At the beginning of December I took a trip to New York, and saw Berthold Viertel. I got home just as war was declared with Japan. Of course, our group was wildly excited – which surprised me, in a way, because I had seen it coming so long, and anyway I could never relive the days of August and September 1939. Then came news that San Francisco had been bombed: a journalistic rumour. A stout belligerent woman in the Haverford drugstore opined, “Well – I guess we can take it.”

Christopher Isherwood, “Diaries, Volume 1: 1939-1960”.

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