The title is the answer to the inclusion of this book under Must Book heading, for Dakar -- two years ago a vaguely recognizable place name to the mass of people -- is now one of the big question marks in the battle for civilization. This is the first book devoted to the problem of this nearest port to the Americas, now to all intents and purposes in German hands. Lengyel has done a grand job of exposition, filling in enough of the history, geography and character of Dakar to make it interesting reading for the layman, while weighing the evidence of its strategic importance, not only as a port and air base, but as the end of the trans-Saharan railway, now under construction, which, when finished, will make trans-African troop and equipment and supplies a possible thing. Lengyel shows the hows and whys of England's and the de Gaulle forces' failure to seize the opportunity before German penetration was completed; he analyzes the steps taken by the U. S. -- and the lines of future development. He stresses the importance of including the hinterland in any procedure looking towards control of Dakar for national and hemisphere defense. Then he turns to the South Atlantic island bulwarks, -- the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, the Cape Verde Islands, the Bissago Islands -- where the Battle of the Atlantic may be decided. Not a book that ""he who runs may read"" -- but a ""must book"" for everyone who would be well-informed on the background of a vital link in the life line.