Why read Divided Loyalties?

Divided Loyalties: Algiers 1941 – A Novel

by Paul A. Myers

 Why was Algiers important to Franklin D. Roosevelt?

President Roosevelt read reports from American diplomats in the summer of 1940 observing that Vichy France still controlled all of their African colonies after the June 1940 Armistice with Germany. Few Germans were present in North Africa. Roosevelt resolved on a bold strategy.

This novel provides a you-are-there narrative of the big decisions made in Washington and Algiers that are true history presented within the immediacy of a historical novel. Fictional characters provide youth, romance, and a sense of the adventure of the times to illuminate the attitudes behind one of the grand historical dramas of the war.

  • Why Roosevelt chose veteran American diplomat Robert Murphy to lead his North African initiative in the fall of 1940?
  • What was the real relationship between Murphy and French General Weygand?
  • Why did the Americans have to maneuver around the British to achieve their objectives?
  • Why did the French in North Africa hate the British and like the Americans?
  • Why did the American Murphy get along so well with the German head of the Gestapo in North Africa?
  • What did the Vichy French counterespionage service have on the head of the Gestapo in North Africa?
  • What was the mission of the noncareer American vice consults who flooded into North Africa in the summer of 1941?
  • What was the dinner like in the Hotel Aletti in Algiers on December 7, 1941 between rival parties of American and German diplomats seated next to each other?
  • Which girl was the young American diplomat with on the morning of December 8, 1941?

Romance and a near-thriller narrative are set against an incredible story of true events that became the stage for President Roosevelt’s strategic masterstroke that determined the course of the war in Europe—the American-British invasion of North Africa in November 1942, a first victory on the long road to triumph over the evil and difficult-to-defeat Nazi empire.



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