Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Fitbit
Customer Review

5 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yawn And The World Yawns With You, 6 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Duff Cooper Diaries: 1915-1951 (Hardcover)
I recently also read the memoirs of John Julius Norwich, the son of the diarist here. Try doing the same. As to these diaries, which cover the period 1915 to 1951, they do have historical importance. Duff Cooper (later elevated to 1st Baron Norwich not long before his death in 1954) was a leading supporter of Winston Churchill and his pro-war group of the 1930's, though I fancy that Cooper was a lot less in favour of fomenting war with Germany than was Churchill.

The author, though born in Victorian fin de siecle times (1890), was really an Edwardian, a moneyed homme d'affaires in both senses, a pleasurer of other mens' wives, a gambler and heavy drinker, somewhat of a dilletante, but also with a careerist edge. He left the foreign Office in 1917 to volunteer, belatedly, for the front line in the First World War and served as a very junior officer (2nd Lt.) in the Grenadier Guards. I was struck by the opulence of the officers' dinners (on occasion, seven courses --!-- including salmon, caviar, superb claret etc...), but that was only part of the story. Cooper won a D.S.O. for singlehandedly capturing 18 German infantrymen, he armed only with a pistol. He nearly got the V.C. for that feat.

In the 1920's, having married (against stiff opposition from her father), Lady Diana Mannners, a daughter of the starchy Duke of Rutland, Cooper entered Parliament and stayed there for most of his life. By 1935 he was Secretary of State for War. A photo shows him looking old even then, at 45, no doubt owing to his dissipated way of life. Churchilll kept him on for a while as a minister during WW2, but he was not really up to it and was made a travelling envoy and, after WW2, Amabassador in Paris.

What amazed me, reading these diaries, was how self-centred they are. Little is said of the Russian Revolution and Bolshevism. The rise of Hitler and National Socialism is likewise treated only en passant, despite Cooper's many Jewish connections. He does note that Germany in 1939 seemed far more content and prosperous than the UK. There is a lot more in these Diaries about his food and drink input than about large-scale political events. Perhaps it is unsurprising that Churchill struggled to find a slot sufficiently lightweight for Cooper.

I was surprised, or perhaps put better, not surprised, to find that in these long diaries (as in the memoirs and diaries of others (Colville, Churchill et al)directly involved at high levels of the British and other sides in the Second World War, there is nothing at all about the "gas chambers" within Reich territory, which so many people today regard as being a definite historical fact (though the "narrative" is not so well established and there are persistent attempts to make doubting of it a crime, no less!; really accepted historical fact does not need to be buttressed by the criminal law).

Ultimately, after reading through these diaries, one thinks of Duff Cooper as a self-satisfied nobody briefly elevated to the status of VIP somebody.

Worth reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Mar 2011, 05:42:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 25 Mar 2011, 05:43:18 GMT
Morgan Kane says:
How delightful!
Holocaust denier posing as disinterested reviewer to denigrate famous foe of appeasement.
Your goose step needs practice.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Mar 2011, 10:03:13 GMT
Millard's a notorious and proud bigot. Most of his really juicy hate-speech has been banned by Amazon. He's a little man obsessed with posting reviews and his approval rating. He's pretty harmless, more of a buffoon than someone to be taken seriously.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2011, 22:49:22 BST
That's entirely too tactful.

Racist, anti-semite, holocaust denier, Nazi sympathiser and all-round toss-pot would be more accurate.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details