All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days

The True Story of the Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler

Rebecca Donner

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days by Rebecca Donner (Paperback ISBN 9781786892218) book cover

Available as Paperback, Hardback, eBook

4 August 2022

The thrilling and previously unknown story of the woman who led one of the largest anti-Nazi resistance groups in Germany, now a New York Times bestseller


Born and raised in America, Mildred Harnack was twenty-six and living in Germany when she witnessed the meteoric rise of the Nazi party. She began holding secret meetings in her apartment, forming a small band of political activists set on helping Jews escape, denouncing Hitler and calling for revolution. When the Second World War began, she became a spy, couriering top-secret intelligence to the Allies.

In this astonishing work of non-fiction, Harnack’s great-great-niece Rebecca Donner draws on extensive archival research, fusing elements of biography, political thriller and scholarly detective story to tell a powerful, epic tale of an enigmatic woman nearly erased by history.

“Reads like a thriller … Written in a pacey, suspenseful present tense, it’s biography with a pulse … a superb, sure-footed work of historical detection conceived with a powerful intelligence”
sunday Times

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“A beautifully rich portrait of a very brave woman. While never less than scrupulously researched, this biography explodes the genre of “biography”: experimental but achieved, Donner’s story reads with the speed of a thriller, the depth of a novel and the urgency of an essay, like some deeply compelling blend of Alan Furst and W.G. Sebald”
James Wood

“Astonishing … wilder and more expansive than a standard-issue biography … a real-life thriller with a cruel ending”
new York Times

“Written in a fizzing present tense, the book in places reads like a spy novel … Donner writes in beautiful, crisp prose (like her great-great-aunt, as quotes from Mildred’s letters reveal) … The result is a work that transports us to a period now slipping from living memory but that contains vital lessons for our own time”

“A tour de force of investigation … gripping”

Rebecca Donner

Rebecca Donner is the New York Times bestselling author of three critically acclaimed books. She is a 2022 Guggenheim fellow and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography, and the Chautauqua Prize. Donner was inspired to write All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days after her grandmother gave her a bundle of Mildred’s letters.

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