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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than the stereotypical beret and sten gun image, 13 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: The Resistance: The French Fight Against the Nazis (Paperback)
The introduction makes it clear. This is a work that has been waiting for the author to commit it to paper. It is born of schoolboy idealism in a world where things were simpler.

But this is not an idealised vision. Cobb acknowledges his motivation but produces a balanced view of the different Resistance factions and their rivalries - united in their desire to free France of the occupiers but fighting for their version of the future once the Nazis have gone.

Through the course of the book we are introduced to the history of the Resistance from the first stirrings after 1940, to co-operation with London and SOE to the Liberation of Paris and through to the final days of the war in France. I found the `What Happened to Them' section giving a brief summary on the fate of many mentioned in the book not only useful but most welcome.

Throughout the book uses and references an impressive amount of sources with the acknowledgements, notes on translation, further reading, bibliography and notes sections amount to almost 90 pages in the hardback edition.

But this is no dry academic text.

Mathew Cobb has blended his love of the subject, his research and his use of language to produce an accessible and very readable book for anyone who has sat in a cafe and glanced at the small plaques naming the individuals who died in the Liberation or who has simply wondered what they would have done if their country was occupied (yet again) by a historic foe for four years.

Although a lot of the 'headline' information has been published before, there are many 'Wow - I didn't know that!' details.

A great book for an overview that digs beyond the stereotypes and serves as a jumping off place for further exploration.
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