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Gray's Anatomy [Kindle Edition]

John Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

While justly acclaimed as the closest, most successful military partnership in history, the "special relationship" forged between the United States and Britain during World War II was anything but the inevitable alliance it appears to be in hindsight. As the countries of Western Europe fell one by one to Hitler, and Britain alone resisted him, aid from the U.S. was late, expensive, and reluctantly granted by an isolationist government that abhorred the idea of another world war.

Citizens of London is the behind-the-scenes story of the slow, difficult growth of the Anglo-American wartime alliance, told from the perspective of three key Americans in London who played vital roles in creating it and making it work. In her close-focus, character-driven narrative, Lynne Olson, former White House journalist and LA Times Book Prize finalist for her last book, Troublesome Young Men, sets the three Americans - Averell Harriman, Edward R. Murrow, and John Gilbert Winant - at the heart of her dramatic story.

Harriman was the rich, well-connected director of President Roosevelt's controversial Lend-Lease program in which the U.S., a still neutral country, "loaned" military equipment to the UK; Murrow, the handsome, innovative head of CBS News, was the first person to broadcast over live, on-location radio to the American public, and Winant, the least known but most crucial of the three, was the shy former New Hampshire governor who became the new U.S. ambassador to England after Joseph Kennedy quit the post and fled the country as bombs rained down around him.

Citizens of London opens in 1941 at the bleakest period of the war, when Britain withstood nine months of nightly bomb attacks and food and supplies were running out as German ships and U-boats had the island nation surrounded. Churchill was demanding and imploring FDR to help, but the U.S. did its best to ignore England's desperate plight. It was the work of these three key men, Olson argues, that eventually changed American attitudes. So above all this is a human story, focusing on the individuals who shaped this important piece of history. Key to the book is the extremely close relationship between Winston Churchill and the three Americans, and indeed, so intimate were their ties that all three men had love affairs with women in Churchill's family.

Set in the dangerous, vibrant world of wartorn London, Citizens of London is rich, highly readable, engrossing history, the story of three influential men and their immediate circle who shaped the world we live in.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Black Mass:
A Globe and Mail Best Book

“Steely-eyed, powerful, unhinging and insightful.”
The Globe and Mail


From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Gray is Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics. From 1998 to 2007 he was Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. He is the acclaimed author of Black Mass: How Religion Led the World into Crisis, Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals, and False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1197 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Canada (November 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004BA5DFC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,910,268 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A selection of fine thinking October 8, 2013
By ABC
Format:Paperback
This book offers readers a fine selection of John Gray's essays and ideas, as they have developed over the decades.

The collection is divided into five parts and covers liberalism, conservatism, socialism, globalism, the Enlightenment, and post-progressivism. Being a UK intellectual, Gray also focuses mainly on the United Kingdom. For instance, the essay "An agenda for Green conservatism", though expanding on many wonderful ideas on how to marry conservatism with Green thought, concentrates on the UK system, which non-British people may find boring. And although all the essays in this book provide many brilliant political, social, and economic insights, Gray's exquisite dismantling of the illusion of "progress" will probably be his lasting gift to humanity.

So I'd recommend this book for anyone who wants to sample Gray's ideas. For such a purpose, this collection of essays is perfect. But if you've read other books by Gray, then you'll find few fresh thoughts in this collection. The essays also overlap at times, so some ideas are repeated.
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