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Citizens of London : the Americans who stood…
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Citizens of London : the Americans who stood with Britain in its darkest,… (2010)

by Lynne Olson

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A different perspective of life in London during World War II. It certainly gave me insight into several individuals who played important roles in bringing the US into the war, but who don't often appear in many of the work written about the era.

The relationship between Averill Harriman, Edward R. Murrow and John Gilbert Winant was quite enlightening. I'd never heard of Winant, and although the other two were familiar names, I was unaware of how their careers influenced people like Roosevelt and Churchill.

Interesting, well-written if a bit dry. ( )
  tututhefirst | Jul 18, 2015 |
Although Schmerguls cites discrepancies in his review of this book, without further research I cannot agree or disagree with him. Even with these minor lapses in the author's scholarship, I found the book fascinating.

How quickly we forget true heroes of our time. Not that I am a WWII-phile, I was very chagrined to note I had never once heard of Gil Winant. Not that I have read that much of Franklin Roosevelt, still one would think he might have mentioned the man in some fashion, enough to deserve a quote in some bio or another!

This books puts a welcomed face to the courage exhibited by those who refused to bow down before the Nazi onslaught. I recommend it highly.

This was the best non-fiction book I have heard narrated. Kudos to the director or producer! All footnotes were read, prefaced by "author's note." ( )
  kaulsu | Jul 9, 2015 |
The United States did not want to get involved in WWII, there was a very strong isolationist sentiment in the states. Many felt what happened in Europe would not affect the US. President Roosevelt felt involvement in the war was inevitable but wanted the approval of the American people.

Edward R. Murrow, the handsome, chain-smoking head of CBS News in Europe; Averell Harriman, the hard-driving millionaire who ran FDR’s Lend-Lease program in London; and John Gilbert Winant, the shy, idealistic U.S. ambassador to Britain; each knew that to win England needed help from the US, in more than just the supplies being sent in the Lend-Lease program.

This book details the efforts each of these men to bring this about, how they kept the lines of communication open between Churchhill and Roosevelt. It combines historical facts with personal recollections of those involved through letters and diaries. I found it to be interesting and informative. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 14, 2015 |
I liked this book very much. If you are a WWII follower you should read this book. ( )
1 vote Philip100 | Nov 4, 2014 |
I’ve read countless books about World War II and each one has given me a new perspective on it. In Citizens of London, the Lynne Olson looks at the war by focusing on three key Americans who played roles before and after America joined in.

One of the three is Edward R. Murrow, the radio journalist who brought the war and its sounds to America more vividly than any other. In doing so, he was allied with the Brits well before American became an official ally. (The author and her husband co-authored The Murrow Boys, which detailed Murrow’s story in great detail, and which I enjoyed immensely.)

The other two men were less known to me – Averell Harriman, lend-lease administrator, and John Gilbert Winant, ambassador to Britain after Joseph Kennedy. Winant was the more appealing – and more tragic, of the two. Both of their stories, however, provided insight into the ever-changing relationship between Britain and the U.S.

Citizens of London is a great read … full of anecdotes that enrich the story and fresh insights that are enlightening. ( )
1 vote NewsieQ | Jun 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
(Starred Review) The Anglo-American alliance in WWII was not inevitable, writes former Baltimore Sun correspondent Olson (Troublesome Young Men). In this ingenious history, she emphasizes the role of three prominent Americans living in London who helped bring it about. Best known was Edward R. Murrow, head of CBS radio's European bureau after 1937. His pioneering live broadcasts during the blitz made him a celebrity, and Olson portrays a man who worked tirelessly to win American support for Britain. Most admirable of the three was John Winant, appointed American ambassador in 1941. A true humanitarian, he skillfully helped craft the British-American alliance. And most amusing was Averell Harriman, beginning a long public service career. In 1941, FDR sent the wealthy, ambitious playboy to London to oversee Lend-Lease aid. He loved the job, but made no personal sacrifices, living a luxurious life as he hobnobbed with world leaders and carried on an affair with Churchill's daughter-in-law. Olson, an insightful historian, contrasts the idealism of Winant and Murrow with the pragmatism of Harriman. But all three men were colorful, larger-than-life figures, and Olson's absorbing narrative does them justice. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Feb.)
added by lolson4 | editPublishers Weekly (Nov 16, 2009)
 
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The behind-the-scenes story of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain, told from the perspective of three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, and John Gilbert Winant.

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