The Magazine

On the Brink

The City of Light under cover of darkness.

Jul 2, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 40 • By MICHAEL F. BISHOP
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Mission to Paris is seductive and entertaining, but it offers the reader more than mere escape. In his portrayal of Germany’s relentless attempts to demoralize France in advance of invasion, we see how even a glittering civilization can be culturally undermined. Many members of the social and intellectual elite, in Britain as well as France, were seduced by the Nazis and persuaded of the wisdom of compromise in the face of evil. We see more than a hint of this in present-day Europe, where the arbiters of culture, through their support of mass immigration and vapid multiculturalism, have allowed Islamism to spread unchecked.

The reader of Mission to Paris knows that the espionage war failed to prevent the cataclysm of 1939-45. But while Furst’s heroes may not save the world, they do, by their courage and decency, shine a light in the growing darkness. And for bringing this heady, unsettled, and dangerous era to vivid life, Alan Furst deserves our thanks. 


Michael F. Bishop is the former executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.