Robert Harris

Munich

Summary: 
This is a wonderful and gripping piece of historical fiction set in 1938 Europe during the time of the Munich Crisis. Hugh Legat, a rising star of the British diplomatic service, serves at 10 Downing Street as a private secretary to the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain; and Paul von Hartmann who is on the staff of the German Foreign Office, who is secretly a member of the anti-Hitler resistance. The two men were friends at Oxford in the 1920s, but have not been in contact since. Their language skills are vital to the Prime Minister and the Fuhrer, respectively and so they meet in Munich. Set against the background of actual historical events, Robert Harris tells a story that is certainly a fascinating, engaging, and ultimately thought- provoking. Whether Chamberlain was a truly astute politician and negotiator for peace, or a weak, misguided leader, naïve in his attempts to find peace with Germany, clearly remains open to debate. However, if the real events that occurred in 1938 are even remotely like those described in this book, I have to admit have much more sympathy for Neville Chamberlain. A must-read for anyone interested in this time.

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An Officer and a Spy

Summary: 
This is undoubtedly the most compelling book I have read in many years. It tells the shocking tale of Alfred Dreyfus, an Alsatian (German) of Jewish descent, who is convicted of treason 1894, for selling French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on a far-off island, and publicly stripped of his rank. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, an ambitious military officer who, like everyone else believes in Dreyfus's guilt. However, when he is promoted to head of the French counter-espionage agency, Picquart finds evidence that a spy still remains at large in the military, indicating that Dreyfus is innocent. High-ranking military officials suppress the new evidence by deceit, an attempted cover up, and falsifying evidence in the uppermost levels of government. Picquart is begins to question, not only the case against Dreyfus but beliefs about his country, and himself. I could not put this book down! An unbelievable tale of miscarriage of justice and antisemitism, that was all the more shocking to me, in that it is fact!!!!

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Conspirata

Summary: 
Robert Harris continues the story of the rise of Marcus Cicero to consul of Rome through the narration of Tiro, his right-hand man and slave. On the eve of Cicero’s inauguration as consul of Rome, a young slave boy has been murdered, which looks like a human sacrifice. For Cicero, these are ill omens, for even though he has been elected leader by the people, he is despised by very powerful individuals who seek to destroy him. Cicero seeks only to preserve the republic. There is a plot to assassinate him, abetted by a rising young star of the Roman senate named Gaius Julius Caesar, whose goal is to move Rome to the path of a dictatorship! Tiro documents Cicero's struggles, using all his powers of wit, strength, and force of will to overcome the plot and keep Rome a from dictatorship. A fascinating read, that gives one just a glimpse of politics-----Roman Style.....

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Imperium

Summary: 
In this first book of a trilogy about the life of the Roman Senator Marcus Cicero. Robert Harris recreates the vanished biography written by his household slave and right-hand man, Tiro, narrating Cicero’s extraordinary struggle to attain supreme power in Rome. Tiro opens the door to a desperate Sicilian aristocrat, Verres, who was first robbed by the corrupt Roman governor, who is now trying to convict him under false pretenses and sentence him to a violent death. Verres believes only the great senator Marcus Cicero, one of Rome’s most ambitious lawyers and spellbinding orators, can bring him justice in a crooked society manipulated by the villainous governor. But for Cicero, it is a chance to prove himself worthy of absolute power. Thus begins one of the most gripping courtroom dramas in history, and the beginning of a quest for political glory by a man who fought his way to the top using only his voice—defeating the most daunting figures in Roman history. I am ready for the next books in the series!

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