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

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

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, 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 45,000 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 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 advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.
 
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.

Title:The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
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    The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz Reviews

  • Liz

    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, its easy to assume he was always loved and ad...

  • Dem

    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 Wi...

  • Jeanette (Again)

    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 requi...

  • Elyse  Walters

    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 fa...

  • Faith

    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 theres ...

  • Kathleen

    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...

  • Joy D

    I have always admired the British for standing up to Hitlers forces in WWII, after almost all of Europe had fallen under Nazi control. How did they endure the almost nightly bombing raids? This book f...

  • Marialyce

    5 outstanding starsAs always is the case, books by Erik Larson transcend the usual historical novel. This author always goes above and beyond in his books and provides the readers with a story that no...

  • Sue

    Larsen has written an intimate portrait of Churchills first year as Prime Minister of Britain, undertaking his duties as Hitler and Germany resolve to break the island nation to their will. He writes ...

  • Book of the Month

    Why I love itby Jennifer MorrisonNever in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few. Winston ChurchillI lean toward fiction in my reading taste, but The Splendid and the V...