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Be daring, be first, be different, be just. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. If you do things well, do them better. In , women won the right to vote and to increase their job opportunities. Amid race discrimination and anti-Semitism, the only positions available for most minorities were housekeeping jobs. Gruber was born in , the fourth child of five. The family resided over their small business in Brooklyn, New York. At age five, she appeared to be a precocious and curious child. She told Ruth to take a nap. Instead of obeying her mother, she crept out of bed and watched her mother singlehandedly give birth to her brother, atop the kitchen table.

A voracious reader, 10 years later, she enrolled at New York University at One of her first jobs as a teen was editing a book for a Czechoslovakian Count. At his retreat in Greenwich Connecticut, she discovered Jews were not permitted to purchase property or homes there.


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At 18, she won a fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, to enhance her German studies. She boldly hitchhiked from Brooklyn, New York to Wisconsin. While in Wisconsin, she received a fellowship for one-thousand dollars from the Institute of International Education, in Cologne, Germany.

A year later, in , she became the youngest woman to receive her doctorate, in Cologne. She wrote her thesis on Virginia Woolf. Alone, she attended a Nazi rally of Brownshirts to get a first-hand look at the paramilitary group. She left the meeting shocked and frightened at their vehement diatribe concerning Jews. The Jewish host family she lived with ignored her fears. The father in the home had fought in World War I.

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Because of this, he believed his family would be pardoned. Before leaving for home, a friend stated his thesis had been stolen. When she returned to New York, her parents wanted her to settle down and get married, but the unquenchable Ruth was a wanderlust. She could not obtain a full time job. At the Tribune, she had no desk or office, and was considered part-time. Although not mentioned, I doubt she received equal wages during that time. But she wanted to write about women under fascism and communism in the Soviet Union. Before traveling to Russia, she visited Germany and Poland.

Hitler had seized control in Germany. Her former German beau had joined the Nazi party. He looked at the Nazis through rose-colored glasses. When she reached Poland, she visited family members. However, suspicious Polish authorities curtailed her visit and demanded she leave. Once in Russia, having an introduction letter, she made the right contacts there. However, her visits to certain areas were delayed for several weeks. She required an additional visa to travel. He permitted her to have a brief interview with a professor of historical India, who served his sentence in the Soviet Artic.

Ruth became the first American woman to visit the Yakuts, an indigenous people living in Yakutsk, part of the Soviet Artic. They stated the Revolution had liberated women. They believed socialism made women equal with men and that their lives were fuller. I enjoyed reading the audacious and resolute Ms. Unyielding to family pressure, and what was expected of women during that era, she was a liberated woman before her time. The reason could have been that war had begun to ferment, ultimately leading to Germany seizing Poland in In Russia defeated Germany at Stalingrad.

However, they limited her resources, the interviewees and what information they provided. She had an interpreter, Tanya, whom I deemed her bossy, opinionated, sentry. However, on her return as a correspondent, before traveling east, she saw the fear in the eyes of German citizens being herded away by the Nazis. She was warned by a concerned citizen to leave before she became a victim.

Therefore, it was far too dangerous that she stay. When she left the Soviet Arctic, Ms. Gruber questioned what the experience had meant to her. Did it change her? She felt she still had all her limitations and faults. But she received new understanding and faith in herself. Gruber is alive and years old. I knew nothing about Ruth Gruber I spotted this book on an Amazon sale. It sounded interesting, so I purchased it. I found it fascinating. What I was not expecting to read was a first person account of a woman watching the "brewing" of WWII from within Europe, and subsequently Russia.

And, it all came together by accident. Interesting to see the connections between seemingly unrelated events in seemingly unrelated places. Never mind what this woman accomplished before most women were in a position to accomplish anything close to what she acheived.

After all, this was in the s! Once in Russia, having an introduction letter, she made the right contacts there. However, her visits to certain areas were delayed for several weeks. She required an additional visa to travel. He permitted her to have a brief interview with a professor of historical India, who served his sentence in the Soviet Artic. Ruth became the first American woman to visit the Yakuts, an indigenous people living in Yakutsk, part of the Soviet Artic.

They stated the Revolution had liberated women. They believed socialism made women equal with men and that their lives were fuller. I enjoyed reading the audacious and resolute Ms. Unyielding to family pressure, and what was expected of women during that era, she was a liberated woman before her time. The reason could have been that war had begun to ferment, ultimately leading to Germany seizing Poland in In Russia defeated Germany at Stalingrad. However, they limited her resources, the interviewees and what information they provided. She had an interpreter, Tanya, whom I deemed her bossy, opinionated, sentry.

However, on her return as a correspondent, before traveling east, she saw the fear in the eyes of German citizens being herded away by the Nazis. She was warned by a concerned citizen to leave before she became a victim. Therefore, it was far too dangerous that she stay. When she left the Soviet Arctic, Ms. Gruber questioned what the experience had meant to her. Did it change her? She felt she still had all her limitations and faults. But she received new understanding and faith in herself.

