Poland's Daughter: a story of love, war, and exile
The Second World War -- the worst thing that ever happened. It started in September 1939, with Hitler's Wehrmacht invading Poland from the west, and Stalin's Red Army storming in from the east. Among their victims was a five-year-old named Basia Deszberg. The Russians shot herHer father and brother in the Katyn Forest, then loaded Basia, her sister, and her mother were loaded into a cattle car for a horrific three-week journey to the steppes of Kazakhstan, there to survive as best they could. Over the next eight years, they would escape through Persia, Lebanon, and Egypt to find safe haven in England.
By contrast, Daniel Ford grew up in a United States mired by the Great Depression. Europe's agony was America's windfall! Dan went from hardscrabble poverty to a college degree and a fellowship that took him to the English university where Basia was also a student. This is the story of their meeting, their travels, and their parting. It is, promises the author, both a love story and a history lesson, and one you will never forget.
Poland's Daughter: How I Met Basia, Hitchhiked to Italy, and Learned About Love, War, and Exile is now available as an e-book for Amazon's Kindle reader throughout the world. Also available for the Barnes & Noble Nook, the iPad at the Apple iBookstore, and for the Kobo reader.
The trade paperback is stocked by Amazon stores in the U.S. and Europe. (That link will direct you to the appropriate store for your region.) Also available at Barnes & Noble and the Book Depository (which ships the book worldwide for just $13.46).
Go here for more about the research that went into this book.
Daniel Ford has spent a lifetime studying the wars of the 20th century, several of which have brushed him more or less closely. He grew up during the Second World War and got his bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire during the Korean War. He served a two-year hitch in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg and at Coligny Caserne in Orleans, France, during a rare interval of peace. After an apprenticeship at The Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt, Germany, he returned to New Hampshire and a life as a free-lance writer and editor. One assignment took him to Saigon to write about the burgeoning war in South Vietnam. A tour of the Central Highlands with Special Forces commandos gave him the kernel of his black novel, Incident at Muc Wa, which was filmed as Go Tell the Spartans with Burt Lancaster in the starring role.
Fast forward to the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Realizing that his military credentials had grown mossy in the years of peace, Dan earned a master's degree from King's College London in an online program designed for mid-career officers in the British Army. His classmates ranged from a tank commander in Afghanistan to an adviser to the president of Singapore. His thesis, a study of the strategic thought of Colonel John Boyd, was published as A Vision So Noble. He lives and works in Durham, New Hampshire.
• Editor: When I Am Going: Growing Up in Ireland and Coming to America, 1901-1927 (Anne Crowley Ford), 2012
• Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942, 1991, revised and updated 2007
• Editor: The Lady and the Tigers: Remembering the Flying Tigers of World War II (Olga Greenlaw), 2002
Most of these are available as e-books for the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook, as are several monographs and magazine articles.