Janet Wallach Book Talk with Dini von Mueffling


The Church Sun, Aug 6, 2023 4:00 PM



Photo By Vance Jacobs


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In her latest book, Flirting with DangerJanet Wallach tells the true story of Marguerite Harrison, a glamorous Socialite who became a daring Spy. The only female agent sent overseas by U.S. Military Intelligence in the tumultuous era at the end of World War I, she was the first American woman to enter Germany, where she dined with the kaiser’s generals and befriended Bolshevik agents, stealing secrets from both sides. She then snuck into Russia, interviewed Trotsky, saw Lenin deliver a mesmerizing speech, and was kept for almost a year in the infamous Lubyanka prison.  


Harrison won praise from Intelligence officials for her reports yet returned home an unsung heroine. Warning of a coming second war with the Germans and a cold war with the Soviets, her prescience was ignored. Nonetheless, she went on to work in the Far East and made a landmark documentary film in Iran. Intelligent and daring, she spoke seven languages fluently and loved adventure.  


Dini von Mueffling, CEO of the award-winning public relations firm and current The Church board Member, will lead a discussion with Janet Wallach about the book, the writing experience, and all that we can gain from sharing stories.  



Janet Wallach is the author of ten books and has written extensively about influential women. Her works include Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell, which has been translated into twelve languages and was a New York Times notable book of the year; The Richest woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded Age, a biography of the eccentric 19th century financial genius Hetty Green; and Chanel: Her Style and Her Life, the story of the 20th century’s most important female fashion designer. Ms. Wallach has also written Seraglio, a historical novel that takes place in the 19th century harem at Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.


Her abiding interest in the Middle East led to three books on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. She was a founding director and, later, President of Seeds of Peace, which brings together outstanding young people from regions of conflict, including the United States and provides them with the leadership tools necessary for creating positive change.


Janet Wallach lives in New York City and Amagansett.


Dini von Mueffling is the founder and CEO of Dini von Mueffling Communications (DVMC), an award-winning, public relations firm located in New York City that amplifies the work of people and enterprises in numerous sectors including luxury lifestyle, design, art, books, technology, finance, healthcare, health and wellness, as well as high profile individuals. It is highly regarded for its work on social issues and previous campaigns for clients Monica Lewinsky and Sandy Hook Promise have won 15 Cannes Lions, 9 Webbys, and have received 3 Emmy nominations and garnered scores of other industry awards from the One Show to the London International Film Festival.


DVMC’s work with Sandy Hook Promise on the campaign “Evan” was inducted into the Platinum PR Hall of Fame. Founder and CEO Dini von Mueffling has been recognized as one of the Top Women in PR by PR News. Her repositioning of Monica Lewinsky, whose TED Talk has been viewed over 17 million times, as an anti-shaming and anti-bullying activist is taught in universities.


Prior to founding DVMC, von Mueffling began her career as a journalist and has written for countless news and lifestyle publications. She is the author of two books and the co-founder of the twenty-eight-year-old nonprofit Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education, the leading provider of HIV/AIDS education to the youth of New York City.