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Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hourby Lynne Olson
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Lynne Olson, a former Moscow correspondent for the Associated Press and White House correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, is the
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.
Table of Contents
"There's no place I'd rather be than in England" — "You are the best reporter in all of Europe" — The opportunity of a lifetime — "He seems to get confidence in having us around" — Members of the family — "Mr. Harriman enjoys my complete confidence" — "I want to be in it with you - from the start" — "Pearl Harbor attacked?" — Creating the alliance — "An Englishman spoke in Grosvenor Square" — "He'll never let us down" — "Are we fighting Nazis or sleeping with them?" — The forgotten allies — "A caul of privilege" — "A chase pilot - first, last, and always" — "Crossing the ocean doesn't automatically make you a hero" — "You will find us lining up with the Russians" — "Would the damn thing work?" — Crisis in the alliance — "Finis" — "I shall always feel that I am a Londoner" — "We all lost a friend in 'im".
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