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Fortunes of War (The Sentinels Series Book One) (Sentinels (Greenleaf)) Hardcover – July 1, 2009


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Fortunes of War (The Sentinels Series Book One) (Sentinels (Greenleaf)) + Crude Deception (The Sentinels Series Book Two)
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Product Details

  • Series: Sentinels (Greenleaf) (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929774648
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929774647
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,506,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Zuckerman's uneven debut, the first in a possible series of political thrillers, starts off with an intriguing premise. In 1938, the Sentinels, a group of six economics doctoral students at the University of California, Berkeley, claim to have discovered a pattern that explains and can even predict repeating cycles of the rise and fall of world powers. In particular, the Sentinels assert that German industrialists are pushing Europe into war. They propose a watchdog organization to eradicate these cancers when lower-level means can still be used effectively. Of course, it's too late for anyone to stop WWII. Once the bad guys learn of our heroes' intentions, they seek to forestall the Sentinels in a plot full of predictable abduction and rescue sequences. Tepid romantic subplots and cardboard lead characters don't help. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Gordon Zuckerman, a graduate of Harvard Business School, has studied banking, international finance, and history extensively, focusing on how wealth and governmental machinations can advance private agendas that conflict with public interest. He lives with his wife in northern Nevada.

More About the Author

Gordon Zuckerman is the author of the acclaimed historical fiction series, The Sentinels. The first two books in The Sentinels series, "Fortunes of War" and "Crude Deception", are set in climates of military turmoil where government and greed collide in high-stakes drama with entire nations hanging in the balance.

Zuckerman's first book, Fortunes of War, delves heavily into how money played a key role in building up Hitler's attempt of world domination and how the loss of that money helped bring him down. In the financial devastation of the 1930s, a greedy, power-hungry group of German industrialists plot to usher in the National Socialist Party in order to rearm Germany and reap the financial rewards. With Hitler in power, the Six Sentinels, graduates of an elite American doctoral program, uncover the industrialists' plan to hoard hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal war profits and put their lives on the line to serve justice.

In the second installment of The Sentinels series, Crude Deception, our heroes return in an epic battle against a big oil monopoly. As America's dependence on fossil fuel takes hold in the post-World War Two climate of economic growth, seven major oil companies join forces to control the industry, amassing obscene profits, squeezing tax-payers, and manipulating supplies around the world. In a plotline eerily reminiscent of today's political climate, the Sentinels fan out across several continents in an intricately plotted mission to bring Big Oil to its knees.

Author Gordon Zuckerman has traveled extensively and is a life-long history buff. Having been made aware of the potential corrupting influence of concentrated wealth and power, he devoted the last 10years of his life to studying some of history's most important events. He's developed an understanding of how concentrated industrial and financial influence, given the support of government, can pursue agendas of self-interest that can conflict with the public's best interests.

Zuckerman, the founder of the nationally recognized resort hotel company Resort Suites of Scottsdale, calls upon his exposure to finance, banking, marketing, and business development to support the plot of his books.

For 30 years he owned and operated his own real estate development company until he sold it to a major investment company in 2004. Prior to that, he worked on Wall Street for Kaiser-Aetna for a decade.

Born and raised in Stockton, California, Zuckerman earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Now retired, he is the director of The Brubeck Institute and several private companies.

He resides with his wife, Anne, of 48 years, on their ranch in Northern Nevada. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Customer Reviews

I don't think I will bother wasting my money on the sequel somehow!
Poppalong
I would have preferred the book to be much longer, contain fewer main characters, with a more developed and in-depth storyline.
T. Kunikov
I could not put the book down as there are many plot twists and turns, there is political intrigue, conspiracy, and romance.
Janice M. Hidey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By T. Kunikov VINE VOICE on December 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When it comes to historical fiction authors have a lot they can/should work with. Some put more history than fiction into their works, others more fiction than history. This work is easily part of the latter group. Aside from simple dates being off, battle for Stalingrad is still taking place past February 1943, there are other chronological errors that take away from creating an atmosphere of WWII Europe and America. Further, the dialogue misses the nuances of the time, it sounds like these characters are hanging out in the Europe and America of today. Lastly, characters are flying around Europe as if there isn't a war on. Bored in NY or England? Just hope a flight through occupied Europe! While this is a fictional narrative, a sense of reality usually helps.

