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"The letters are so vibrant that they hum with excitement."—LibraryThing
"A human look at [WWII] from another perspective."—Midwest Book Review
A young South Dakotan’s World War II experiences Struck with the desire to see and do more with her life, a young South Dakota woman left the family home in Redfield to go to work for Senator Peter Norbeck in Washington, D.C. When the position ended, she quickly found she had grown accustomed to the bright lights of the capital and soon joined the military as a civilian secretary. With World War II in full swing, she found herself traversing the globe en route to Ankara, Turkey.
Once in Turkey, ostensibly a neutral country during the war, Marjorie Havreberg found herself swept up in the relatively glamorous world of military attachés, embassy soirees, and secret government correspondence. Her letters, sent home to her family in Redfield, South Dakota, cover the years in which she worked for Norbeck in Washington, D.C., and her career with the military. Her writing is witty, charming, and full of astute observations, and Dancing with Colonels serves as an excellent window into life in the 1930s and 1940s, including the often under-illuminated social side of wartime Turkey. With her small-town background, Havreberg provides the reader with a marvelously fresh look at her surroundings.
An Introduction from Judy Barret Litoff, who edited the letters, places the correspondence in the larger context of society at the time. Litoff is professor of history at Bryant College in Rhode Island. She has written extensively and is an expert on letters from the World War II era.
Sally Enstrom saved the letters, compiled this volume, and provided a brief memoir of her great aunt, highlighting Havreberg’s personality and zest for life.