Muriel's War: An American Heiress in the Nazi Resistance and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $28.00
  • Save: $7.60 (27%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Stars & Stripes
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very good condition, minor wear to cover with library stickers present. Former library book withdrawn from circulation. May have some minor library writing/stamps. Fast shipping with delivery confirmation.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Muriel's War: An American Heiress in the Nazi Resistance Hardcover – December 7, 2010

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$6.09 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

Muriel's War: An American Heiress in the Nazi Resistance + Julia
Price for both: $26.88

Buy the selected items together

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230615651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230615656
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Terrible times can elicit extraordinary deeds even from ordinary people, and Muriel Gardner was anything but ordinary…[Author Sheila Isenberg sets] the story straight about this intrepid American heroine.”—The Boston Globe

"Performed an act of historic justice”--The Jerusalem Post

“It is simplest to put it this way: privilege, exotic friendships, intellectual adventure, international intrigue, and danger marked the life story of American heiress Muriel Gardiner. But that doesn’t cover this woman’s contribution to the history of World War II, the magnetism that drew a fascinating string of lovers to her, nor her nerve in using her wealth to save countless lives from the rolling Nazi juggernaut in the 1930s and 40s. It seems like the stuff movies are made of. And in Gardiner’s case, maybe it was.”—America in World War II Magazine

“Muriel Gardner was a beautiful, electrifying woman who mixed with high society, was a part of Sigmund Freud's inner circle, and eventually joined the Austrian underground, where she helped thousands of Jews and anti-Fascists escape the Nazis. Her remarkable life story continued after the war with philanthropy and preservation of Freud's memory.”—Library Journal

“In many ways, Muriel Gardiner's existence was the embodiment of the American dream … With a keen eye for detail, Isenberg explores Gardiner's life and admirable sacrifices.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The life of Muriel Gardiner … is truly heartwarming – the number of lives she saved, or at least had a hand in saving, was incredibly great. And the saga of her long, adventurous life makes thoroughly fascinating reading … Biographer Sheila Isenberg delves quite deeply into Muriel’s personality, drawing on Muriel’s own writings and the recollections of her wide circle of acquaintances ... the narrative tells not only a detailed story of her life, but also adds greatly to our knowledge of life in Europe as events marched inexorably toward the catastrophe of World War II.”—San Diego Jewish World

“A long overdue biography of a remarkable woman. Mining hitherto unpublished material Sheila Isenberg skillfully weaves together the complex threads of Muriel's life into a riveting story of her many loves and unassuming heroism.”—Brenda Webster, author of Vienna Triangle
“Sheila Isenberg tells Muriel Gardiner’s extraordinary story exceedingly well.  Muriel’s War portrays the energetic idealism and exceptional generosity of its subject with admiration, even devotion. Through careful attention to every available source, Isenberg details the remarkable achievements of a life filled to overflowing with benevolent action and unflinching reflection.”—George Rupp, President, International Rescue Committee
"Beautiful, brilliant, rich, brave, Muriel Gardiner could have been a character in a potboiler novel -- but she was a real-life heroine of the Nazi resistance and Sheila Isenberg has done an extraordinary job of documenting her remarkable life both conscientiously and suspensefully in this absorbing biography."—Amanda Vaill, author of Everybody Was So Young: Sara and Gerald Murphy —A Lost Generation Love Story

"This is an utterly absorbing book. Exhaustively researched and thoroughly documented, it is dramatic, suspenseful, and movingly inspirational."—Arthur Zitrin, M.D., Professor emeritus of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, Co-producer of the documentary film, "The Real Julia: The Muriel Gardiner Story”

"Isenberg puts Gardiner's life in sharp focus--what twists in her life brought her to Vienna and ultimately to underground resistance work during and after Hitler's 1938 takeover of Austria. We see what makes Gardiner human, and what makes her a hero, but most of all we see how one woman can make a difference in the lives of many. Muriel Gardiner looked fear in the face, and as Eleanor Roosevelt has said, 'we must do that which we think we cannot.'"—JoAnn Myers, chair of the Eleanor Roosevelt Center, professor of Political Science & Women's Studies at Marist College


About the Author

Sheila Isenberg is the author of several books, including A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry, named a Notable Book of the Year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and featured by the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the groundbreaking Women Who Love Men Who Kill. Isenberg is adjunct professor of English at Marist College. She has appeared in many documentaries and on multiple media platforms, including NPR’s Morning Edition, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, 20/20, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

More About the Author

Sheila Isenberg is currently working on a new book, with a to-be-decided title. Her last book was Muriel's War, a biography of American heiress and World War II heroine Muriel Gardiner. She is also the author of A Hero of Our Own, a biography of Varian Fry published by Random House -- named a notable book by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and featured by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum -- and of the groundbreaking Women Who Love Men Who Kill (Simon & Schuster 1991). Sheila isco-author with the late William M. Kunstler of My Life as a Radical Lawyer (Carol Publishing 1994) collaborated with Tracey Brown on The Life and Times of Ron Brown, (William Morrow 1998).

