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Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-45

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  398 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Lisbon had a pivotal role in the history of World War II, though not a gun was fired there. The only European city in which both the Allies and the Axis power operated openly, it was temporary home to much of Europe's exiled royalty, over one million refugees seeking passage to the U.S., and a host of spies, secret police, captains of industry, bankers, prominent Jews, wri ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by PublicAffairs (first published 2011)
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May 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
Na verdade é mais 3,5*!

Não conhecia o autor, apesar de pelos vistos ser especialista em política e história europeia moderna… falha minha!
O tema II Guerra Mundial sempre me fascinou, talvez por ter sido um marco na História da Humanidade e que mudou o Mundo para sempre. Por isso e principalmente por o tema central deste livro ser o papel de Portugal nesse período, achei que seria uma leitura interessante e, quem sabe, enriquecedora do ponto de vista histórico…
E foi uma boa aposta! Ainda que ac
Loring Wirbel
Sometimes, a small, quirky book can enlighten certain moments in history's backwaters with writing that may not be stellar, but gives us a unique glimpse at corners all but forgotten. Lochery had a tight, configured story to tell which helped explain the way the "neutrals" viewed Hitler, yet he tells his story in a film-noir style, evoking a Lisbon explicitly similar to Bogart's "Casablanca." Is the book a little bit gossipy in its tales of Wallis Simpson and Peggy Guggenheim? Without a doubt. ...more
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, english
This book doesn't bring any new information but it's very objective about Portugal during the Estado Novo period, especially because it's unusual for Britons to understand the Portuguese point of view regarding WWII. Yet the author is quite impartial and completly understands the politics of a small state who managed to tread very carefully and shrewdly to avoid being sucked in to the worst conflict humanity ever went through.

Salazar had three main objectives: preserving the independence of Port
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um excelente trabalho de investigação sobre o papel de Portugal na II Grande Guerra, e mais uma vez feito por um estrangeiro.

Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lisbon a city in the shadows is a non-fiction book by Neil Lochery about a country's importance in WW2 and the stories that go unheard.A city where the allied and axis powers fought over espionage,propaganda,refugees fleeing France and natural resources within the country.This book also goes through how the dictator of Portugal at the time Slazer helped guide Portugal through the war without declaring war on the allies or the axis powers.This book will help you understand how important of a role ...more
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid history of Portugal's role as a neutral country and Antonio Salazar's efforts to keep the country from being drawn into World War II -- or worse, being attacked by Spain. It tells the story of the capital, Lisbon, which was the capital of espionnage and counter-espionnage for the Allies and Axis powers during the war. Lochery keeps the story relevant to American readers by not delving too deeply into the histories of various Portugese personalities in the story, even cutting the story of ...more
Lisbon in 1939, had a 400+ year alliance with Great Britian and no standing army. Add in a Spanish neighbor with ambitions for conquest and an alliance/friendship with Germany; it was only thru skilled negotiations and compromises that Portugal remained neutral. Salazar, dictator and leading government bureaucrat had a long memory of 1807 when Napoleon invaded Lisbon. He knew how long it took to recover and he knew how poor Portugal was in 1939. He traded with both Allies and Axis to protect Por ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
The content of the book is in fact really interesting. Being Portuguese myself, I must admit that I ignored many of the dynamics that revolve around Portugal's role in WWII.
This book tells the story on how Portugal kept its neutrality and came out better than before, opposite to everyone else.
However, the way the information is structured is confusing. i understand the author's approach, and I can even imagine that, in theory, it sounded like a good idea to tell the story per theme, rather than
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished, history, war
I imagine that it is to my parents' eternal shame and disappointment that I, a history nerd who can recite random facts about Canada and Europe, know nothing about the country from which my family comes. And it looks like that ignorance might continue for a bit longer.
The style of this book simply wasn't to my liking. I was rather enthusiastic at the beginning - the chapters are short enough to pick up for a few minutes and set back down - but I really lost interest quickly. Perhaps I'll steal
Jun 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, politics
It is a great view and great research about the "so-not-neutral" position of Portugal and Salazar's politics during the WWII. However it could also focus more in the portuguese, their reactions to the war phases and their living style amongst the the dictatorial system and so as the refugees (besides looking to portugal as "gate" to the USA or Palestine)
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Para quem se interessa pelo tema da II Guerra Mundial, este livro expõe magnificamente a posição de Portugal, as políticas de neutralidade de Salazar e a espionagem face à guerra. Excelente e muito bem documentado.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing and well researched narrative on Lisbon during WW2. Has enough about spires and subterfuge in an awkwardly neutral country to offer frisson, social snippets and hard information, and a bucket list of locations to investigate. I read this one and then serendipitously visited Lisbon a year or so later. Like any well-written and committed urban history, it mightily enhanced my few days in the subject city - here Lisbon and later onward to Porto. Recommended, simply as a good read - an ...more
good background information on/about the "players"

