Five Days in London, May 1940
by John R. Lukacs
Editor: Yale University Press
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The days of 24 May to 28 May 1940 changed the course of history this century, as members of the British War Cabinet debated whether to negotiate with Hitler or to continue what was called the Second World WarThe decisive importance of these five days, it is the accent of John Lukacs masterly new bookLukacs takes us hour by hour through the critical course of events at 10 Downing Street, where Churchill and members of her cabinet have been painfully given their war responsibilitiesWe see how the military, the disasters that take place on the Continent-especially the fate of nearly 400000 British soldiers bottled up in Dunkirk affected by Churchill’s fragile political situation because he had been prime minister only a fortnight and was considered impetuous and exalted by many members of his own partyLukacs also investigated the mood of the British people, relying on newspapers and the Observation Mass reports that showed how citizens, but only partly informed about the dangers faced, nevertheless began to support his determination to stand firmOther historians have dealt with Churchill’s difficulties during this period, using the partial revelations of certain memoirs and private and public communicationsBut Lukacs is the first to convey the drama and importance of these days, and he does so in a convincing narrative that combines deep knowledge with high literary style
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