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Excellent writing about a little known 'theatre' during WWII that happened in Portugal. A wide-ranging conscientious indepth researched book with fascinating photographs of the various participants taken during 1939-1945.
I didn’t know much (well truthfully – nothing) about the role that Portugal played in the Second World War when I opened Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-45. I found Neil Lochery’s book both engaging, informative, and entertaining. In this volume, Lochery (While Blame Israel 2011; View from the Fence 2006) tells the story of how dictator Antonio Salazar kept Portugal neutral in WWII and left his country relatively intact after the conflict. I found insights into how Salazar dealt with day-to-day management of the country intriguing. Anecdotes revealing how Salazar made decisions and implemented policies are particularly interesting. Certainly, Salazar was a gifted leader in this context. I would have appreciated more discussion of fascism in this context and how Salazar fit into that era. Perhaps Lochery has another book which will shed more light. At any rate, I was well rewarded by reading this book. The narration of Robin Sachs is excellent.
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I was born in Lisbon and in my youth I still glimpsed the city and times the book refers to.
I felt transported to that epoch, such is the coherence of what I remember and know with the atmosphere recreated by the story and the narration.
I was unaware of some of the details of the planned occupation of the Azores and the gold trade but they certainly seem believable and in line with the known (to me) facts.
To the end the book abandons description and turns judgmental: it would have been a better book without that unnecessary twist.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful