The tiny English speaking Duchy of Grand Fenwick, located in the Alps, may not seem very important Just three miles wide and five long.But to the proud inhabitants,all 6,000 of them, it s still paradise on Earth Founded in 1370 by an English knight Roger Fenwick Sir Roger if you valued your life in his presence Trouble begins when their only export Pinot wine is threatened by a copycat from California I understand a very inferior product.Grand Duchess Gloriana XII, direct descendant of RogerSir Roger,calls a meeting of her Privy Council.At stake, the very existence of the Grand Duchy.The 22 year old ruler and very pretty say her loyal subjects, and the few visitors to her country ,needs help desperately What to do This being in the the Cold War,Tully Bascomb the chief forest ranger and son of the wisest man in the realm,proposes war with the United States After the two political leaders Count Mountjoy and Mr.Benter recover their senses,and all calm returns Bascomb, has some explaining to do , says to send a Declaration of War to the U.S.They will be quickly defeated and showered with millions of dollars in foreign aid.But when a State Department clerk see s the document, he has a hearty laugh thinking it s a joke and promptly loses the paper Waiting many weeks,Grand Fenwick feels insulted by being totally ignored.Assembling a mighty army of 23 men led by Tully, chartering the brig Endeavor and sailing from Marseilles, they land in a deserted New York City The Expeditionary force feels uneasy.An air raid drill keeps everyone in the subways and at home.Dr.Kokintz, inventor of the Q Bomb , the latest and most powerful nuclear weapon, works at Columbia University.Bascomb decides to march there.Wearing shining armor, they meet some men wearing clothes that cover everything, a decontamination squad ,the Americans think the Knights are men from Mars, just off flying saucers Fleeing when ray guns are fired, arrows actually and run for their lives.Soon Tully s men capture Dr.Kokintz, if they can get back to Grand Fenwick with the Dr and the little bomb, that small nation will be the most important in the world.Imagine that Hysterically funnyThe miniscule Duchery of Grand Fenwick is suffering from a population explosion 4000 to 6000 people , financial woes Their Pinot is being copied and undersold by a California Winery , and is no longer self sufficient after 600 years of existence What to do Declaring war on America is the only honorable decision.Thus begins one of the funniest book series of the Cold War period Made into a movie with Peter Sellers which is definitely worth viewing, the book still contains a lot and gives a strong message You will be laughing out loud, so reading in a private area is advised. I loved everything about this book, from the daring main character to the author s clever use of wit and humor I ll be seeing the film soon and I hope it can live up to the book A silly look at what would happen if the smallest country in the world took on the U.S They want the U.S to beat them so we could poor money into their economy and help them beef up their country, along the lines of the Marshall Plan. I should give it 2 and a half stars I didn t find it all that funny but it was well written I m just a very hard sell for humor. I quite liked it.I m not an expert on satire, and to be honest, it generally goes over my head I did get a few chuckles out of it, though it s not exactly Wodehouse, but it was still delightfully ridiculous at some points, appealing to my sense of humor I also appreciated the book s morality It aligned very much with my own, na ve as it may seem I wish this would have happened in real life, in fact.Not for everyone, as with anything, but a good, quick, worthy read. This book is hilarious Unfortunately it s also out of print, and so difficult to track down Luckily I managed to find a copy in a local used book store, and I read it very quickly.I first heard of the movie version of this book many years ago when I was still in high school, and a friend told me about this movie where a small nation invades America and wins, even though they only had spears and things, because nobody took them seriously I thought it sounded funny, but she didn t know the name and neither did I, so this slipped from my memory entirely.Until six months ago, when I was looking for a book to suggest for book club and I turned to my favorite resource, Nancy Pearl and her book, Book Lust Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason which I have used to find a number of fantastic and enjoyable books to read for myself and for others One book caught my eye, and reminded me of my friend s story from high school, so I added it to the list In fact, the only thing that stopped me from recommending it was finding out that it was out of print and people were only willing to sell their copies for quite a bit of money.That said, this book is hilarious, but it s also an entertaining story about war, international policy, and wine This was obviously written in the 50 s or 60 s, and was apparently a satire and commentary on the Cold War, so I wish that I was informed about those issues Unfortunately, I m not, but I was still able to get a lot out of the book, and though some chapters slowed down, as a whole, the book moved pretty fast Some of the major characters were underdeveloped, but the central tenant, that we need to take care of the human race before we figure out a way to protect our own country, resonated with me, and can still resonate with lots of people I would definitely recommend this book