Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

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Random House Publishing Group, Oct 14, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 490 pages
163 Reviews
The most complete portrait ever drawn of the complex emotional connection between two of history’s towering leaders

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were the greatest leaders of “the Greatest Generation.” In Franklin and Winston, Jon Meacham explores the fascinating relationship between the two men who piloted the free world to victory in World War II. It was a crucial friendship, and a unique one—a president and a prime minister spending enormous amounts of time together (113 days during the war) and exchanging nearly two thousand messages. Amid cocktails, cigarettes, and cigars, they met, often secretly, in places as far-flung as Washington, Hyde Park, Casablanca, and Teheran, talking to each other of war, politics, the burden of command, their health, their wives, and their children.

Born in the nineteenth century and molders of the twentieth and twenty-first, Roosevelt and Churchill had much in common. Sons of the elite, students of history, politicians of the first rank, they savored power. In their own time both men were underestimated, dismissed as arrogant, and faced skeptics and haters in their own nations—yet both magnificently rose to the central challenges of the twentieth century. Theirs was a kind of love story, with an emotional Churchill courting an elusive Roosevelt. The British prime minister, who rallied his nation in its darkest hour, standing alone against Adolf Hitler, was always somewhat insecure about his place in FDR’s affections—which was the way Roosevelt wanted it. A man of secrets, FDR liked to keep people off balance, including his wife, Eleanor, his White House aides—and Winston Churchill.

Confronting tyranny and terror, Roosevelt and Churchill built a victorious alliance amid cataclysmic events and occasionally conflicting interests. Franklin and Winston is also the story of their marriages and their families, two clans caught up in the most sweeping global conflict in history.

Meacham’s new sources—including unpublished letters of FDR’s great secret love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the papers of Pamela Churchill Harriman, and interviews with the few surviving people who were in FDR and Churchill’s joint company—shed fresh light on the characters of both men as he engagingly chronicles the hours in which they decided the course of the struggle.

Hitler brought them together; later in the war, they drifted apart, but even in the autumn of their alliance, the pull of affection was always there. Charting the personal drama behind the discussions of strategy and statecraft, Meacham has written the definitive account of the most remarkable friendship of the modern age.

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Compelling and well researched. - Goodreads
Excellent book with thought-provoking insights. - Goodreads
Excellent book, by an excellent writer. - Goodreads
Interesting overview of a vital historical friendship. - Goodreads
oh what a love story - Goodreads
Interesting yarn about two important men in history. - Goodreads

Review: Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

User Review  - Marti - Goodreads

I had to give this five stars, because it is just so wonderfully written. I usually don't read much non fiction, but am fascinated by books about World War II. There were facts which I hadn't read ... Read full review

Review: Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

User Review  - Doug - Goodreads

It was OK. The book gives insights into the friendship of two great men and its significance for the course of WWII. The course of their relatively brief friendship waxes and wains, but all in all it is foundational to the rise of America as the only true superpower at the end of WWII. Read full review

Contents

Chapter
4
Those Bloody Yankees
39
Chapter 3
83
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Jon Meacham is the managing editor of Newsweek. Born in Chattanooga in 1969, he is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. The editor of Voices in Our Blood: America’s Best on the Civil Rights Movement, Meacham lives in New York City with his wife and son.

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