THE SECOND WORLD WAR, VOLUME 4 by Winston S.  Churchill
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The Hinge Of Fate
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Nothing available in advance of finished books (as noted on P. 674) so this report is anticlimactic in view of the extensive reviews already released, which seem collectively to say what we were saying anyhow. That- in a military sense, this is the most interesting of the series for Americans, as the period covered-1942 and the first half of 1943- encompasses the disastrous defeats of our early months of war, and the turn of the tide in the Pacific, in North Africa. That- in a personal sense, it is less Churchill's book than the earlier ones, when he was centre-on, the stage chiefly Britain's and Britain always most dramatic in bitterest defeat. That it lacks the recurrent resounding phrase and what some called the purple passages, but is significant in its honesty of greatness, the willingness to say he was hasty or wrong. What emerges is a Churchill big in his sometimes reluctant cooperation; a Churchill perceptive of the widening rifts with Russia, a Churchill cognizant of the lack of balance in America's attitude towards China, a Churchill anxious to keep the difficult DeGaulle-Darlan -Giraud impasse from wrecking the North African operation. Some of his thumbnail sketches of personalities afford as brilliant characterization as he has ever written. Some of his brief and dramatic bits of narrative afford as absorbing reading as any he has written. And the armchair strategists will find his military analyses an indispensable contribution to viewing the war from another side than the one we are offered in American records. A sure best seller- as well as documentarily important.
Pub Date: June 15th, 1950
ISBN: 0395410584
Page count: 956pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1950


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