I bit of information I learned while visiting this country I am adding lest I forget
.... Legend also says that the dish was developed to test Jewish converts' new Christian faith; consisting of pork and shellfish (two non-kosher items), Marranos were expected to eat the dish in public in order to prove their complete detachment from the Jewish faith...
Nishant Pappireddi
This book explains the role of Portugal in WW2, focusing on refugees, negotiations for Allied use of the Azores, and Portugal's receipt of Nazi gold stolen from occupied countries and the victims of the Holocaust.
Roger Barnstead
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read this and loved it
Brad Kirbyson
I found it interesting because it was the first detailed look I have taken into Portugal in WWII, but otherwise it was unremarkable
Ryan Murdock
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book about a fascinating and little-known corner of the Second World War.
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the writing in this book was choppy and sometimes disjointed, the subject was fascinating. I had always wondered just how "neutral" Portugal was during WWII and how it could stay neutral. I also had very little respect for Salazar, Portugal's dictator for decades who was more in line politically to other fascist dictators like Mussolini, Franco and Hitler. As it turns out, Salazar was pretty deft in his ability to keep Portugal "neutral." That word is in quotation marks because there wa ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lisbon survived the war without a shot being fired and was the hub and safe haven for the rich fleeing their conquered homelands and many refugees escaping persecution and a possible route to freedom in USA . Portugal was a neutral country and to preserve this state walked a nervy tightrope between the Alies and Axis powers and also under constant threat of an invasion by a Germany friendly Spain .

