Citizens of London
The Citizens of London by Lynne Olson.
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks;(May 3, 2011)
Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2010: Citizens of London is the story of the American firebrands who broke rank with popular opinion and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with England during the bleak infancy of World War II. Author Lynne Olson more than lives up to the critical acclaim of her last book, Troublesome Young Men, by exploring the origins of an Anglo-American alliance that helped turn the tide during the most widespread conflict in history. Although other "Yanks" rallied against the hesitancy of their isolationist government before Pearl Harbor, few matched the impact of U.S. ambassador John Gilbert Winant, businessman Averell Harriman, and broadcaster Edward R. Murrow. Each recognized the insidious dangers of Nazi aggression, and with the help of meticulous research, Olson elucidates the challenges they endured to help bridge political and cultural gaps between the United States and Britain. At a time when the English capital was described as "swimming in the full tide of history," Citizens of London echoes Tennyson in its tribute to those who strove, sought, and refused to yield
I decided to read something a little out of my comfort zone… I wanted to know more about Churchill without actually reading a biography. When I read Amazon Reviews I decided on this particular book
I like history woven into fiction but wasn’t sure how I’d stand up to a book such as this. I will admit I had to read it slower and it wasn’t something you “can’t wait to pick up”, but that is mostly because, in the end, you know the outcome.
I did find this book well written and did find the information (that at one time in my high school days I may have been taught but have now forgotten) quite interesting.
For instance…I never really thought of Joe Kennedy much but after this book I don’t think I would have liked him. He was totally against helping Britain against Hitler.. well, more was he didn’t want to get into the war he was always “wait and see”.. and I am not sure of my own conclusions but I felt that had Roosevelt agreed to more help sooner that Pearl Harbor may never have happened!
I also liked finding out more about Churchill and the men (Winant, Harriman and Murrow) who were there from the beginning to the end and were the ones trying to get Roosevelt to step up to the plate and do more than he was doing.
Of course I remember Edward R Murrow from his (later in life) television shows but I did not know the names of Winant and Harriman.. due to the fact I was born only a year before the war ended and as a youngster I can’t say I was interested in History very much I think I was more interested in playing!
Anyway.. I am glad I read this book even if it did take me a lot longer than most to read.. and I hope I can get into the mood for more History since I did get 2 rather large books on Eleanor Roosevelt… but that’s for another time.