne. She wrote her thesis on Virginia Woolf. Alone, she attended a Nazi rally of Brownshirts to get a first-hand look at the paramilitary group.
She left the meeting shocked and frightened at their vehement diatribe concerning Jews. The Jewish host family she lived with ignored her fears. The father in the home had fought in World War I. Because of this, he believed his family would be pardoned. Before leaving for home, a friend stated his thesis had been stolen. When she returned to New York, her parents wanted her to settle down and get married, but the unquenchable Ruth was a wanderlust. She could not obtain a full time job. At the Tribune, she had no desk or office, and was considered part-time.
Although not mentioned, I doubt she received equal wages during that time. But she wanted to write about women under fascism and communism in the Soviet Union. Before traveling to Russia, she visited Germany and Poland.
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Hitler had seized control in Germany. Her former German beau had joined the Nazi party. He looked at the Nazis through rose-colored glasses. When she reached Poland, she visited family members. However, suspicious Polish authorities curtailed her visit and demanded she leave. Once in Russia, having an introduction letter, she made the right contacts there. However, her visits to certain areas were delayed for several weeks. She required an additional visa to travel. He permitted her to have a brief interview with a professor of historical India, who served his sentence in the Soviet Artic.
Ruth became the first American woman to visit the Yakuts, an indigenous people living in Yakutsk, part of the Soviet Artic. They stated the Revolution had liberated women. They believed socialism made women equal with men and that their lives were fuller. I enjoyed reading the audacious and resolute Ms. Unyielding to family pressure, and what was expected of women during that era, she was a liberated woman before her time. The reason could have been that war had begun to ferment, ultimately leading to Germany seizing Poland in In Russia defeated Germany at Stalingrad.
However, they limited her resources, the interviewees and what information they provided. She had an interpreter, Tanya, whom I deemed her bossy, opinionated, sentry. However, on her return as a correspondent, before traveling east, she saw the fear in the eyes of German citizens being herded away by the Nazis. She was warned by a concerned citizen to leave before she became a victim.
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Therefore, it was far too dangerous that she stay. When she left the Soviet Arctic, Ms. Gruber questioned what the experience had meant to her. Did it change her? She felt she still had all her limitations and faults. But she received new understanding and faith in herself.
Ahead of Time : My Early Years As a Foreign Correspondent by Ruth Gruber (, Paperback) | eBay
Gruber is alive and years old. I knew nothing about Ruth Gruber Those opportunities where hard won by the determined, intelligent incredible women who came before us. Sep 17, Brenda rated it it was amazing. A very well written and enthralling book. From start to finish it was difficult to put the book down. Ruth Gruber has a style of writing that is quite engaging, drawing the reader into the world of pre-WWII as if you were living it yourself.
Highly recommend this book to any with an interest in history. Sep 30, Andy Plonka rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jul 22, Tina Kupferberg rated it it was amazing. Incredible woman, what a life! Fascinating and moving, beautiful written. Dec 20, Caryn Rose rated it really liked it. All I could think was that this woman accomplished more than I have in my entire life by the time she was I don't even remember how I found this book, and I opened it one day just to browse through it, only to have powered through three chapters.
Her life is astounding. You will need a map to follow her story even if you are a well-travelled and intelligent person.
The writing is clear and easy to read and the stories are fascinating. She is , and still with us. Which does not surprise me All I could think was that this woman accomplished more than I have in my entire life by the time she was Which does not surprise me in the last.
Feb 15, Lucy rated it it was amazing. May 10, Penn rated it it was amazing.
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Really enjoyed this book about the author's early life. She has led an amazing life! Interesting to hear her tell of her experiences in Germany and USSR during that time period in history. Nov 05, Marcleitson Leitson rated it liked it. Enjoyed the book and was truly amazed at Ruth Gruber who I believe is still alive.
Just found the ending somewhat flat and could not help wondering if she was either incredibly naive to the dangers around her or brave or what. Still an amazing woman! Nov 12, Susan rated it really liked it Shelves: What an interesting woman and an interesting life! Feb 19, Hazel Edwards rated it really liked it. Very good at evoking settings. Found the later chapters on visiting the Arctic as the first American female journalist, of more interest. Also her evaluation of Virginia Woolf after meeting her.
Jun 26, Sara rated it really liked it Shelves: Years ago, Ruth Gruber spoke at local Hadassah meeting; after reading this book, I regret that I did not attend. Gruber's writing shows an intelligence, and an excitement about life. At a young age, she took hold of her life and explored corners that most of her contemporaries probably didn't know existed! Her brains took her from Brooklyn to Massachusetts to Wisconsin before being awarded a scholarship to the University of Cologne at the being of Hitler's political career.
Despite being a Jewish Years ago, Ruth Gruber spoke at local Hadassah meeting; after reading this book, I regret that I did not attend. She found her way into journalism and made connections that led her to be the first journalist allowed in Siberia after the Russian Revolution. Her enthusiasm for making connections with real people and understanding how political policies affected their lives makes this book imminently readable. Gruber died in , lauded for her pioneering life as a female journalist. This memoir records the early part of her life from a Jewish enclave in Brooklyn to the larger world of Europe between two world wars, most particularly Russia.
Her fearlessness and curiosity were and still are impressive. Although her descriptions of the physical world, political intrigues, and people she encountered are quite interesting, I found them somewhat lacking in deeper reflection and emotional resonance. Other Gruber died in , lauded for her pioneering life as a female journalist. Aug 04, Jessica rated it really liked it. This book is fascinating. Gruber was an intellectual prodigy and a young correspondent who traveled extensively in Europe before and during WWII. Her insight into German culture is excellent.
About the last third of the book is concerned with her travels and writings in the Arctic, which I didn't personally find quite as interesting as the first part of the book, otherwise I would've given it 5 stars.
May 23, Cindie Harp rated it really liked it. I met the author at a Hadassah convention years ago, which started me reading her books. It is always amazing to me how someone can seem like your average woman, completely belieing the extraordinary courage beneath the surface. Who can really know another person? Even more, who can really know one's self, unless one is tested? The Fall of Japan. The Pharmacist of Auschwitz. Strange and Obscure Stories of the Revolutionary War. How Churchill Saved Civilization. How to write a great review.
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