Gruber is alive and years old. Aug 26, Kristen rated it really liked it Shelves: What a fascinating life! Ruth Gruber is the very definition of trail-blazer, and boundary stretcher. I had never heard of Ruth Gruber, until perusing a suggested book list on Women's Equality Day and on reading of her accomplishments: D, the first foreign correspondent and first reporter to be permitted into the Russian Artic to explain it to the world, I wanted to learn more.

Gruber is truly an astonishing human being, never mind an impressive woman! Her What a fascinating life! Her story, which she wrote herself from journals and notebooks kept during her work and travels tell a story that women today would struggle to fathom. Gruber had a unique and heart-breaking experience of being an American Jew in Germany - she earned her doctorate from the University of Cologne - during the time that Hitler was coming to power. Her perspective on what Germany was like at this time is terrifyingly prescient, and incredibly poignant given our hind-sight knowledge of what was to come.

Ahead of Time: My Early Years as a Foreign Correspondent by Ruth Gruber

Following her time in Germany, Gruber was permitted to visit the Artic, where she chronicled a place the world had no prior knowledge of, as the only reporter ever allowed inside. Gruber has a wonderfully engaging and self-effacting way of telling the story of her experiences, from her upbringing in Brooklyn, to being a celebrated journalist for the New York Herald Tribune. She tells a terrific story, and what a story it was! This is a wonderful story for women who want to learn more about the women who came before us, and who blazed the path for those of us today who take for granted the opportunities we have available as women.

Those opportunities where hard won by the determined, intelligent incredible women who came before us. Sep 17, Brenda rated it it was amazing. A very well written and enthralling book. From start to finish it was difficult to put the book down. Ruth Gruber has a style of writing that is quite engaging, drawing the reader into the world of pre-WWII as if you were living it yourself. Highly recommend this book to any with an interest in history. Sep 30, Andy Plonka rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jul 22, Tina Kupferberg rated it it was amazing. Incredible woman, what a life! Fascinating and moving, beautiful written.

Dec 20, Caryn Rose rated it really liked it. All I could think was that this woman accomplished more than I have in my entire life by the time she was I don't even remember how I found this book, and I opened it one day just to browse through it, only to have powered through three chapters. Her life is astounding. You will need a map to follow her story even if you are a well-travelled and intelligent person.

The writing is clear and easy to read and the stories are fascinating. She is , and still with us. Which does not surprise me All I could think was that this woman accomplished more than I have in my entire life by the time she was Which does not surprise me in the last. Feb 15, Lucy rated it it was amazing. May 10, Penn rated it it was amazing. Really enjoyed this book about the author's early life. She has led an amazing life!

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Interesting to hear her tell of her experiences in Germany and USSR during that time period in history. Nov 05, Marcleitson Leitson rated it liked it. Enjoyed the book and was truly amazed at Ruth Gruber who I believe is still alive. Just found the ending somewhat flat and could not help wondering if she was either incredibly naive to the dangers around her or brave or what. Still an amazing woman! Nov 12, Susan rated it really liked it Shelves: What an interesting woman and an interesting life! Feb 19, Hazel Edwards rated it really liked it. Very good at evoking settings.

Kelly McEvers talks about what it takes to be a Foreign Correspondent

Found the later chapters on visiting the Arctic as the first American female journalist, of more interest. Also her evaluation of Virginia Woolf after meeting her. Jun 26, Sara rated it really liked it Shelves: Years ago, Ruth Gruber spoke at local Hadassah meeting; after reading this book, I regret that I did not attend.

Ahead of Time : My Early Years As a Foreign Correspondent by Ruth Gruber (2001, Paperback)

Gruber's writing shows an intelligence, and an excitement about life. At a young age, she took hold of her life and explored corners that most of her contemporaries probably didn't know existed! Her brains took her from Brooklyn to Massachusetts to Wisconsin before being awarded a scholarship to the University of Cologne at the being of Hitler's political career. Despite being a Jewish Years ago, Ruth Gruber spoke at local Hadassah meeting; after reading this book, I regret that I did not attend.

She found her way into journalism and made connections that led her to be the first journalist allowed in Siberia after the Russian Revolution. Her enthusiasm for making connections with real people and understanding how political policies affected their lives makes this book imminently readable. Gruber died in , lauded for her pioneering life as a female journalist. This memoir records the early part of her life from a Jewish enclave in Brooklyn to the larger world of Europe between two world wars, most particularly Russia. Her fearlessness and curiosity were and still are impressive.

Although her descriptions of the physical world, political intrigues, and people she encountered are quite interesting, I found them somewhat lacking in deeper reflection and emotional resonance. Other Gruber died in , lauded for her pioneering life as a female journalist. Aug 04, Jessica rated it really liked it. This book is fascinating.