Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France

Author(s): Caroline Moorehead

Biography/Memoir

This is a Sunday Times Top Five Bestseller Shortlisted For The Samuel Johnson Prize 2014. From the author of the New York Times bestseller A Train in Winter comes the extraordinary story of a French village that helped save thousands who were pursued by the Gestapo during World War II. High up in the mountains of the southern Massif Central in France lies a cluster of tiny, remote villages united by a long and particular history. During the Nazi occupation, the inhabitants of the Plateau Vivarais Lignon saved several thousand people from the concentration camps. As the victims of Nazi persecution flooded in - resisters, freemasons, communists and Jews, many of them children - the villagers united to keep them safe. The story of why and how these villages came to save so many people has never been fully told. But several of the remarkable architects of the mission are still alive, as are a number of those they saved. Caroline Moorehead has sought out and interviewed many of the people involved in this extraordinary undertaking, and brings us their unforgettable testimonies. It is a story of courage and determination, of a small number of heroic individuals who risked their lives to save others, and of what can be done when people come together to oppose tyranny.


Product Information

From the author of the New York Times bestseller A Train in Winter comes the extraordinary story of a French village that helped save thousands who were pursued by the Gestapo during World War II.

Shortlisted for Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2014.

"Brilliant... It is refreshing to read a book that so confidently abandons the rhetoric of heroism and tries to see its subjects for who they were... Moorehead has had to master a huge amount of background material, and she pulls it off with skill and a remarkable lightness of touch" -- Keith Lowe Mail on Sunday "Riven with complexity... Stories of this weight could occupy several volumes and would still disorientate with all the possibilities - both altruistic and malevolent - of human nature" -- Sinclair Mckay Telegraph "Vivid...an unsparing yet balanced account of the Vichy years...we need books like this to make it impossible for us to forget." -- Alan Judd Spectator "An especially poignant story... enthralling and meticulous book... amidst the horror of the Holocaust - and such horror is painfully evident in the lives of those left behind - this book shows that human kindness endured undimmed by the propaganda, the threats of violence and the vast rewards on offer for submitting to the will of Nazis" -- Harry Hodges Daily Express "Moorehead draws vivid portraits of those who helped...The emotional heart of the book beats in the children's stories...The story does not end with Liberation. Moorehead, a biographer and historian, scrupulously records the emotional fallout from the children's experiences" -- Edward Stourton The Times

Caroline Moorehead is the biographer of Bertrand Russell, Freya Stark, Iris Origo and Martha Gellhorn. Well known for her work in human rights, she has published a history of the Red Cross and a book about refugees, Human Cargo. Her biography of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Dancing to the Precipice, was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award in 2009. Caroline's most recent book was A Train in Winter. She lives in London.

General Fields

  • : 9780099554646
  • : Vintage Publishing
  • : Vintage
  • : June 2015
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 24mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : September 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 1
  • : 940.53360944595
  • : 384
  • : Caroline Moorehead
  • : Paperback