Monday, July 11, 2011

The Irregulars - Jennet Conant

This book let me down a notch. It's good but not great! It is reminiscent of a mythical soap opera that might have been written by Walter Winchell or Louella Parsons.  I was looking for substance and the book just didn't deliver. The prime character, Roald Dahl, seems to have been a rather shallow person. He was handsome and articulate and cruised easily in the political and social circles during World War II, but he was on all counts rather a lightweight.

I did learn more about Henry Wallace. He was more of a heavyweight than I remembered. He may have been the brightest and most inquisitive member of the government at the time. He wasn't a communist but he was interested in communism.

Wallace wrote a paper entitled "Our Job in the Pacific" that summarized his (as the Vice President) post war goals that included:
  • international control of the airways 
  • economic assistance to develop industry in Asia
  • the de-militarization of Japan
  • the emancipation of colonial subjects in the British Empire including  India, Burma, and Malaysia.
Raold Dahl was a low level spy with connections. He made the society news, played with the "in-crowd", boosted war time propaganda and, at the same time, he was a successful writer of (children's) books.

Now we know.


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