The book is a page-turner, no doubt about it, problem is, once you turn that page what you find isn't always something special. The idea behind the book, six "elite" doctoral students trying to steal money from German industrialists, is intriguing but already pushes the envelope. The biggest problem for me was I could not form any type of relationship with the characters, I honestly did not care what happened to them or if they succeeded. With the book being a little less than 300 pages, much of what happens seems cut-down in form. In reading a novel I am actually interested in the minutia and the details of how things work/happen/occur, etc. Aside from learning some banking terms, details about California's wine country, and a few things about skiing, the rest was simply not memorable. I would have preferred the book to be much longer, contain fewer main characters, with a more developed and in-depth storyline. They attempt to steal from high ranking German industrialists, they get caught doing it within a few pages of trying, the war ends, so what? There is some potential, but for me, it was simply an "uneven debut."
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Janice M. Hidey on February 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Sentinels: Fortunes of War by Gordon Zuckerman begins with a flashback to a meeting of group of German industrialists who decide to back a new fellow on the scene, Hitler for financial reason. They are concerned about their own pockets, not what is best for the country. Jump forward and it appears that World War II is about to end and these same industrialists want to get their money out of the country safely without Hitler knowing. The want to be able to use their money once the Reich is no more.

Getting in their way are the Sentinels, a group of six very intelligent young people who attended grad school together and were quite a think tank. They have since stayed in touch but each has been involved in their own way changing the world. They realize that if these men get their money out of Germany they will again back someone else and it will only be a matter of time before the cycle begins again. Thus, they develop a plot to stop these men from profiting further. They have financial and business connections and develop a plan to take the industrialists' money and use it in a more positive manner. They are a likeable group of four young men and two women. As they put their plan into effect it soon becomes clear their lives are in danger. They are hunted down, some kidnapped but they are determined to carry through with their plans despite the danger.

I could not put the book down as there are many plot twists and turns, there is political intrigue, conspiracy, and romance. As I finished reading it I realized I really didn't want to leave the Sentinels and then I read that more books were forthcoming and I was excited. Gordon Zuckerman is in the same class as other thriller writers including Robert Ludlum and David Baldacci. He has a clear understanding of history, creates an interesting page turner and develops likable characters. I am looking forward to the next one in The Sentinel series.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By morehumanthanhuman on June 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a basic heist novel, but one where the main characters lack skills in fighting or subterfuge.

A group of wealthy people (none of whom earned their wealth, they inherited it) go to graduate school together and years later reunite with a plan to steal millions of dollars from a group of German industrialists who are seeking to get their money out of the country before the collapse of the Nazi government. I won't speak to the nature of the plan, as I am not well versed in economics or banking. However, their plan to get away with it is horrible (hiring people connected to their businesses to carry out the mechanics of the forgery, ignoring the fact that they are known to be connected via graduate school and continuing relationships) and they are quickly exposed, putting their lives in danger. Fortunately, they have virtually limitless resources (due to the fact that they are super-rich) and their enemies are dumb so they get to keep the money.

The book, as some other reviewers have noted, is riddled with factual errors. For example: nobody was flying into La Guardia during World War II - it was known as New York Municipal Airport. More importantly, commercial transatlantic flights were not landing there during the War - no matter what you call the airport. Characters travel to Switzerland by flying over occupied Paris, a needlessly dangerous move. The French Resistance is a major player in protecting characters, which is odd when you consider the actual numbers and power of the French Resistance. The anachronism is heavy - characters never think or act in a way that is influenced by their time and place. There is no real point in having them be from multiple countries - they all come across as late 20th century Americans.
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