Born in the nineteenth century and molders of the twentieth and twenty-first, Roosevelt and Churchill had much in common. Sons of the elite, students of history, politicians of the first rank, they savored power. In their own time both men were underestimated, dismissed as arrogant, and faced skeptics and haters in their own nations, yet both magnificently rose to the central challenges of the twentieth century. Theirs was a kind of love story, with an emotional Churchill courting an elusive Roosevelt.
Confronting tyranny and terror, Roosevelt and Churchill built a victorious alliance amid cataclysmic events and occasionally conflicting interests. Meacham's new sources, including unpublished letters of FDR's great secret love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the papers of Pamela Churchill Harriman, and interviews with the few surviving people who were in FDR and Churchill's joint company, shed fresh light on the characters of both men as he engagingly chronicles the hours in which they decided the course of the struggle. Charting the personal drama behind the discussions of strategy and statecraft, Meacham has written the definitive account of the most remarkable friendship of the modern age.
©2003 Jon Meacham; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Jon Meacham's Franklin and Winston takes its place in the front ranks of all that has been written about these two great men." (Tom Brokaw)
"Jon Meacham brings [the relationship between FDR and Churchill] to vivid life, shedding new insights into its strange and poignant complexity, and why its legacy has helped shape the modern world." (Richard Holbrooke)
I really enjoyed this, and how it brings these big historical decisions, events and meetings down to very personal experiences.
This book tells the story of the relationship between FDR and Winston Churchill during WWII.
It's one of the most studied relationships in history, and many theories have been developed about what went on between these men during the lead up to 1941 and early years of the war.
The view of the relationship shown here is vastly different from the one Max Hastings presents in Winston At War, so it was interesting to follow up that book with this one. All we can do is guess, of course, at actually went on, or draw on some of the primary sources available to historians. Despite that, this is a warm & engaging history and I found this book informative and very interesting to listen to.
To this reader/listener the book seemed to bounce back and forth too much. A he-said, he-said recount of letters and conversations. Despite the tennis match feel of writing, I managed to get insight into the relationship between two of history's iconic characters and learned more about each of the respective men's families. Although the narractor's accent is appropriate for the era, I found excessive exposure to the tonality caused frontal headaches. I could feel the tension rush to the front of my head as soon as I turned the audio on. I had hoped for something different than what I received, but still this book is important in anyone's attempt to understand the relationship between the men behind the legends.
Two of the greatest leaders during my lifetime, and possibly the twentieth century are examined in wonderful detail. I loved every minute of it.
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