The Saboteur: The Aristocrat Who Became France’s Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando
Of the myriad stories to come out of WWII, the story of France is one of the most convoluted. France was easily overrun by the Nazi blitzkrieg and the populace seemed resigned to occupation in the north and a puppet government in the south. The Saboteur by Paul Kix tells of Robert de la Rochefoucauld, an aristocrat of long lineage who becomes one of the few to fight back. He begins with ineffective secret meetings and is then betrayed by friends, smuggled to England, trained by the best covert warriors, and returned to France; he becomes a member of the Resistance. Captured for blowing up buildings and trains, he is tortured, escapes, and is captured again, each time escaping before a death sentence can be carried out. He and others like him become a rallying point for a French populace, increasingly willing to fight for freedom. The book is very engaging. The author moves quickly along, striking a good balance, with tangential explanations when needed. He builds and maintains a sense of Rochefoucauld’s ever-present fear of betrayal and capture. He does not gloss over the complicity of most of the French people, nor does he spend inordinate time railing against them. His focus in the biography is the courage, luck, skill, and determination of a freedom-loving Saboteur.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||304 pages|
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