Posts Tagged ‘ World War II ’

{Book Review} Citizens of London by Lynne Olson

All I can say is I wish I had history books this interesting back when I was in college. This book as you may know cover the contributions of three important American figures in Britain during the early years of World War II before the U.S. had declared war. The people examined are John Gilbert Winant the American Ambassador to Britain after Joe Kennedy was recalled home; Edward R. Murrow the head of CBS news in Europe at the time, and Averell Harriman a businessman who developed the lend-lease program that would provide weapons, technology and materials to the British during the early years of WWII.
Olsen explores through stories and anecdotes the lives of these men during this trying time for the England and how they made significant contributions to the war effort in England and hwo they were responsible for forging those early bonds that tied England and USA together in the battle against the Axis.
Olsen is a journalist not a history professor, so she tend to mix in a bit of opinion and makes some claims without really justifying them, but that is easily overlooked for how fun and interesting of a read this book is. As a journalist the author crafts and tells great stories and you learn so much about how people you never knew existed had a great effect on WWII, and that includes many other people beyond the main subjects of Murrow, Winant and Harriman.
If you are a fan of World War II history and politics I think you will enjoy this book like I did. It is not a military book by any means, but rather a book about political inner workings, creating public opinion and the economics of waging a war. If any of those things interest you, then I think you will find this book a great read.