I could not stop listening to this book. I have a keen interest in WW 2 and the British home front and I learned so much. It was thoroughly engaging from start to finish.
Even with the slightest interest in this time in history, you will find this book fantastic. Wonderful book ~ !
I would say this is one of the better audiobooks I've heard. The narrator did a good job and I appreciate not changing tone or accent with so many different characters involved.
I was really struck by the long, winding story of George Wynant - the U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. during WWII. He is someone I would really respect and like. What a hard job he had during that time. His own journey from pre-war to post-war is thrilling and heart breaking.
No - I just liked seeing a whole new all encompassing view of the events before, during and after World War II. I think overall it increased my understanding of the war.
A lot of historical data that you won't find in the history books. The role of these Gentlemen and the role of the P51 (which the USA was initially reluctant to use) really had and impact on the war and the shape of the world today. I enjoyed this book thoroughly!
Audio version are superior for a survey approach to a subject. It is not, however, possible to continuously stay tuned in for things such things as dates and names - print is better for this. But to have the freedom to incorporate exercise into the same time slot is a a great gift. It would be my suggestion as a business model that the buyer have the option for another modest fee ($1 or +$2) to also have a downloadable version for reference - especially for non-fiction.
Lynne Olson sees the world through the eyes of a committed Liberal (in the current political, not in the classical sense). This of course colors the work. I do not share this, none the less it is good to know what the heart of an opposing view is. I see the world more like Churchill than the authors favorite- John Gilbert Wynant. I would not seek out nor count out any other work by Olson.
His sense of timing is quite good. His rhythms seem in sink with the intent of the author.
America's strengths and weaknesses as seen by our greatest ally.
In spite of the authors Liberal political bent there is great revelation about the follies of the FDR administration.
This is an informative book on many big name (and some lesser name) Americans who were in London for WWII. As the author gets into the later war years, the story understandbly meanders more. At times the book is more gossip column than history and I really did not need to know all that much about the sexual activities of some of the people (especially Churchill women) in the book. To add insult to injury, the sex lists were boring so claiming "spice" doesn't really help on that subject. The author does a very good job of displaying the emotional passions of men like Murrow.
Olson also paints a vivid picture of the suffering of Londoners in general and how the food rationing affected the people in stark contrast to the high living of the wealthy in black market establishments or people in the United States. At times it appears that the author is outraged that the American people did not suffer as much as their British compatriots. Did Americans have it easy compared to the British? Of course, Would the outlawing of girdle production in the U.S. have put an ounce more meat, butter or cheese on the plate of a Briton? No. Having listened to tales from my family in Canada during WWII, sacrfices were made for Britain during the war. Not as much as the Britons themselves, but the deprivations of wartime also illustrate just how much many Britons were living on the shoulders of the people of the Empire and Commonwealth. The book occasionally uses the incorrect term that "England fought alone." This author doesn't fall into that trap often, but England always had Scotland and Wales plus the Commonwealth and the Empire.
One last issue was that near the end of the book the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is called the North AMERICAN Treaty Organization. I don't know if that was in the book or an error by the narrator. The author pointed out what a huge step this was for the United States so the name should be correct. Not a huge deal, but it stood out to me.
Olson also gives a useful re-examination of the Churchill/Roosevelt relationship. Fans of FDR will not like everything that is said but that is history.
Overall I recommend this book for some great stories and new insights. Get ready for a long list of attempted begating however. Plus, keep in mind that this book appears at least to be biased in favor of the Anglophiles.
Avid audiobook addict!
Some new information that I'd never heard before. A fantastic insight into wartime London. The explanations of some of the social structure and connections between various players in the scene became a bit tedious at times, but in general the book was extremely good.
Painfully slogged through this one. The political bias presented is unbearable. A brief mention and skipping over of Joseph Kennedy's criminal self interests during wartime while wasting dozens of minutes bemoaning the evil right protesting implementation of the nation's social security program, one where most of the protests of the right highlighted in the book have been proven unfortunately correct and in fact underestimated the ultimate corruption and failure of the system. Save your money, here's my summary. Left good. Right bad. Objectivity out the window. Want a good matter of fact read on WWII? Try the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Just the facts ma'am.