Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Books worth reading: Dominion.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 3, 2013 in Books |

“Dominion” by CJ Sansom is set in a 1952 Britain which, following Lord Halifax’s accession to the premiership in 1940, has become a “finlandised” satellite state of Nazi Germany.

The plot, about resistance agents trying to get an important person out of the country, is particularly engaging on how fascism and anti-Semitism can creep into a society. It’s very easy now, with the benefit of hindsight, to see how the choices made in 1940 were correct, and accuse those who wished to sue for peace as collaborators or fools. Yet at the time, the horrors of the Great War were still fresh in the minds of many, and essentially decent men like Chamberlain desperately wanted to avoid war. Not everybody who opposed war with Germany was a Nazi sympathiser.

The book is a bit overlong and meanders anxiously too much, but really gets going in the final third. Sansom paints what I think is a very accurate picture of what the road not taken could have looked like. He’s no fan on nationalism, and certainly no fan of the SNP judging by this novel!

1 Comment

Keith
Feb 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Thanks for the recommendation Jason – as always, a great read. The detail to which he went in the “historical fact” side of it was really impressive. He didn’t just assign roles to real politicians, etc, he actually researched it and thought through what might have happened to them in his alternate universe.
Fascinating book, if, as you say, a bit too long.


 

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