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Chalfont, Alun Listings

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1 Chalfont, Alun Montgomery of Alamein
Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1976 0297770810 / 9780297770817 First edition Hardcover Very good Very good Book 
VGC.Weidenfeld & Nicolson,1976.First edition.The book is accompanied with an old photo of Montgomery of Alamein,with a message and his printed signature.Brown hardback(gilt lettering to the spine) with Dj(small tear on the edge of the back Dj cover,a couple of nicks,creases and scratch on the Dj cover),both in VGC.Illustrated with b/w photos,maps.Nice and clean pages with two small ink marks,nick and slightly tainted on the outer edges,small ink mark on the edge of the pages.Nice and clean book with light shelf wear.Price un-clipped.375pp including list of illustrations,maps,selected bibliography and index,A collectable first edition.

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Review: A timely and judicious biography of Bernard Montgomery, the British WW II commander, written without recourse to Monty's private papers but providing astute appraisals of the man's character and his modus operandi. The battle descriptions per se are least notable: Chalfont points out the material superiority of the British in North Africa and Montgomery's failure to destroy Rommel as the Germans retreated, while the Overlord invasion of occupied Europe is discussed chiefly by way of the bickerings within the Allied command. Full due is given to the troops' affectionate respect for the otherwise loutish general; after his WW I experiences, Chalfont suggests, Montgomery was determined to waste no manpower and to imbue the lower ranks with full understanding of each operation. Montgomery's exceptional grasp of modern logistics and technology is also stressed, though not elaborated. Chalfont further denies that Monty was overcautious or inflexible in war; and after all, he never lost a battle from North Africa on. Monty's psychological history is elaborated with relish (the book caused something of a sensation in Britain, where it was generally thought harsh but just). After a straitened Fundamentalist boyhood spent at war with his mother, he was disgraced at Sandhurst for his exceptional sadism. Along with a late and devoted marriage ended by the shattering death of his wife, he preserved a certain epicene quality and austere love of young men. Impregnably self-righteous, he was also surpassingly skilled and dedicated: Chalfont conveys all these dimensions in a disarming, convincing fashion. (Kirkus Reviews) 
Price: 40.50 GBP


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