Finland's greatest statesman, Baron Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim, was an anachronism in the 20th century. In a time dominated by the political ideals of democracy, communism and fascism, Mannerheim tired of the disputes of the first, hated the proletarian nature of the second and had an uneasy relationship with the third. Yet at various stages in his life he found himself forging an entente between these ideologies, and despite his personal views on them, retained a realistic view of what would be best for Finland. An unusual Finnish patriot, for he could speak Swedish, Russian and French fluently, as well as English, German and Polish passably, yet he didn't learn Finnish until he turned fifty, and even during the Second World War needed a Finnish translator to speak to his own troops. He felt more at home among European aristocrats than his fellow countrymen. Yet he guided Finland through the dark days of it's formation, united his country and gave them a genuine feeling that they were Finns, successfully steered Finland through three wars with great powers and one civil war, and was the man who most contributed to Finland's sovereignty that still exists today.
Book in very good condition. No dust jacket