Work Title: Churchill's Triumph: A Novel of Winston Churchill
Work Author(s): Michael Dobbs
320 pages, Softcover $14.95
Reviewer: Alan J. Couture
Perhaps God could create the world in His image in only six days; it took slightly longer for three mortal men to totally remake it in theirs.
The three were the most powerful leaders in the world---Franklin Roosevelt, Josef Stalin and Winston Churchill---and they met at Yalta on the Black Sea during the closing months of World War II to decide the fate of the world, especially Germany and the country which had suffered the most during Hitler's mad gambit at global domination, Poland. For eight days they conferred as supposed equals and allies, as the representatives of the victorious United States, the Soviet Union, and the British Empire. But Churchill sensed England's empire was nearing its end, and as he argued to enlist Stalin's support in the fight against Japan, it became utterly clear that the free world would soon face a new nemesis, one perhaps even worse than the Axis; for the Russian Bear sought to occupy the European power vacuum brought about by the looming defeat of Hitler.
This historical novel is so well-written that the reader can easily forget that the crisp dialogue, verbal haranguing, and mental jousting between Churchill and Stalin for Roosevelt's support are not verbatim transcripts of the actual events. For example, early in the conference, Churchill learns that far more than the fate of Germany is at stake:
Stalin picked up his empty pipe and sucked thoughtfully. "How long will American troops stay in Europe after the war is over, Mr. President?" asked Stalin softly.
"Two years would be the limit," said Franklin.
Then Stalin turned toward Churchill. There were no words. All he had to say was contained in his yellow eyes, and in the small smile he was unable to resist.
Two years. Two years! Inside, Churchill was screaming like a condemned man who had just seen the executioner sharpening his axe. Poland obliterated. Germany in ashes. France prostrate. Britain destitute. And America gone. Nothing would stand between the Kremlin and the Atlantic coast -- nothing, that was, but honor, and humanity, and any agreement they might reach at this conference.
And what Stalin knew of honor or humanity could be crammed into the bowl of his pipe.
Churchill's hopes of staving off Stalin's brutal plans for Eastern Europe by allying with...