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Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour Cover

ISBN13: 9781400067589
ISBN10: 1400067588
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Citizens of London, Lynne Olson has written a work of World War II history even more relevant and revealing than her acclaimed Troublesome Young Men. Here is the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain, told from the perspective of three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, and John Gilbert Winant. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and a reluctant American public to support the British at a critical time.

The three—Murrow, the handsome, chain-smoking head of CBS News in Europe; Harriman, the hard-driving millionaire who ran FDR’s Lend-Lease program in London; and Winant, the shy, idealistic U.S. ambassador to Britain—formed close ties with Winston Churchill and were drawn into Churchill’s official and personal circles. So intense were their relationships with the Churchills that they all became romantically involved with members of the prime minister’s family: Harriman and Murrow with Churchill’s daughter-in-law, Pamela, and Winant with his favorite daughter, Sarah. 

 

Others were honorary “citizens of London” as well, including the gregarious, fiercely ambitious Dwight D. Eisenhower, an obscure general who, as the first commander of American forces in Britain, was determined to do everything in his power to make the alliance a success, and Tommy Hitchcock, a world-famous polo player and World War I fighter pilot who helped save the Allies’ bombing campaign against Germany.

Citizens of London, however, is more than just the story of these Americans and the world leaders they aided and influenced. It’s an engrossing account of the transformative power of personal diplomacy and, above all, a rich, panoramic tale of two cities: Washington, D.C., a lazy Southern town slowly growing into a hub of international power, and London, a class-conscious capital transformed by the Blitz into a model of stoic grace under violent pressure and deprivation. Deeply human, brilliantly researched, and beautifully written, Citizens of London is a new triumph from an author swiftly becoming one of the finest in her field.

Review:

"The Anglo-American alliance in WWII was not inevitable, writes former Baltimore Sun correspondent Olson (Troublesome Young Men). In this ingenious history, he emphasizes the role of three prominent Americans living in London who helped bring it about. Best known was Edward R. Murrow, head of CBS radio's European bureau after 1937. His pioneering live broadcasts during the blitz made him a celebrity, and Olson portrays a man who worked tirelessly to win American support for Britain. Most admirable of the three was John Winant, appointed American ambassador in 1941. A true humanitarian, he skillfully helped craft the British-American alliance. And most amusing was Averell Harriman, beginning a long public service career. In 1941, FDR sent the wealthy, ambitious playboy to London to oversee Lend-Lease aid. He loved the job, but made no personal sacrifices, living a luxurious life as he hobnobbed with world leaders and carried on an affair with Churchill's daughter-in-law. Olson, an insightful historian, contrasts the idealism of Winant and Murrow with the pragmatism of Harriman. But all three men were colorful, larger-than-life figures, and Olson's absorbing narrative does them justice. 16 pages of b&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of "Troublesome Young Men" comes a major new World War II history that describes the developments of America's crucial wartime alliance with England that became so decisive in defeating Hitler.

About the Author

 

Lynne Olson, a former Moscow correspondent for the Associated Press and White House correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, is the author of Troublesome Young Men and Freedom’s Daughters and co-author, with her husband, Stanley Cloud, of A Question of Honor and The Murrow Boys. She lives in Washington, D.C.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Diane Armstrong, April 11, 2010 (view all comments by Diane Armstrong)
What a writer Lynn Olson is! Tell your friends you've just read the most wonderful book about WW2, friends who lived through it, played a part in it, made studies of it,and you may hear "I'm through with World War 2" meaning: "I know enough."

Unuh. First, here's a book about a subject it's easy to be heavy handed about - statistics, official jargon, military maps galore - that the interested but non-military reader could indeed have had enough of. Not here. Know all you need to know about the American part in the political and diplomatic contest of the centuries? Right, tell me all you know about John Gilbert Winant, an unknown (to so many) major hero of the American Pantheon and now, of my heart. And then the arrangement of reams of information and the gliding prose it's presented in. As I said, Lynn Olson is some writer. You'll fly through the almost 400 pages as if you were reading the most mind- and heart-gripping drama. Which you will be.
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i8pixistix, March 9, 2010 (view all comments by i8pixistix)
I love when factual/historical books read like a novel and Lynne Olson accomplishes this feat with her incredible telling in Citizens of London. The reader will feel a whole gamut of emotions including the tension, the frustration and the eventual relief in the time leading up to our involvement in WWII just as Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, and John Gilbert Winant did.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400067589
Subtitle:
The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Olson, Lynne
Subject:
General
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
Europe - Great Britain - General
Subject:
United States - 20th Century/WWII
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Military-World War II General
Publication Date:
20100202
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16--PP B/W PHOTO INSERT
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.32x6.32x1.43 in. 1.84 lbs.

Related Subjects


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

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 496 pages Random House - English 9781400067589 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The Anglo-American alliance in WWII was not inevitable, writes former Baltimore Sun correspondent Olson (Troublesome Young Men). In this ingenious history, he emphasizes the role of three prominent Americans living in London who helped bring it about. Best known was Edward R. Murrow, head of CBS radio's European bureau after 1937. His pioneering live broadcasts during the blitz made him a celebrity, and Olson portrays a man who worked tirelessly to win American support for Britain. Most admirable of the three was John Winant, appointed American ambassador in 1941. A true humanitarian, he skillfully helped craft the British-American alliance. And most amusing was Averell Harriman, beginning a long public service career. In 1941, FDR sent the wealthy, ambitious playboy to London to oversee Lend-Lease aid. He loved the job, but made no personal sacrifices, living a luxurious life as he hobnobbed with world leaders and carried on an affair with Churchill's daughter-in-law. Olson, an insightful historian, contrasts the idealism of Winant and Murrow with the pragmatism of Harriman. But all three men were colorful, larger-than-life figures, and Olson's absorbing narrative does them justice. 16 pages of b&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , From the acclaimed author of "Troublesome Young Men" comes a major new World War II history that describes the developments of America's crucial wartime alliance with England that became so decisive in defeating Hitler.
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