Element of Luck
The Radcliffe Press
Michael Crouchs book is a
very personal odyssey that covers most of his working life, but is ninety per cent about
the nine years he spent as a political officer in almost every corner of south Yemen.
Starting light-heartedly and entertainingly, the book develops
later on into an emotional and very moving account of the despairing final days of the
British in Aden and more particularly, the British Residency in Mukalla. It is well
written and easily readable. Michael Crouch is extremely critical both of government
policies and of many of his colleagues, often with good reason, but one does sometimes get
the feeling that everybody was out of step except the author.
As a personal picture of a dramatic and latterly traumatic piece
of history, it is extremely vivid and describes very well the heights and depths of spirit
to which that strange and all absorbing occupation exposed one.
JAMES NASH, November 1994