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If this text could be read with no preconceived ideas about the author, he would emerge, unquestionably, as one of France's patriots, -- a man who had been on the side of democracy in the Spanish Civil War, on the side of the Popular Front in all of its constructive phases, against the General Staff with their reactionary point of view about defensive war, on the side of progressive preparedness, against every aspect of the treasonable negotiated peace that was no peace, and thoroughly aware of the infay of Petain, Laval and their scions. This is not an analysis of the causes of collapse, but an expose of the machinations which led to defeat, and an apologia as to his own escape from the Rion Trial in order -- says he -- to continue the battle against Fasci outside. Much of the book is devoted to the trials; the appendix gives the text of the evidence, in so far as it was permitted to proceed. There is virtually no autobiographical material, except in so far as he presents his case at each step of the path to destruction. He throws the burden of blame for the inadequacy of the air arm on the anti-war mood of the people, and on the blindness of his successor, La Chambre, and on the General Staff that refused to use the material they had. He summarises the causes for defeat:-diplomatic isolation, military weakness, moral disunity. He discusses the Committee of National Liberation, the lack of representation of workers and peasants, the popularity of De Gaulle as a symbol, and the probability that once France is free leaders will rise from the Underground. He sees a future France tending towards a more radical Popular Fon, if the dangers from the reactionaries can be avoided.....Inevitably, Pierre Cot's questionable reputation will harm the_book.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1944
Publisher: Ziff-Davis