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Book Clubs

Questions

  1. How did Katharine being a woman impact her career in a male- dominated profession like journalism? How did she overcome those obstacles? In what ways was her gender beneficial in this line of work?

  2. How did Katherine’s upbringing— as the daughter of an Army general— influence her career and aspirations later in life?

  3. Katharine was ahead of her time in many ways when it came to how she approached her career and motherhood. Did it surprise you that a woman during the 1950s would make those choices?

  4. Initially, Milovan had asked to work with Ed to publish his articles. Why do you think Ed failed to do anything with Milovan’s writing, and why do you think Katharine was so successful?

  5. Katharine disclosed that she was working with Milovan to only a few trusted colleagues, and much later in her obituary. Why do you think Katharine was hesitant to disclose her involvement in smuggling Milovan’s papers out to the West?

  6. There are endless stories throughout history of men getting credit for the important work that women did, and Ed getting credit for the legwork and stories that Katharine uncovered is no different. Can you think of other instances where this has happened, both throughout history and in modern times?

  7. Why do you think Katharine initially chose to keep her plan to help Milovan a secret from Ed?

  8. Discuss why you think Katharine was so driven to work with Milovan and to help him expose his writing to a broad audience.

  9. Milovan had once been one of the top leaders within the Communist party in Yugoslavia and a liaison with Stalin. What do you think contributed to Milovan’s disillusionment of Communism and his eventual renouncement of the Communist party?

  10. Steffie played a quiet yet influential role throughout the story. Discuss in what ways you see this and why she was instrumental in helping to get Milovan’s work published.

  11. At one point in the book, Khrushchev called journalists “dangerous people.” Discuss why journalists were often perceived as the “enemy” by government leaders. Do you think there is evidence of that happening today, either in the United States or abroad?

  12. Communist governments behind the Iron Curtain were desperate to keep the truth about what was happening in their countries a secret. Why do you think they felt the need to dis-tort the truth and suppress freedom of speech and discussion? In what ways is this still happening today?

  13. The author, Katharine Gregorio, unearthed much of her great- aunt’s story by reading journals and correspondence, but also by listening to stories passed down through the generations. What’s something interesting you’ve learned about your family through lore?

  14. How is Katharine’s story relevant to what’s happening in journalism and the media today?

  15. What surprised you most about the book?

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