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.
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.
Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour
0 stars -
Random House -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"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.)
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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