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Meacham, managing editor of Newsweek (editor, Voices in Our Blood), delivers an eloquent, well-researched account of one of the 20th century's most vital friendships: that between FDR and Winston Churchill. Both men were privileged sons of wealth, and both had forebears (in Churchill's case, Leonard Jerome) prominent in New York society during the 19th century. Both enjoyed cocktails and a smoke. And both were committed to the Anglo-American alliance. Indeed, Roosevelt and Churchill each believed firmly that the "English-speaking peoples" represented the civilized world's first, best hope to counter and conquer the barbarism of the Axis. Meacham uses previously untapped archives and has interviewed surviving Roosevelt and Churchill staffers present at the great men's meetings in Washington, Hyde Park, Casablanca and Tehran. Thus he has considerable new ground to break, new anecdotes to offer and prescient observations to make. Throughout, Meacham highlights Roosevelt's and Churchill's shared backgrounds as sons of the ruling elite, their genuine, gregarious friendship, and their common worldview during staggeringly troubled times. To meet with Roosevelt, Churchill recalled years later, "with all his buoyant sparkle, his iridescence," was like "opening a bottle of champagne"-a bottle from which the tippling Churchill desperately needed a good long pull through 1940 and '41, as the Nazis savaged Europe and tortured British civilians with air attacks. One comes away from this account convinced of the "Great Personality" theory of history and gratified that Roosevelt and Churchill possessed the character that they did and came to power at a time when no other partnership would do.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
After their first meeting, in 1918, Roosevelt said that Churchill was "a stinker" Churchill didn't even remember Roosevelt. But by their next exchange, in 1939, Churchill was convinced that Britain's future depended on getting Roosevelt to like him. Meacham's engaging account argues that personal bonds between leaders are crucial to international politics. He draws heavily on diaries and letters to describe a complicated courtship and, at times, seems amazed at what Winston is willing to put up with from Franklin. Churchill paints a landscape for the President, sings for him, and agonizes when his notes go unanswered; Roosevelt teases him in front of Stalin, criticizes him to reporters, and eventually breaks his heart with a diverging vision of the postwar world. But Churchill never gives up, and he later recalled, "No lover ever studied the whims of his mistress as I did those of President Roosevelt."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
As a person born at the height of the Second World War, which shaped much of my life, reading this tale of events and it's two great leaders fills me with pride. Read morePublished 23 days ago by dcypher
This book, as do all Jon Meacham's books, more than met my expectations! He is a superb biographer and storyteller. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Charles Semones
This detailed examination of the friendship between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill is a well done, enjoyable read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by dave ferree
Two great statesmen who saved the world from the insanity of Nazi Germany and the madman at its helm. Read morePublished 2 months ago by richard e whitelock
This was okay. Not great, but okay. I learned things I didn't know, but it appeared that Winston was fawning more than I would have guessed and I wonder about the validity of this.Published 2 months ago by Ron Heard
Another good read. An interesting story about Roosevelt and Churchill.Published 2 months ago by Bob
intimate portrayal of two of histories important heads of govt.Published 3 months ago by George M. Radell
A very good and broad view about 2 extraordinary world leaders during the height of
their political lives. Enlightening from a world view as well.