Sheila's books have been translated into several languages and she has appeared frequently on multiple media platforms, including NPR, CNN, 20/20, Today, Good Morning America, and others, plus in U.S. and international newspapers and magazines.

Born in New York City, Sheila graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. in English and attended the graduate school of Hunter College. A former reporter and press secretary, she is now adjunct professor of English at Marist College. web link:

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 16 customer reviews
From beginning to end, a captivating read.
Maria K. Benning
First, I thought it was very well written, and I just enjoyed the prose--it seems that Sheila Isenberg is a good writer.
If you're interested in this particular time period in modern history, you should read this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Norman on January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I loved the title -- "Muriel's War" -- and upon its release, purchased it. I treasure books, everything about a book. I even read the copyright page. "Muriel's War", I noticed as I flipped through its pages, has copious notes at the end, a hefty bibliography and a thorough index. It looked like a textbook.
Then I read it.
"Muriel's War" is nobody's textbook! What it is, on the other hand, is the moving story of an American heiress who risks her own life to save thousands of Jews from the Nazis in Vienna, Austria. Although born to priviledge, Muriel would not be remembered as a grand dame of high society. Her heart took her on an entirely different course, a dangerous journey that would save others but keep her own life in jeopardy in the 1920's and into WWII.
Muriel left the U.S, moved to Vienna where she entered medical school, following her fascination of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic movement. It wasn't long until Germany invaded Austria and sent the Jews into hiding. It was at this point that Muriel steps forward to fulfill her destiny and become the savior of the Austrian Jews.
Austria was quickly falling down around her and the weak, little nation with its starving populace stood directly and helplessly in the Nazi crosshairs. As an American, Muriel was free to return to her homeland at any time, but, instead, dug in her heels and remained in her adopted country.
In spite of the chaos, the author writes of Muriel's love affairs, a marriage, a child, more lovers and shows us the personal side of this brave, determined woman. What stood out for me was Isenberg's honesty in giving the readers all of Muriel's traits -- the humanitarian as well as the oh-so-human and I felt Isenberg wrote of Muriel as a dear friend.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
`Muriel's War' conveys the life of Muriel Gardiner, heir to both the Swift and Morris meatpacking fortunes. The background of her family and their businesses in Chicago as well as her childhood phobias and sensitivities are well described. Her character as she matures is built, showing her growing sensitivities, "why do we have fur coats while other people are cold and wet?". Her growing awareness and curiosity in the world around her, her education and travels are all described in an interesting fashion. Her personality is investigated including her interest in psychoanalysis and resulting residency in Vienna. Her marriages, her lovers and especially her growing horror at the political situation in Austria as she began her plan to save and use her fortune for those who were in danger of the coming German Austrian Anschluss. The layers of information are all told in an interesting fashion.

Her daughter Connie is not overlooked and the effect of Muriel's commitment to her causes over the years and the effect on her daughter are covered, but the love between them and the grandchildren that came in her later years are included. Muriel's later years are included, even her despair at the conditions in Europe after WWII and the Hellman `Julia' controversy are well written of.

This is an interesting biography of a not well known woman who changed the course of history and saved thousands of lives. Those who are fascinated with women's history, WWII, and reading of those who made a difference in this world would find this book fascinating.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alter Wiener on March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Muriel Gardiner was born and raised in Chicago. Her parents, Edward and Helen Morris made a fortune in the meat-packing business. Upon her father's death, in 1913, Muriel inherited six million dollars (equivalent to $67 million in 2010). With that fortune she indulged herself with luxuries like travel and enjoying a sensual and adventurous life. She attended Wellesley College where her political beliefs had begun to coalesce. Women rights, issues of justice versus injustice became her concern. At twenty-one she went to Oxford, England to study English literature. After Oxford she went to Vienna, Austria for psychoanalysis. Later on, she attended medical school at the University of Vienna, where she witnessed violent anti-Jewish sentiments; Jews were often brutally attacked by Fascist students. Muriel was half Jewish. Her mother was a Protestant who had brought up her children as Protestants; Muriel's father was Jewish. Muriel wrote: "I suddenly felt solidarity with them, not because they were Jews but because they were oppressed." Being imbued with a keen sense for social justice and compassion, Muriel decided to get involved with the political parties in Austria that opposed the anti-Semitism and Fascism, whatever the cost would be. She used her money to help Austrian Socialists and to save as many Jews as she could. She lived in Vienna, for twelve years.

As a captive in Nazi concentration camp, I had always been wondering why the United States, a nation founded and populated by the oppressed of different faiths and from many lands did not stop Hitler's genocide? Where were the good Samaritans? They were expected to have compassionate regard for all people, not just some people! Where were the fighters for human rights?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?