"Dragon’s Harvest" is the sixth book in the epic World’s End series written by Upton Sinclair and first published in 1945. The protagonist is the dashing and charming Lanny Budd. All eleven books in this sweeping historical narrative were best sellers when published by Viking Press in the 1940’s and the early 1950’s. They were sold in over 20 countries. Dragon’s Harvest covers the period between 1938 and 1940.
For those fortunate readers who began with the first book, "World’s End", and have followed the exciting life of Lanny Budd recognize him as the world renowned art expert and ultra secret presidential agent for FDR. Lanny travels throughout Europe and Washington D.C. meeting with the powerful political figures and financial titans who shape the events that lead to World War Two. In the previous book, Presidential Agent, Lanny is introduced by his former boss at the Versailles Treaty, “The Fixer”, to President Roosevelt, Professor Charlie Alston. Acting on behalf of FDR, Lanny continues his intrigues with the German Nazi’s as a “faithful believer” while reporting secretly to FDR the coming storm in Europe. Lanny is able to accomplish this double life as a result of his relationship with Kurt Meissner, a boyhood chum, recognized throughout Germany as a great composer, and close friend of Hitler, as well as the business relationship between Lanny’s father, Robbie, and Hermann Goring. Robbie, unsuccessful in selling his new airplanes to the British and the French is forced to sell thousands of airplanes to the German Nazi’s to keep his plant operating. When at last the United States begins to recognize that the German Juggernaut will eventually involve the United States, Robbie is prohibited from selling to the Nazi’s and his business is virtually overwhelmed with orders from the United States military.
"Dragon’s Harvest" begins after the treacherous Munich accord on the Rivera where Lanny meets with a “shelved” Tory, Winston Churchill, Lanny, is ostensibly an art expert, meeting with the famous and infamous throughout Europe, buying old European masterpieces and selling them to rich Americans. He acts as a liaison with French and English diplomats and military appeasers. He uses all of his determination to warn them that war with Germany is inevitable. He tells them that Germany has been preparing for over a period of ten plus years for the wholesale takeover of Europe, despite what Hitler promises. Lanny has a private meeting with Neville Chamberlain. Lanny is with Hitler and Goring as they plan the seizure of Poland. He warns Belgium, Holland and Norway of their approaching fate. Lanny becomes involved and with great danger in a risky rescue of British sailors at Dunkirk.
After the heroic rescue at Dunkirk Lanny rejoins Hitler in an effort to determine when the Nazi’s intend to invade England and as Dragon’s Harvest ends, Hitler and the Nazi’s occupy Paris and install the Vichy Government.
In this book Lanny once again utilizes all of his intellectual and creative skills to outwit the Gestapo who are the trail of a naive young anti Nazi woman writer living in Germany. Her name is Laurel Creston and she is a significant character throughout the remaining books and a tremendous source of influence and support to Lanny. The scheme Lanny utilizes to outwit the Nazi’s is one the reader will not want to miss. And for all of the fans of Lanny Budd you are about to meet the future Mrs. Lanny Budd. Their relationship is painstakingly developed and is one the reader will love.
If the reader wishes to appreciate this great historical narrative I strongly encourage the reader to begin with World’s End and read the series in the order in which Upton painstakingly and meticulously wrote the eleven books.
Dragon's Harvest - Summary
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