In This Review

Complacent Dictator
Complacent Dictator
By Sir Samuel Hoare
Knopf, 1947, 318 pp

Sir Samuel Hoare, now Lord Templewood, was sent to Madrid during the dark days of June 1940 with the specific task of keeping Franco from joining his allies in their war against Britain. This is Hoare's own story of how he accomplished this mission. Considering his reputation for compromise, he has presented a remarkably frank account, though of course it is not complete. It is really fascinating to see, as his chapters unfold, how Franco was bluffed, cajoled and threatened into withholding full support from the Axis. His régime did, of course, accord all sorts of favors -- military, diplomatic and economic -- to his Axis partners, and on this Hoare supplies much evidence. Hoare's performance will be compared by critics with that of his American colleague, Ambassador Hayes -- to whom, incidentally, he hardly makes even passing reference.