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"Dancing With Colonels" tells the story of Marjorie Havreberg, a native of Redfield who worked in Turkey during World War II. (S.D. State Historical Society Press Photo)

Wartime Turkey springs to life in new book by Redfield native, Norbeck staffer

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PIERRE -- A young woman from Redfield and the members of high society in Ankara, Turkey, during World War II are not common bedfellows.

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"Dancing With Colonels: A Young Woman's Adventures in Wartime Turkey," the new book from the South Dakota State Historical Society Press, combines the two, along with politics, intrigue, parties and small-town values for good measure.

Marjorie Havreberg left her home in Redfield to work for Sen. Peter Norbeck in Washington, D.C., before joining the War Department as a civilian secretary and ending up in Turkey during World War II.

An avid letter-writer, she wrote home to her family describing the vivid, exotic and whirlwind life into which she had been thrown. She describes the military officers, ambassadors and local people she met while fulfilling her duties.

With her small-town background, Havreberg provides the reader with a marvelously fresh look at her surroundings.

An introduction from Judy Barrett Litoff, who edited the letters, places the correspondence in the larger context of society at the time.

Litoff is professor of history at Bryant College in Rhode Island. She is an expert on letters from the World War II era.

Sally Enstrom saved the letters, compiled this volume and provided a brief memoir of her aunt, highlighting Havreberg's personality and zest for life.

"Dancing with Colonels" is available for $18.95 (plus shipping and tax where applicable) and can be purchased from most bookstores or ordered directly from the South Dakota State Historical Society Press.

For more information, visit www.sdshspress.com or call 605-773-6009.

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