The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family,

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, On Winston Churchill s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing , Britons It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally and willing to fight to the endIn The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows how Churchill taught the British people the art of being fearless It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill s prime ministerial country home, Chequers his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest and of courseDowning Street in London Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once secret intelligence reports some released only recently Larson provides a new lens on London s darkest year through the day to day experience of Churchill and his family his wife, Clementine their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents wartime protectiveness their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela Pamela s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary and the advisers in Churchill s Secret Circle, to whom he turns in the hardest moments


10 thoughts on “The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

  1. Liz Liz says:

    Erik Larson is my favorite author of nonfiction He writes books that just grab me as well as always teaching me something new Looking back on Churchill, it s easy to assume he was always loved and admired But that s not the case He had many detractors on both sides of the pond Larson does a wonderful job of giving us a flesh and blood Churchill kimonos and all His strength lay in


  2. Dem Dem says:

    What a poignant read for the times we are in as the world is fighting a different type of war without the guns and bombs and those in government must make the tough decisions to keep us safe A few Winston Churchills wouldn t go amiss in heading the Governments of todayNever in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so fewSir Winston Churchill I have always had agrafo


  3. Beata Beata says:

    A terrific account of the darkest hour from the perspective of the Churchills Mr Larson has a special talent which allows him to engage a reader and leave them satisfied, like myself This non fiction is about the times when Great Britain was on the verge of falling into the Nazi hands and regime, and yet, Churchill and his charisma at that very moment prevented the catastrophy The is not much


  4. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    Few authors are as gifted writing non fiction that reads like fiction , as Erik Larson does With tenacity and sensitivity, Larson gives us an compelling account of history by humanizing the facts with the interesting array of characters Larson masterfully reimagines the The Blitz and the Battle of Britain , bombs dropping German invasion , in uniquely human terms. filled with personal and political


  5. Holly B Holly B says:

    This was fascinating, thrilling, and filled with those go team moments Britain and the world VS Hitler I took my time to read this history filled book It was part memoir of Winston Churchill s first year as Prime Minister of Britain during WWII I read lots of WWII fictional novels, BUT this author brought the battle front and center, behind the scenes and was almost impossible to put down.I loved learnin


  6. JanB JanB says:

    Never was there such a contrast of natural splendor and human vileness John Colville s diary entry about the peculiar beauty of watching bombs fall over the city What better time than during a pandemic to read about the unrelenting courage of a people during one of the darkest periods of history During the Blitz, Londoners endured fifty seven consecutive nights of bombing Tens of thousands of people died How d


  7. Jeanette (Again) Jeanette (Again) says:

    Publication day has finally arrived Enjoy Be sure to set aside plenty of time to work your way through this deep exploration of one year in the life of Churchill and those close to him It will require some patience, but if you re not inclined to read the multi volume biographies about him, this book is an effective distillation of the man as he navigated his first year as prime minister May 10, 1940 through May 10,


  8. Dorie - Cats&Books :) Dorie - Cats&Books :) says:

    I have read several books by Eric Larson but Devil In The White City was always my favorite, but after reading The Splendid And The Vile , this one is a tie for me with the above book.I have never read another author who can make learning about history engaging and easily readable It was a bit hard to read in part because of the pandemic we are still struggling with However, it was such a story of human strength, determin


  9. Faith Faith says:

    In the Sources and Acknowledgements section of this book, the author states I set out to hunt for the stories that often get left out of the massive biographies of Churchill, either because there s no time to tell them or because they seem too frivolous But it is in frivolity Churchill often revealed himself, the little moments that endeared him to his staff, despite the extreme demands he placed on all This is the kind of hist


  10. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    Leadership Apparently King George VI felt that Churchill had something that the country needed when he appointed him to replace Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the spring of 1940 Observers, at the time, felt Churchill was flamboyant, electric, wholly unpredictable and a questionable choice to be Prime Minister Larson s excellent non fiction account confirms that Churchill was all of that andBut most of all he was a leader who k


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