THE BLAST OF WAR: 1939-1945 by Harold Macmillan
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THE BLAST OF WAR: 1939-1945

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Harold Macmillan, scion to a publishing fortune, followed a path walked by many of the more educated members of the English gentry--a radical youth (and in his instance, a fiercely anti-appeasement stand) succeeded by Tory unflappability. His bitter sweet days as prime minister still lying ahead, the author continues his projected three volumes of reminiscences begun with last year's Winds of Change, a phrase that he made famous while on a tour of South Africa. This volume squarely centers on his service to the nation during the critical war years--a service that won him the respect and admiration of many in public life, including Churchill. His first sub-cabinet position as parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Supply, 1940-1942, had given him vital experience in directing England's armament efforts, but his major role commenced when he became British resident minister at Allied headquarters in North Africa. In effect, he was England's chief political representative in the Mediterranean theater. As such, he was in the thick of the frictional strife that existed between the United States and Great Britain over the management of the North African campaign, as well as the immense number of complications relating to negotiations with the French, be it Darlan, Giraud, or De Gaulle. Macmillan spiritedly defends the Churchill-Alexander thesis that the Italian campaign should have been linked to one in the Balkaus. Controversial, inviting dispute in the British and American press, this book nevertheless is a major addition to the political and strategic history of World War II, and is personal history written in the grand style.

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 1967
Publisher: Harper & Row