to anybody who can find it view spoiler The only thing that really bothered me about this book was one passage in one of the last chapters, where Duchess Gloriana talks about how men treating their wives equally is abuse, and how men shouldn t ask women their opinions or ideas Obviously Leonard Wibberley is a male writer, who was writing during the 1950 s, but this really stuck out and kind of annoyed me, because Gloriana is a kick ass character, and so I was a bit frustrated to see her talk about how women s rights are little than abuse.This didn t really affect my enjoyment of the book, because I recognize that this was Wibberley s viewpoint, and it s not like it s the most egregious example of sexism that I ve seen from this time I very clearly remember a Canadian propaganda film in which a man has a horrible nightmare that he wakes up in a world where men and women have switched places He eventually learns that it s wrong to call women stupid, but that they should be grateful that men do everything for them because they re stronger, better with money, and rational Anyway, that was the one thing about the book that really stuck out to me as a negative, even though I understand that it was Wibberley using Gloriana to make a point as opposed to her actual thought Besides, the whole final chapters of Mountjoy deciding that Gloriana had to marry were ridiculous, and I was rooting for her to end up with Tully anyway It didn t really spoil my enjoyment of the book, which I assume was pretty on point, but it s there hide spoiler Very funny broad humor and most of the satire still bitesI first read this novel when I was in high school The Cold War, the space race, the Cuban missile crisis The satire was timely The humor is timeless The satire now seems almost innocent and even a little naive in light of all that has happened in the world since this book s original publication in 1955 In those days, the idea that the little countries of the world, given the power, could end or at least mitigate the threat of nuclear annihilation was interesting Wibberley presented the idea in an interesting and humorous way as one of the main themes of his book Wibberley himself was not so simple In the sequel, the plan isn t working However, even in the sequel, he doesn t write of the problems which the world has now had with little countries, madmen and various extremists It has turned out that far from wishing to end the threat of nuclear annihilation, some of these people want the ability to threaten their neighbors and the entire world with that annihilation or the annihilation of chemical and biological weapons In the 1950 s I suppose that the threat posed by radical, activist Islam seemed a part of history, not a thing of the modern world Just being citizens of a little country does not give a people any sort of virtue History is full of accounts of nasty people in small countries or tribes but before the rapid advances in technology few of those people had the ability to seriously threaten many people outside their immediate neighbors and their own citizens Being modern is no virtue at all as the people of Grand Fenwick would happily tell you.Anyway, much of the satire still has bite and the broad humor of the book is still very funny There was also a very funny 1959 movie starring the late, great Peter Sellers based upon the novel.I downloaded this book via Kindle Unlimited. The Tiny Duchy Of Grand Fenwick Decides The Only Way To Survive An Economic Downturn Is To Declare War On The United States And Lose To Get Foreign Aid But Things Don T Go According To PlanThe Mouse That Roared Was Originally Published As A Six Part Serial In The Saturday Evening Post, And Was Made Into A Successful Feature Film Starring Peter Sellers Hurray There s of these I admit to myself I was skeptical, hopeful but skeptical How funny or topical or still relevant today could 1955 Cold War satire be And it turns out very to all three and I think only shows its age in a few spots It s a nice merge of fantasy and reality the possibility I think of a tiny country comprised of English longbowmen mercenaries who claimed that territory in the 14th century because no one else wanted it, where they still use long bows and wear heraldic outfits perhaps is stretching it a bit, but the author merges them pretty nicely with occupied defense administrators and junior ministers, because no one takes them seriously when they declare war on the US Why Their one commodity, wine and the Grand Fenwickians take wine very seriously since their two political parties are formed over whether they should water it down some has been ruined by an American winery selling a cheap knockoff with a deceptive label When outraged protests and letters are either ignored or used by the unscrupulous winery for its benefit, there s only one choice left war So they send an archer mace warparty to the US, and when they embark in New York, they find the streets deserted to a civil defense drill The scenes of them wandering around the streets, creeped out by the lack of people, I thought were some of the best in the book.Through a series of lucky coincidences, they find themselves in the possession of a new insanely powerful weapon basically will wipe out continents and poison the earth for all time , they kidnap a few soldiers and policemen and sail back for home The smallest country in the world is now the most powerful, and all the world s leaders come toadying up to Duchess Gloriana XII, the 22 year old ruler, who with her advisors, has a plan Will definitely read the next four.