In the 60's Salazar the Portugese President who led the country during the 2nd World War was demoni
Esta obra do autor escocês Neil Lochery, especialista em política e história europeia moderna, trata o clima que se vivia na cidade de Lisboa nos anos 40, quando decorria a II Guerra Mundial.
Lisboa torna-se um cenário de espionagem, bem aos estilo dos filmes de James Bond, em que o glamour e as tácticas de espionagem de guerra convivem lado a lado nos espaços cosmopolitas da capital e na zona de Cascais, onde se refugiam aristocratas e monarcas caídos em desgraça noutros países ocupados da Europ
An additional sub-title for this book might be "how the dictator Salazar avoided fighting with either side, brought Portugual to a trade surplus and enriched its banks with gold stolen by the Nazis." Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, apparently the only European dictator of that era who did not strut about in military uniform, was in the sticky position of being leader of a country that had been allied to Britain since 1300 and also bordering a country, Spain, that appeared to be allied to Germany. S ...more
Paul W
Portugal in the 1930s and 1940s was a contradiction: an authoritative, albeit benign, dictatorship in a period where the democracies were at war with dictatorships; but it also had an ‘ancient alliance with England’, with the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty dating back to 1373. A major supplier of tungsten to the Germans; but also a point of exit for numerous Jewish refugees.
While not playing quite the ‘pivotal role in the history of World War II’ that the book’s dustjacket claims, the history of Lisbon
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lisbon
I enjoyed this book, which gives some insight into parts of Portuguese and WW2 history that is normally not covered in the history books. The book is mostly a portrait of the Portuguese leader/dictator Salazar, and for me this was the most interesting part as I've found it quite hard to get a grasp of how life in Portugal under Salazar really were. In this book, the morally doubtful position of trying to keep Portugal out of the war at any cost (while trying to maximize wartime profits) is studi ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Portugal played a dangerous game of tightrope during World War II. On the one hand it was bound to England by treaty and on the other it was bound by idealogy to Fascism. But tthe Portuguese dictator, Antonio Salazar, was no Nazi ( he had Jewish friends and supporters) and correctly predicted that the Allies would win the war. His one goal was to keep Portugal out of the war especially in the light of his country's disasterous entry into the First World War. But Portugal had two things that were ...more
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like reading books about cities, especially when the city has a unique historic period. Lisbon certainly did during WW2, and Lochery provides good historic detail for anyone who knows little or nothing about Lisbon during this period. The book sleeve, unfortunately, provides the most atmospheric snapshot with suggestions that it will emit the same feel as the film, Casablanca. Alas, Lochery never delivers on this promise, mainly because his prose is dry and rather repetitive across the chapter ...more
Margaret Sankey
From its advantageous position on the Atlantic, Portugal, poor and overlooked except for its traditional alliance with Britain, became a player of significance in WWII and Lisbon the center of covert and overt negotiations and scheming. While both sides bribed service industry workers and shuffled spies and refugees through the port, Salazar and his chief of Secret Police attempted to work to Portugal's survival and advantage--keeping neutrality in the face of threatened German invasion and Alli ...more
Peter Cox
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book covers the period of the second world war. Portugal was neutral, along with fellow Iberian states Spain and Andorra. Lisbon thus became a city of espionage for Allied and Axis agents alike. The book covers Nazi Gold (tungsten), occupation of timor by Japan, threat of german and spanish invasion, historical union with GB, jewish refugees, ian fleming at the casino, distrust of usa imperialism, cold war prophesy following demise of germany.

What sort of a man was António Salazar? A sympath
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book about Portugal (not just Lisbon) during the Second World War. Antonio Oliveira Salazar, the dictator of the Estado Novo, the contemporary Portuguese government, had to walk a delicate line in preserving his country’s neutrality, while trying to make as much money off of both sides as possible. Part of Portugal’s postwar prosperity came from a pile of gold acquired from the Nazis, including gold confiscated from conquered territories. The author, who more recently wrote a book about Brazil ...more
Jan 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very fun read, even though the book is a bit uneven in places. The author, a historian in the United Kingdom, found a really fresh angle on the Second World War by writing about Portugal, an ostensibly neutral country. Much of the book focuses on the jockeying that occurred in Lisbon between the British, the Germans, and the Salazar government. The book really doesn't have much to do with Lisbon, apart from it being the location for most of these dealings, nor does it really explore Po ...more
Skuli Saeland
Fræðandi rit um línudans Portúgalska einræðisherrans Salazars í síðari heimsstyrjöldinni þegar hann reyndi eftir megni að halda landi sínu utan hernaðarátaka en um leið græða sem mest á Bandamönnum og Öxulveldunum.
Þetta er fyrst og fremst pólitísk saga sem lýsir sjónarmiði einræðisherrans sem mat aðstæður kalt út frá eigin hagsmunum. Honum var sama um ofsóknir nasista gegn gyðingum, stórgræddi á því að selja hernaðarlega mikilvæg hráefni til Þjóðverja og tókst, líkt og Sviss, að safna miklu magn
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Neill Lochery, PhD, is a world-renowned source on Israel, the Middle East, and Mediterranean history. He is the author of five books and countless newspaper and magazine articles. He regularly appears on television in the UK, the USA, and the Middle East. He is currently based at University College London and divides his time between London, Lisbon, and the Middle East.
More about Neill Lochery...