Kirkus Star


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Once more John Gunther has sustained his repudiation for perceptive, almost inspired historical journalism, for an uncanny ability to sort his facts, and come up with a scintillating searching portrait of a period, an area, and the personalities which highlight it. His first great success was Inside Europe, published 25 years ago- and as out of date as the men whose deaths are unlamented today- Hitler, Stalin, Dollfuss, Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlin, etc. who crowded the pages of history then. The new Europe he pictures here rose out of the ashes of war and he mirrors its miraculous rebirth, its burgeoning prosperity. His ability to get inside each country is keener than ever, for here he is dealing with familiar backgrounds, new situations illumined from knowledge at first hand of the old. He shares his feelings, his awareness, his sympathetic understanding of the people, the policies, the issues. Though at times he seems too crisply concise, he rarely creates any suspicion of superficiality in his presentation of facts and figures. From England, across the face of Europe to Turkey, with thrusts down to Africa, as Europe is involved (England, Belgium, France, etc.)- the anomaly of the two Germanys, a threatening giant in Russia, the belt of Communist satellites, the Common Market countries, NATO, the Atlantic alliance- with the United States drawn into the European scene on many levels. He may seem to some overly optimistic in his conviction that Khrushchev does not want war -- and that a semblance of a united front is in process of formation. Immensely readable, provocative, informative- this is an essential book for the information of all alert world citizens.

Pub Date: July 24th, 1961
Publisher: Harper