Never Surrender

Michael Dobbs, Author
Michael Dobbs, Author Sourcebooks Landmark $14.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4022-1044-0
Reviewed on: 09/17/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Veteran British novelist Dobbs (Winston's War), who served as an adviser under Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, here follows Winston Churchill through the chaotic Dunkirk days and deeper into WWII, smartly relying on auxiliary plotlines to add detail to the larger-than-life Churchill saga. Among the secondaries, the German emigre historian Ruth Mueller is a Hitler biographer and detractor who plays Churchill's moral compass and confidante. Ironically, Ruth draws the personal parallels between Churchill and his nemesis Hitler. The CBS radio broadcasts of the blunt William L. Shirer, who assesses both men, air from wartime Berlin. Further off, Donald Chichester, a young British orderly in France, lives down his father's stinging rebuke over his unwillingness to fight with arms, while closer in, U.S. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy emerges as an opportunistic, backstabbing cad who self-destructs by the novel's end. To Dobbs' credit, Churchill's character flaws, particularly his drinking and fits of depression, are portrayed alongside his heroics, climaxed by his rousing ""never surrender"" speech subsequent to the Dunkirk evacuation. Dobbs' infuses dramatic tension, inventive plots, and heady pacing in the narration of a British icon's noblest hours.
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