Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

Reviews with Integrated Context

Books You May Like

Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

Author: Jon Meacham
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 490
Cover Price: $ 16.95

Enter a word or phrase in the box below


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Meacham’s new sources—including unpublished letters of FDR’s great secret love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the papers of Pamela Churchill Harriman, and interviews with the few surviving people who were in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.

Background Information

Franklin D. Roosevelt overcame polio to become president during the Great Depression and World War II. Grandson of a Duke of Marlborough and son of an American mother, Winston Churchill led Britain through near defeat and eventual victory in World War II. World War II was fought between the Allies and the Axis powers between 1939 and 1945. The Tehran Conference in Persia, now Iran, brought together the Big Three leaders of the Allies to discuss the face of Europe after the anticipated victory. Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, became the first First Lady to establish her importance beyond her role as the president's wife.