Read advance reader review of The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Volunteer

One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz

by Jack Fairweather

The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather X
The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Jun 2019, 416 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews


Page 1 of 3
There are currently 20 member reviews
for The Volunteer
Order Reviews by:
  • Lisa O. (Brewster, 10509)


    The Volunteer
    I really enjoy reading about unsung heroes so this book about Witold Pilecki seemed right up my alley. "The Volunteer" did not disappoint. I found the account of Pilecki's infiltration of Auschwitz interesting, informative, heartbreaking, and extremely well researched. I found this to be a very compelling deep dive into a single man and his mission to draw the world's attention to the awful atrocities at Auschwitz.
  • Joanne V. (Towanda, PA)


    Witold Pilecki, an unknown hero
    Mr. Fairweather has produced an awesome book about a little known Polish hero who endured the horrors of Auschwitz - how and why he comes to be there and what happens to him after WWII is both compelling and disturbing. This book should be required reading for both high school and college students if only for what it means to be a patriot and the extent to which one can/will go for their country. There is so much to discuss and the author presents the story in such an easy to read (well, sometimes not so easy) that it is hard to believe it is non-fiction. This would also make be a great book club selection. I have read many WWII books both fiction and non-fiction and this is one of the best. Kudos to Mr. Fairweather.
  • Mary Anne R. (Towson, MD)


    The Story of Witold Pilecki
    This book is the history of Witold Pilecki's heroic efforts to let the world know of the evil of Auschwitz. I embraced the brave work of Witold and the many heroes I met in this book. The author includes a list of characters in the back of the book. When I met a new character I referred to the list and noted the page the person was introduced so that I would remember them later.

    The author helps the reader understand in a very personal way the courage of individuals in the Polish underground. Among these people was a 6 year old boy who did dangerous work.

    The author is able to describe Witold's heart as Witold continues his dangerous work to expel the evil that was crushing the world. I think everyone needs to read this book. The author makes history come alive.
  • Emily C. (Naples, FL)


    Witold Pilecki's Heroism Defying the Nazi Regime
    As a former history teacher, I am always fascinated with newly published accounts of historical events unknown to me. It is for that reason that the reading of Jack Fairweather's THE VOLUNTEER absorbed me for days and nights on end.

    Fairweather, a former correspondent for both the Washington Post and the Daily Telegraph has written a thoroughly researched account of the resistance activities of Witold Pilecki. Pilecki, a Polish resistance fighter during World War II, volunteered to be in imprisoned in Auschwitz.His objectives were fourfold: (1) to help fellow prisoners to survive by ensuring that food was more evenly distributed throughout the Camp; (2) to develop resistance prisoners and; (3) to push for retaliation by requesting the cells among the prisoners; and, (4) to inform the British Government of the heinous treatment by the Nazis of the British to have the Camp, arsenals, and railways bombed.

    Pilecki's memoir and private papers, which have recently been translated, serve as one of the main sources for this well-written and riveting book. While the book is overcrowded with characters, Fairweather does provide a directory of the characters at the end of the book. Constant reference to this directory did slow down my reading of the book but was most helpful in keeping me focused on each and every event and the individuals involved.

    As Fairweather states in the Epilogue, "Witold's story shows us that the problem of distinguishing new evils from old, of naming injustice, and of implicating ourselves in the plight of others is a dilemma for every time".

    This is an inspiring and suspenseful read. I highly recommend it to all who are students of World War II history and the horrors of the Holocaust.
  • Barbara K. (Brooklyn, NY)


    Astounding Bravery
    This detailed, well written book, highlights the fortitude & bravery of Witold Pilecki, a Polish resistance fighter. His mission is to get captured & go into Auschwitz so that he could gather information & report his findings. How he goes about doing this & risking his life is astounding. This piece of history should be a must-read in schools & on campuses. I can see it as a major motion picture because how this remarkable man had the intelligence and fortitude to accomplish all that he did is almost unbelievable!
  • Chris (CA)


    A Must Read
    Having recently returned from a trip to Eastern Europe, including Poland and Auschwitz/Birkenau, I was looking forward to reading this book. This is a well-written, very well-researched book with extensive footnotes. I am happy that I was able to learn about Witold Pilecki. It is actually a page turner, and I appreciated the pictures and maps that were included. The atrocities that Nazi men committed on other humans are difficult to read about, but this "volunteer" actually witnessed and experienced them. This man was a true hero - fighting for what was right and never stopping, no matter what, even after the war ended. In spite of the sadness and horror, his is an inspiring story. I learned a lot about how the camp operated and how and why the Allies were slow to react to smuggled messages about the horrors of the camp. This important book should be discussed in more places than just book clubs. Any student of history should read it. High school and college students should read this as it is first-hand experience of what happened in Eastern Europe and in this death camp. What about atrocities in the world now? Would eye witnesses be believed today? Would these kinds of "camps" be allowed to exist today? What would you do in such a situation? These are great discussion topics for younger people. I highly recommend this book. We must never forget.
  • Doris K. (Angora, MN)


    The Volunteer
    If you've ever wondered as I have, why the Jewish people didn't fight back against their treatment by the Germans in the WWII era read this book. In a very well written book Jack Fairweather tells us that they did. Using the writings of Withold and other sources he tells a fascinating true story. It covers not only Auschwitz but the time after the prisoners were freed. The people of Poland suffered terribly. Great research was done by Fairweather to uncover what really happened in Poland during and after World War II. Not only for History "buffs", this book should be read by all to get a true picture of persecution in Poland from 1938-1948. Although it tells the true picture of life in Auschwitz it is very "readable" and shows how difficult it was to convince the outside world of what was really happening.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Beyond the Book:
  Auschwitz-Birkenau Today

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Everything Inside
    Everything Inside
    by Edwidge Danticat
    Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American writer, and Haiti looms large as a presence in this ...
  • Book Jacket: The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    by Christy Lefteri
    In Christy Lefteri's sophomore novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, the author introduces readers to ...
  • Book Jacket: Marilou Is Everywhere
    Marilou Is Everywhere
    by Sarah Elaine Smith
    "The point is that at that moment in my life," writes the narrator of Sarah Elaine Smith's debut ...
  • Book Jacket: Let's Call It a Doomsday
    Let's Call It a Doomsday
    by Katie Henry
    However the world will end, Ellis Kimball is ready for it. Her obsessive stash of survivalist ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Secrets We Kept
    by Lara Prescott

    Reese Witherspoon's Sept Book Club Pick!
    "This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot."—EW
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Motherhood So White
    by Nefertiti Austin

    A heartwarming memoir of motherhood and adoption told through an African American lens.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Today We Go Home
by Kelli Estes

Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave military women of the past and present.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Chase Darkness with Me

How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

S S A C A Big S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.