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The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
The Splendid and the Vile A Saga of Churchill Family and Defiance During the Blitz
Author: Erik Larson
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake and The Devil in the White City delivers a startlingly fresh portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz — On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780385348713
ISBN-10: 0385348711
Publication Date: 3/3/2020
Pages: 464
Rating:
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 22

4.3 stars, based on 22 ratings
Publisher: Crown
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 201
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

reading-galore avatar reviewed The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz on + 112 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a wonderfully written history of England's Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, during his time in office. It sheds light on both the personal side of his life and the extreme challenges that he faced during the war. There are many amusing stories woven in between the war effort and his family provides interesting history as well. I found the accounts of the bombings and the impact on daily life fascinating. I am sure that there was a vast amount of material available to work from and the real challenge for the author was deciding what to leave out. Even at 500 pages, it still felt like a simplified version of things, making it easy to devour. Another great Erik Larson book!
jjares avatar reviewed The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz on + 2389 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Winston Churchill is probably one of the most quoted men of his time. I've always thought he must have been a fascinating person; so when I found out that Erik Larson had written a nonfiction account of some of the most important times of the British people, I decided this was an opportunity to learn more about him. It begins in May of 1940 when Churchill formed a coalition government.

In the opening pages, the author tells readers that this is nonfiction; every nod and sigh was mentioned by someone in their writings about the time in question. However, this story is about a wider group of people than Churchill's compatriots. It includes his wife, Clementine, their children, and spouses. After reading this book, I cannot imagine why Pamela Digby (Randolph's first wife and Pamela's first husband) ever married. Randolph comes across as the worthless son of a great man. He was a mindless spendthrift, only concerned with his own wants and needs.

What makes this book unique is the extensive use of private journals and primary sources (that have been released in the last few years). It is interesting to see how the horror of the bombing of Britain is set against the normal life events of the 18-year-old Mary Churchill. It must have been incredibly hard to lead a normal life while another country was trying to bomb you out of existence.

I thought this was a tightly-written nonfiction story about an important part of the 20th century. Truly, the story proves that Winston Churchill was a fascinating person. 4.5 stars
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eadieburke avatar reviewed The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz on + 1278 more book reviews
This is an excellent account of the Nazi's bombing of London during WWII during Churchill's first years as Prime Minister. We get to see interaction with his family members and staff and interesting anecdotes some of which I had never heard before. Larson is an excellent researcher and this one is well done. I love the fact that Churchill taught his people about "the art of being fearless." Having a leader like Churchill was a great comfort to the people during this time of crisis. I look forward to reading more books by Larson as I have really enjoyed the ones I have read.


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