What the Finnish Press Says about The Battle of Finland

“Sander’s outstanding book, The Battle of Finland, differentiates from [the many] works on this subject in numerous ways… His work combines brilliant writing, faithfully rendered by Arto Häilä’s excellent translation, with a rock sold factual foundation… The book successfully weaves together the broad outlines of world history and the situation in Finland, so that the book works on several levels at once.”

(Finland’s leading news agency)

“The Battle of Finland is a paean to the will of the Finns to defend themselves and to their military prowess. Sander is a superb writer. His text moves cinematographically from the battles of the frozen forests of Karelia to the cigar smoke-filled map room of Finnish Army headquarters in Mikkeli, from the mundane concerns of the home front to diplomatic discussions in Moscow, London and Washington. Sander weaves a bitter-sweet morality play in which a democratic David defends itself against the aggression of a communist Goliath as the world watched on admiration.”

–Markku Jokisipilä, Helsingin Sanomat
(Finland’s largest daily)

“Sander’s work functions like a kaleidoscope, letting the reader view the factual events of the war while providing new perspectives from foreign war correspondents and the tales told by soldiers who fought in the ranks, both Finns and members of the Red Army. Although The Battle of Finland is to a great degree a song of praise to the Finns, it also is a solid basic package about the Winter War for anyone who is interested in the conflict, or who simply wants a great read.

… Sander succeeds in shifting from one level of the war to another. The tale quickly moves from the trenches at Summa to a cocktail party in Washington, from there to accompany foreign journalists observing the daily life of Finnish civilians in their bombed-out cities. All in all, his book can be characterized as a successful general presentation of the Winter War. Another advantage is its stress on a neutral point of view–rather than a blindly Finnish one–as well as the way it effortlessly connects political developments to events at the front.”

–Raimo Virret
Kainun Sanomat (leading paper, central Finland)

“… Gordon F. Sander delves into the Winter War to open up this quintessentially Finnish myth to the world’s readers. His book had the difficult challenge of both quenching the thirst of the all-knowing Finns themselves while standing up to merciless scrutiny for errors. In this, Sander is successful…

The Battle of Finland is a refreshing exception compared to the average military history book. By using the many illustrious English and American journalists who covered the war, like Martha Gellhorn and Geoffrey Cox, Sander is able to examine [the war] as if through a third set of eyes. Another distinctive feature is the connections Sander is able to make between the events of the war and the policies pursued by Finland and the Soviet Union.”

–Jussi Kamarainen, lecturer in history, University of Rovaniemi)
Lappin Kansa (leading paper of northern Finland)

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