When I look back over my 91 years, I realize that I have been extraordinarily fortunate. I was a soldier in World War II, and I wasn’t killed or even wounded. I was a Jew in 20th-century Europe, and I wasn’t murdered or even persecuted. The first of these I attribute to the fortunes of war; the second to the wisdom of my forebears, who chose to live in England. I am still grateful to them for that choice, as my descendants will surely be grateful to me for having come to America.
The American Idea
Scholars, novelists, politicians, artists, and others look ahead to the future of the American idea.
My first acquaintance with Americans, apart from books and films, came after Pearl Harbor, when some American liaison officers were attached to the branch of His Majesty’s service in which I was then serving. After the war, I became a frequent visitor to the United States and, finding it addictive, moved here in 1974.
The better part of my life was dominated by two great struggles—the first against Nazism, the second against Bolshevism. In both of these, after long and bitter conflict, we were victorious. Both were a curse to their own peoples, as well as a threat to the world, and for those peoples, defeat was a liberation.