Duel CL

John Lukacs, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $19.95 (258p) ISBN 978-0-89919-967-2
This study concentrates on Churchill's and Hitler's perceptions of each other during an early crucial period of WW II, from the German invasion of Western Europe to the time, 80 days later, when the fuhrer decided to attack Russia rather than risk a cross-Channel invasion of England. Lukacs describes how the German dictator tried to force the British into a compromise peace, explains why Hitler declined to destroy the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk and reveals in detail how Churchill succeeded in keeping up the fighting morale of Britain as it stood alone after the fall of France. In this masterful double-portrait Hitler is presented as a ``revolutionary'' and Churchill as a ``reactionary,'' the incarnation of the resistance of the old world to ``a force that was frighteningly efficient, brutal, and new.'' The author leaves no doubt that Churchill had a much greater understanding of his adversary than did Hitler. The third great character in the study is Franklin Roosevelt. Lukacs ( The Last European War ) analyzes the influence of the powerful isolationist bloc in the U.S. and distills the factors that led FDR to defy it, bypass Congress and order the transfer of 50 destroyers to Britain--the first formal American departure from neutrality. The book is a significant contribution to our understanding of WW II. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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