The Dark Summer: An Intimate History of the Events That Led to World War II

Gene Smith, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $0 (314p) ISBN 978-0-02-611970-2
By the author of Lee and Grant, this highly readable book reproduces in a narrative context the sequence of declarations, denials, threats and appeasements that snowballed ominously into the outbreak of World War II. The word ""intimate'' in the subtitle refers to the private statements of key statesmen that reveal the mood of the moment and foreshadow the dreadful future. Most of these quotes are unfamiliar, and many are as startling as Hitler's outburst about British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain: ``If ever that silly old man comes interfering here again with his umbrella, I'll kick him downstairs and jump on his stomach in front of the photographers.'' It comes as no surprise that Hitler's spit-spraying ravings dominate the narrative; what is surprising is the number of non-Germans quoted who seemed to assume he didn't mean what he kept saying over and over again. Photos. (November 23)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 314 pages - 978-0-02-037390-2
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