This was the third book I read about F F Yeo-Thomas. He's mentioned a lot in Leo Mark's 'Between Silk & Cyanide', which is another outstanding book. The other book I read was 'The Bravest of the Brave', which added a lot of family background for him, but was written by an academic, I suspect. Much less flowing in its style.
It says in the introduction for The White Rabbit that Bruce Marshall was Yeo-Thomas's choice for writing his story. That made me wonder whether it might be told in a rather sycophantic way.
I needn't have bothered. The story is so incredible anyway (and well-documented in enough other sources for me to know it hasn't been embellished in this book) that there's no need for sycophancy.
It strikes me that it's an ideal book for mid-teenagers, so that they understand the real sacrifices that were made for us during WW II. Don't get me wrong - I wasn't even close to being born then, but I think I do have the beginnings of an appreciation, having read this book and others.
But the reason it'd be good for kids of that age is that they'll be swept along by the story like a cork in a fast stream, and never even think they're being 'taught' anything! The tale of the White Rabbit is absolutely incredible! From one hair-raisingly scary situation to the next, he's never less than dignified and honourable, and always incredibly resourceful - even in the face of terrible adversity.
I recently visited the VC room in the Imperial War Museum, and stood for a good 10-15 minutes at the small cabinet containing F F Y-T's memorabilia. You can't help but almost worship at this 'shrine'. I certainly believe we all owe him (and numerous others like him, of course) a great deal of respect and thanks.
Better than any Famous Five tales, and more exciting than just about any other book you'll find, this is a member of that rare club - a genuinely gripping, exciting AND educational book.