Churchill's Triumph: A Novel of Betrayal, by Michael Dobbs

Churchill’s Triumph, the fourth and final novel in Michael Dobbs's Churchill series, further explores the unique talents and historical legacy of Winston Churchill. The book takes place over the eight days at Yalta, as three world leaders (Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin Roosevelt) attempt to find the light at the end of the World War II tunnel. Dobbs focuses on the intimate details of these aging powerhouses, never losing sight of the darkness of his subject matter.

The Yalta Conference was an eight-day-long meeting (one of three wartime conferences among the major Allied Power leaders) that allowed Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt, and their higher-ups to debate their private agendas regarding the fate of the post-WWII world. Diplomacy, deceit, and seriously heavy drinking ensue as the three nations fight amongst themselves: Stalin wants land, Roosevelt wants the United Nations and help with Japan, and Churchill wants a sustainable Europe. Unfortunately for Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt largely cut him out of the debate, and he has to scramble to save his own country from the looming Red Army of Russia.

I was so engrossed by the intrigue in this book that I frequently forgot that it was based on fact, not the author’s imagination. This left me all excited for the Big Moment when the tide would turn and Churchill would triumph over Stalin and Roosevelt… which never actually happens. (Happily, the epilogue pointed out that Churchill wasn’t totally unsuccessful in achieving his goals, although many of them took time.) The seamless blurring of fact and fiction in Churchill’s Triumph is a testament to Dobbs’s skill as a storyteller—he does a remarkable job of bringing a time, place, and several long-dead world leaders to life.

Note: You can read our review of the second book in the series, Never Surrender, here.
Posted by: Julia, Last edit by: Julianka


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