I also scribbled at my desk prompted by a wish to record history and one individual’s history: what it was like to grow up, the daughter of an American spy, in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Poet Czeslaw Milosz wrote, “It is incredible how much of the aura of a country can penetrate a child.” In a sense, I typed away simply as an act of recording: recording how American activities in the late 20th century shaped a girl. And as an act of exploring: What does it mean to be an American in this world?
So, this memoir is my offering to the paper heap of twentieth century history. My effort to counter the prevailing forces in what the writer John Berger calls a “century of disappearances.”