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Sarah Broadhurst's view...
There has to be something very special about a story when you know the ending and without doubt there is something very special here. Dobbs wrote a parliamentary trilogy which became excellent television in House of Cards. Now he takes Winston Churchill as his central character and, keeping absolutely to the facts (here 1941), manages to weave an extraordinarily thrilling and perceptive tale. This is terrific stuff. Highly recommended, as are the earlier two, Winston’s War and Never Surrender.
Comparison: Frederick Forsyth, Gerald Seymour, Robert Harris.
Similar this month: Stella Rimington, Alistair Beaton.
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Churchill's Hour by Michael Dobbs
In 1941, the war appears to be going badly on many fronts. Churchill is the confirmed leader and so his domestic political struggles are slightly lessened, but battered, bloody and almost bankrupt, Britain limps on. Churchill knows his country cannot win the war alone.
An alliance with America is paramount, and Churchill is determined to develop and use a friendship with Averall Harriman, American Ambassador to Britain, and personal friend of President Franklin Roosevelt. But his son's wife exploits this first. Pamela Churchill's passionate affair, conducted under her father-in-law's roof, presents Churchill with the appalling dilemma between saving his country, and allowing his son Randolph to be cuckolded.
With no British battlefield successes, and with a jubilant Germany controlling Europe, 1941 was a bleak year. America continued resolute against fighting, but by the year’s close Pearl Harbour had forced America into the war. Why had the Japanese been persuaded to attack American targets? And how were the rumours of the attack prevented from reaching American ears?
Decisions of love and war are often matters of perception. And so it was in this case.
This is an extraordinary novel of a man at bay, a nation facing disaster, and the political skills, human dilemmas and brilliant leadership that saved the day.
Reviews'An author who can bring historical happenings so vitally back to life, and made all the more impressive by being historically accurate in every aspect.'
Anthony Howard, The Times, on Winston
's War 'An intriguing tale of espionage and treason that charts the increasingly tangled lives of a unique cast. This is a work to enthral.'
'Dobbs has done a brilliant job in evoking the drama the despair of Britain hovering on the edge of the abyss.'
About the Author
Publication date23rd May 2005
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CategoriesModern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
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