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West End Front: The Wartime Secrets of London's Grand Hotels Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
During the early stages of the war and the blitz activities were very quiet but eventually changed to a frenetic times with the oddities of life emerging eg.spies,royals,conmen,traitors and all forms of high and lowlife.
The author describes all in interesting detail mostly feom eye witnesses.
A first class book.
The author then leads us through many different elements of hotels during wartime. They housed not only those from the government, but deposed royalty, spies, military leaders, governments in exile, writers, artists, musicians, prostitutes and homosexuals. They were a hotbed of suspicion, interrogations, decadence and wealth. Sweet sometimes stretches the link between hotels and characters too far, in order to unravel an interesting story, but overall this is an excellent read.
There is the story of hotel workers, many of whom were Italian, who were arrested and interned despite being British citizens and working in the UK for over twenty years. Although the original plan had been to distinguish between citzens of enemy countries who were a danger to the British state and those who posed no threat, apparently Churchill decided it was safer to "collar the lot!" One of the most interesting events was when demonstrators invaded the Ritz, asking for shelter - a situation which led the government to open the underground and allow people to have somewhere to go during air raids.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Every line in entire book was underlined. Quite distracting, thus difficult to read!Published 6 months ago by Lynne breaux cooper
This book was on my sister's holiday hint list. She was most pleased and excited to get it and is almost finished reading it.Published on December 30, 2013 by Linda H. Francis