In reviewing John Lukacs, The Duel, I noticed that the author has other intentions in mind apart from the facts. Lukacs provides a quite precise account of the actualy events through these eighty days but in my opinion he wants the reader to grab the bigger concepts. 1 of these ideas is that Lukacs wants the reader to honestly take into account just how close the Allies came to losing the war. Another of these notions is the notion that the primary difference amongst Churchill and Hitler concerned nationalism versus patriotism and a third idea is just how drastically history can be effected by the courageous choices of a few men and women.
Lukacs makes powerful mention of how close Hitler came to victory. Hitler got everything he wanted for so lengthy, devoid of even having to resort to force. Lukacs describes Hitler as ”being an amateur at generalship, but he posessed the fantastic skilled talent applicable to all human affairs: an understanding of human nature and the understanding of the weaknesses of his opponents. That was enough to carry him really far”(three). Lukacs desires to make that a point in all of his readers’ minds that Hitler could manipulate men and women so he could get what he wanted without the need of resorting to violence. Of course, the threat of violence was generally present but Hitler was smart sufficient that he could scare his enemies sufficient that they would not want to engage in combat. Once truly forced to fight, Hitler still dominated and he could have very possibly won the war if not for that a single fatal error he produced by hesitating in his plans against the English. I feel it is significant that Lukacs makes positive to get this message across mainly because some people choose to ignore this truth due to the devastating outcomes that would have resulted if Hitler succeeded.