ROLL BACK THE SEA by A. don Doolaard


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This was reported on March first under the title The Water Wizards, -- postponed from May -- and now re-reported. The story has a certain impact which keeps it fresh in mind. It gives a novel picture for the American reader of some of the problems faced and conquered by the countries overrun by the Germans. Specifically, this is a fascinating story of the conquest of the sea, one of the major triumphs of hydraulic engineering in the Netherlands, when Walcheren was rescued from the invading sea, its dike gaps closed, the most powerful forces of nature defeated by grim determination, mathematical calculations, improvisation, and perspiration. In translation, little has been lost of the quality of the drama:- the men against the sea emerge as human beings; the bitter realities of life experienced by those who fled the sea and battled in homely ways against it come into vivid awareness; the chiefs of operation, ""the water wizards"" --with their blend of scientific knowledge, familiarity with orthodox methods, concern for their own particular area as against the greater project, reluctance to accept either defeat or new ways-they, too, stand out as individuals. Perhaps the closest analogy to any American book is found in George Stewart's Storm, for here too the implacable force of Nature's power is really the focus of the story. Not always easy reading, and perhaps primarily a book for men. But somehow it holds as you read, and stays with you. Don't overlook it.

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 1948
Publisher: Simon & Schuster