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Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England

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Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A riveting history of the daring politicians who challenged the disastrous policies of the British government on the eve of World War II
 
On May 7, 1940, the House of Commons began perhaps the most crucial debate in British parliamentary history. On its outcome hung the future of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's government and also of Britain--indeed, perhaps, the world. Troublesome Young Men is Lynne Olson's fascinating account of how a small group of rebellious Tory MPs defied the Chamberlain government's defeatist policies that aimed to appease Europe's tyrants and eventually forced the prime minister's resignation.

Some historians dismiss the "phony war" that preceded this turning point--from September 1939, when Britain and France declared war on Germany, to May 1940, when Winston Churchill became prime minister--as a time of waiting and inaction, but Olson makes no such mistake, and describes in dramatic detail the public unrest that spread through Britain then, as people realized how poorly prepared the nation was to confront Hitler, how their basic civil liberties were being jeopardized, and also that there were intrepid politicians willing to risk political suicide to spearhead the opposition to Chamberlain--Harold Macmillan, Robert Boothby, Leo Amery, Ronald Cartland, and Lord Robert Cranborne among them. The political and personal dramas that played out in Parliament and in the nation as Britain faced the threat of fascism virtually on its own are extraordinary--and, in Olson's hands, downright inspiring.

Review:

"In 1930s England, faced with the gathering menace of fascism, 30 or so junior members of Parliament understood that Hitler would not be dissuaded by Prime Minister Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. Their rebellion against their leader and the 'elderly mediocrities' of their own Conservative Party is the subject of Olson's absorbing book. The forces opposed to Chamberlain were initially inhibited by party loyalty and the ferocious reprisals threatened against anyone who challenged the prime minister. Olson traces how Hitler's continuing depredations (Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland) served to recruit more insurgents in the House of Commons and galvanize those shamed by England's inaction. Olson's story picks up energy as she reviews the events of 1940, when at long last Chamberlain was replaced by Churchill. Olson is interested in the moral imperatives driving her protagonists. The dominant figure in the narrative, of course, is Churchill, who despised Chamberlain's defeatism but served loyally in his cabinet until Chamberlain's forced resignation. Infused with the sense of urgency felt by the young Tories, Olson's vivid narrative of a critical generational clash leaves the reader wondering what might have happened had they prevailed earlier on." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"He was a dominant leader of his government, utterly convinced of the righteousness and the rectitude of his policies, especially insofar as they concerned international affairs. He gathered around him a coterie of tight-lipped conservative advisers who were as like-minded and narrow-minded as he was. He scorned his critics in the legislature, branding them foolish, ignorant and unpatriotic. He had... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

A riveting history of the daring politicians who challenged the disastrous policies of the British government on the eve of World War II--policies that aimed to appease Europe's tyrants--that resulted in the resignation of a prime minister.

About the Author

Lynne Olson, former White House correspondent for The Sun (Baltimore), is the author of Freedoms Daughters, and co-author, with her husband, Stanley Cloud, of A Question of Honor and The Murrow Boys. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374179540
Subtitle:
The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England
Author:
Olson, Lynne
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
Politics and government
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
Europe - Great Britain - General
Subject:
Churchill, Winston
Subject:
Great Britain Politics and government.
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080429
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 8 Pages of Black-and-White Illu
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.87 x 6.7 x 1.53 in

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » 20th Century
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General

Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England Used Hardcover
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Product details 448 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374179540 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In 1930s England, faced with the gathering menace of fascism, 30 or so junior members of Parliament understood that Hitler would not be dissuaded by Prime Minister Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. Their rebellion against their leader and the 'elderly mediocrities' of their own Conservative Party is the subject of Olson's absorbing book. The forces opposed to Chamberlain were initially inhibited by party loyalty and the ferocious reprisals threatened against anyone who challenged the prime minister. Olson traces how Hitler's continuing depredations (Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland) served to recruit more insurgents in the House of Commons and galvanize those shamed by England's inaction. Olson's story picks up energy as she reviews the events of 1940, when at long last Chamberlain was replaced by Churchill. Olson is interested in the moral imperatives driving her protagonists. The dominant figure in the narrative, of course, is Churchill, who despised Chamberlain's defeatism but served loyally in his cabinet until Chamberlain's forced resignation. Infused with the sense of urgency felt by the young Tories, Olson's vivid narrative of a critical generational clash leaves the reader wondering what might have happened had they prevailed earlier on." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , A riveting history of the daring politicians who challenged the disastrous policies of the British government on the eve of World War II--policies that aimed to appease Europe's tyrants--that resulted in the resignation of a prime minister.
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