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Independent Spirit: Essays
ISBN 0374175519 / 9780374175511 / 0-374-17551-9
Publisher Farrar Straus & Giroux (T)
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These essays, selected from four volumes published in Ireland in 1985, reveal a man with a fascinating breadth of experience and the ability to write of his life with wit, style, and integrity. Born into a Protestant Anglo-Irish family and educated at Oxford, Butler traveled widely, studying and teaching in Egypt, the Soviet Union, and the Balkans for nearly 15 years. During Hitler's reign of terror in the early 1940s, he even helped Jews escape through Vienna. When his father died, he returned to Ireland and turned his experiences into essays, writing about European and world issues--sectarianism in the former Yugoslavia, the struggle between the Roman Catholic Church and Communism, the sending of 4,051 children to the Auschwitz death camp--from a broad humanistic (yet still very Irish) perspective. Hubert Butler died in Ireland in 1991 as a relatively unknown yet luminous talent who observed this century with a rigorous eye. [via]