... a captivating tale of queer love and resistance during World War II ... Jackson’s research is impeccable and his writing is lively. Even though this is a Holocaust biography, the trajectory of the women’s lives, and their artistic symbiosis, make for fascinating reading. The book’s clean, crisp language incorporates needed historical context well ... Full of struggles, triumphs, and intimate knowledge of a complex relationship, Paper Bullets is a gem of a historical text about two women who stood up to power defiantly, living on their own terms.
Jackson winds readers through their often devastating journey to make it out alive at the end of the war ... Their story...vividly portrays what Jackson calls 'the complexities of ground-level responses to conquest'—the day-to-day, gut-wrenching decisions made by civilians under occupation. The couple’s experience also amplifies the importance of telling the stories of lesbians, women, artists and intellectuals in the historical context of World War II ... with its piercing wartime depictions of rationing and hunger, intimidation and depravity, and nail-biting acts of resistance, Paper Bullets is at its core a story of devotion.
As Jackson expertly describes, Cahun and Moore may have seemed unlikely candidates for the resistance ... Jackson does an excellent job in piecing together their story to depict the deprivations of their time in jail. The book’s interrogation scenes are surprisingly flat, but the drama leading up to them is intense, as are scenes after which they are sentenced to death ... As this skillfully constructed book shows, art may not end a war or pandemic, but it can provide receptive audiences with needed clarity.
... fascinating ... [Jackson] is adept at bringing the vibrancy of 1920s and 1930s Paris to life, including the cafes, nightclubs and personalities that were part of the thriving gay and lesbian community to which Lucy and Suzanne belonged ... This carefully researched volume also includes fascinating photographs, artwork and excerpts from the women’s letters and articles. The author’s attention to detail and prodigious research skills are also on display as he recounts the saga of the German occupation of Jersey and the women’s growing determination to do something to resist ... Impeccably researched and meticulously sourced, Paper Bullets is a welcome and timely portrait of courage and creativity.
While the first part deals in some amount of speculation on the author’s part, piecing together stories of other subversive actors on the Channel Islands and those who knew the women, the latter half is rooted in primary documents and spotlights these unsung heroes of the Nazi resistance. Well-chosen photographs help place the women and their lives in context ... This is a satisfying contribution to World War II scholarship, highlighting a sophisticated, cultured, and still grassroots resistance effort. Recommended for public libraries.
... a fresh look at World War II resistance ... Drawing on archival and genealogical sources, the women’s own writings, and histories of the period, Jackson creates a vivid picture of the tense, fearsome atmosphere of Jersey under Nazi occupation and the perils of resistance ... A unique WWII history and absorbing story of two bold, unconventional women.
... intriguing and carefully documented ... Expertly mining the couple’s own 'postwar reminisces,' Jackson enriches his account with colorful details such as the time they smuggled a cat through customs in a Hermès bag. Readers will delight in this unique and well-crafted story of wartime resistance