Fo Sgàil A' Swastika (Under the Shadow of the Swastika)

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Fo Sgàil A' Swastika (Under the Shadow of the Swastika)

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Fo Sgàil A' Swastika (Under the Shadow of the Swastika) le Dòmhnall Iain MacDhòmhnaill

The gallant rearguard action which culminated in the capture of 8000 men of the 51st Highland Division at St Valéry- two weeks after the famous evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk- is one of the forgotten episodes of World War II.

There have been countless books about the war but relatively few by private soldiers- far less one who could take a poet's perspective on the experience. Donald John MacDonald (1919-1986) is now recognised at one of Gaeldom's most important bards. His vivid account of the grim privation of the prisoner of war camps resounds with the spirit, humour and sense of comradeship of men who refused to be cowed by their captors. It is told with all the verve and immediacy of a natural raconteur- but then MacDonald was descended from a line of traditional bards and storytellers.

His talent is confirmed by the accompanying CDs which have been digitally enhanced from cassette tapes of the entire book made privately by the author himself in 1983. It is a huge bonus that this recording can now be made available to the public. Apart from its historical importance as a record of MacDonald's melodious Uist Gaelic, it should enrich the reading experience for those fluent in the language and provide an invaluable model for learners.

The attraction of the package to students of the language is further enhanced by the parallel translation by Bill Innes- who is himself from South Uist and who knew the author well. It captures faithfully the spirit of a work thus made accessible to a much wider audience.

Product CodeFO 09

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