The Resource The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz, Erik Larson

The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz, Erik Larson

Label
The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz
Title
The splendid and the vile
Title remainder
a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz
Statement of responsibility
Erik Larson
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, 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 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold the country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally-and willing to fight to the end. In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, 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 course 10 Downing 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 cadre of close advisers who comprised Churchill's "Secret Circle," including his lovestruck private secretary, John Colville; newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook; and the Rasputin-like Frederick Lindemann. The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today's political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when-in the face of unrelenting horror-Churchill's eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together."--
Writing style
Award
LibraryReads Favorites, 2020.
Review
  • Once again Larson's new book is nonfiction that is as hard to put down as the best fiction. The book recounts the early days of Churchill as prime minister when France fell to Germany and the British Empire stood alone against Hitler. For readers who like John M. Barry (The Great Influenza) and David King (Death in the City of Light). -- Celia Morse, Berkley Public Library, Berkley, MI. (LibraryReads, February 2020)
  • /* Starred Review */ Larson (Dead Wake) delivers a propulsive, character-driven account of Winston Churchill’s first year as British prime minister (May 1940–May 1941), when the German air force launched “a full-on assault against the city of London” in preparation for an invasion that never came. Larson’s profile subjects include Churchill’s 17-year-old daughter, Mary; his private secretary, John “Jock” Colville, who kept a meticulous (and likely illegal, due to the national security secrets it revealed) diary; Nazi leader Rudolf Hess; and, to a lesser extent, ordinary Britons. Juxtaposing monumental developments, such as the Dunkirk evacuation, with intimate scenes, Larson notes that on the night Churchill learned French leaders wanted to make peace with Hitler, he raised his dinner guests’ spirits by passing out cigars, reading aloud telegrams of support from other countries, and “chant the refrain from a popular song.” Larson highlights little-known but intriguing figures, including chief science adviser Frederick Lindemann, who made a multifaceted but unsuccessful case for why tea shouldn’t be rationed, and documents the carnage caused by German bombs, including the deaths of 34 people at the Café de Paris shortly before Mary Churchill was set to arrive at the club. While the story of Churchill’s premiership and the Blitz have been told in greater historical depth, they’ve rarely been rendered so vividly. Readers will rejoice. Agent: David Black, the David Black Agency. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed 02/17/2020) (Publishers Weekly, vol 267, issue 7, p)
  • New York Times best-selling author Larson here investigates Winston Churchill as leader in the early days of World War II. Drawing on intelligence reports, recently declassified files, and personal diaries only now made available, Larson presents not just Churchill but those in his immediate circle, from his family to private secretary John Colville and newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed 10/01/2019) (Library Journal, vol 144, issue 9, p64)
  • /* Starred Review */ The bestselling author deals with one of the most satisfying good-vs.-evil battles in history, the year (May 1940 to May 1941) during which Churchill and Britain held off Hitler. Bookshelves groan with histories of Britain's finest hour, but Larson (Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, 2015, etc.) employs a mildly unique strategy, combining an intense, almost day-to-day account of Churchill's actions with those of his family, two of his officials (Frederick Lindemann, who was Churchill's prime science adviser, and Lord Beaverbrook, minister of air production), and staff, including private secretary Jock Colville and bodyguard Walter Thompson. Since no one doubted they lived in extraordinary times and almost everyone kept journals and wrote letters, the author takes full advantage of an avalanche of material, much of which will be unfamiliar to readers. Churchill remains the central figure; his charisma, public persona, table talk, quirks, and sybaritic lifestyle retain their fascination. Authors have not ignored his indispensable wife, Clementine (Sonia Purnell's 2015 biography is particularly illuminating), but even history buffs will welcome Larson's attention to their four children, especially Mary, a perky adolescent and his favorite. He makes no attempt to rehabilitate Winston's only son, Randolph, a heavy-drinking spendthrift whose long-suffering wife, Pamela, finally consoled herself with a long affair with American representative Averell Harriman, which was no secret to the family and was entirely approved. Britain's isolation ended when Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, but Larson ends on May 10. The Blitz was in full swing, with a particularly destructive raid on London, but that day also saw Rudolf Hess, Hitler's second in command, fly to England and engage in a wacky attempt (planned since the previous autumn) to negotiate peace. Nothing came of Hess' action, but that day may also have marked the peak of the Blitz, which soon diminished as Germany concentrated its forces against the Soviet Union. A captivating history of Churchill's heroic year, with more than the usual emphasis on his intimates. (Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2020)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10844344
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1954-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Larson, Erik
Dewey number
940.54/2121
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
DA566.9.C5
LC item number
L326 2020
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Churchill, Winston
  • Prime ministers
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Churchill, Winston
  • World War (1939-1945)
  • Military campaigns
  • Prime ministers
  • Social aspects
  • Great Britain
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the Blitz
Label
The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz, Erik Larson
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 547-554) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Bleak Expectations -- The Rising Threat -- A Certain Eventuality -- Dread -- Blood and Dust -- The Americans -- Love Amid the Flames -- One Year to the Day -- Epilogue
Control code
on1125275396
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xii, 585 pages
Isbn
9780385348713
Lccn
2019045028
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)1125275396
Label
The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz, Erik Larson
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 547-554) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Bleak Expectations -- The Rising Threat -- A Certain Eventuality -- Dread -- Blood and Dust -- The Americans -- Love Amid the Flames -- One Year to the Day -- Epilogue
Control code
on1125275396
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xii, 585 pages
Isbn
9780385348713
Lccn
2019045028
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)1125275396

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