One Clear Call  Summary

"One Clear Call" is the ninth in the eleven book Upton Sinclair’s epic World’s End Lanny Budd series. The historical period covers the climax to World War Two in 1943 and 1944 as Lanny continues in his role as Presidential Agent 103 to FDR. Lanny uses his art expertise and connections while traveling throughout Europe and the Middle East buying masterpieces and reselling them to rich Americans. His clients in Europe include both Reichsmarschall (among a dozen or so titles) Hermann Goring and Adolph Hitler, a.k.a., Adi Schicklgruber, former picture post card artist

This volume presents Lanny in the position of attempting to delude the Nazi’s into where the Allied invasion is going to be. The Allies have determined Normandy as the entry point to the invasion of Germany to destroy the Third Reich. For almost twenty years Lanny has enjoyed the confidence of Hitler and for over a dozen years with Goring by posing as a Nazi sympathizer. He has been able to accomplish this through his boyhood friend, and his mother’s former lover, Kurt Meissner. Meissner is thought to be a great Komponist and is close to Hitler. 

However Lanny has never had much contact with the infamous Heinrich Himler, head of the dreaded Gestapo. After the many years deceiving the Nazi’s, Himmler finally discovers the true purposes of Lanny’s intimacies with the Nazi leadership. Lanny’s half sister, Marceline, the famous dancer who has run off with a German officer, warns Lanny to get out of Germany, and fast. The ensuing struggle by Lanny to evade the Gestapo is the most dangerous of his many exploits up to this point. Using his underground resistance connections, which he has funded and nurtured for so many years, Lanny spends months eluding the determined Gestapo. He tries escaping by car but is forced into abandoning that method and is forced to literally beg for food and sleeps in barns and in the forests. It is one of the most exciting adventures written by Upton in the entire series. His eventual (you knew he would) freedom is secured as the Allies take Italy city by city and bombing German cities relentlessly.

All of the dreams of Hitler are coming apart, day by day. There is a mutiny among the highest levels of the military to assassinate him that is tantalizing. The real German military consider Hitler an incompetent and believe (rightfully) that he has destroyed the Motherland and the hopes of the German people for decades to come. The plot is explosive and comes very close to reaching the desired end. 

After D Day, Lanny is commissioned as an Honorary Captain in the US Army. He is put in charge of a large number of American art experts charged with capturing all of the art that the Nazi’s have stolen over the years and returning it to the rightful owners. At this same time, the irrepressible Laurel Creston, Mrs. Lanny Budd, decides to come to Europe as a commissioned officer and writer for the military press. In addition to capturing and organizing the millions of dollars of paintings and other artwork, Lanny is asked to be an interrogator for the military. Due to his German fluency, he interviews top German prisoners including General Emil Meissner, Kurt’s older brother. 

And in a truly fabulous scene, Lanny and the profane General Patton have an extended conversation about taking Paris back from the Germans before going on to Germany. This chapter is a must read and one not to be forgotten.

There are so many more exciting sub plots in "One Clear Call".  I have loved each and every book in this epic narrative historical series; "One Clear Call" culminates the beginning of the end for the Nazi’s and the Fascists. For each reader who has longed for the fall of Hitler and the Nazi’s and the reuniting of France you will enjoy this book tremendously.

January, 2011
Stephen Courts
Columbus, Ohio

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