War Diaries: The Mediterranean, 1943-1945

In This Review

War Diaries: The Mediterranean, 1943-1945

By Harold Macmillan
St. Martin's, 1984
804 pp. $29.95
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On Churchill's orders, Macmillan was sent out as Minister Resident at the very end of 1942, attached to Eisenhower's North African Command. Supplementing the earlier memoirs, the diaries give a marvelous day-by-day account of English calm and chitchat while crises popped up everywhere-from Darlan to the Greek civil war. Initially, his chief mission was to unify the French factions: a trying business. At times he wonders what the army "will make of England after the war. Will they all be soothed in the syrup of Beveridge?" Rather more here on his way of wartime living (well) and his reading (extensive) than on his political judgments. But in many places there is excellent source material for the historian and the book is highly readable throughout.