MIRACLE ON THE CONGO: Report from the Free French Front by Ben Lucian urman

MIRACLE ON THE CONGO: Report from the Free French Front

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There is no phase of the war more fraught with emotional problems for the armchair strategist than this of the Free French. Unfortunately, too few people, speaking with the authority of ignorance, have had access to factual information as to what they have done and where and how, what they stand for, what they can and could contribute to the cause of democracy, and to what extent they represent the opinion of the enslaved French today. Ben Burman, through close personal study and observation on the ground, over a period of many months, tells the story of the Congo front, headquarters of the movement, scene of France Fighting -- with sections devoted to adjacent fronts, Syria, Transjordan, etc. The book is a powerful indictment of Vichy and an appeasement policy. Burman discusses the Vichy policy,its leaders and what it stands for, the feebleness of its advocacy of a liberated Franco. Opening and closing chapters sum up Burman's reasoned approach to his advocacy of De Gaulle as the military (and for the time being the only actual) leader of the Free French everywhere. The body of the text, brief and dramatic as it is, focuses on his personal experiences at Brazzaville, headquarters settlement, jungle waterways via sidewheeler and dugout, by car across the desert to the Camel Corps outpost, a camel journey to the frontier oasis, Hyria immediately after the lightning victory of the Free French and British, and Transjordan, bridge from Africa to Asia, and headquarters of today's Lawrence of Arabia, ""The Pacha"" (Major John Bagot Glubb). Colorful, dramatic, full of human interest, and fired with a passionate and yet sufficiently objective analysis of the importance of the movement to the democratic world. I found it fascinating and challenging reading, and recommend it unreservedly, both for style and content.

Pub Date: July 8th, 1942
Publisher: John Day