Franklin and Winston by Jon Meacham
An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

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In FRANKLIN AND WINSTON, Meacham has demonstrated that leaders are not made of stone. Despite their positions of power, they are still people and in need of the human connection.
-Book Reporter

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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Meacham’s new sources—including unpublished letters of FDR’ s great secret love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the papers of Pamela Churchill Harriman, and interviews with the few surviving people who were in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

About Jon Meacham

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Jon Meacham is the editor of Newsweek and author of American Lion and the New York Times bestsellers Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship and American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation. He lives in New York City with his wife and children.
 
Published October 14, 2003 by Random House. 512 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jul 20 2014
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Critic reviews for Franklin and Winston
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on May 20 2010

He has clearly mastered his material, though he does not comment on the long-standing controversy over whether either leader knew in advance about Pearl Harbor and concludes with the un-startling statement that the world would be different had Hitler won. A pleasant walk over very familiar ground.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Aug 04 2003

One comes away from this account convinced of the "Great Personality" theory of history and gratified that Roosevelt and Churchill possessed the character that they did and came to power at a time when no other partnership would do.

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Book Reporter

Above average
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan on Jan 22 2011

In FRANKLIN AND WINSTON, Meacham has demonstrated that leaders are not made of stone. Despite their positions of power, they are still people and in need of the human connection.

Read Full Review of Franklin and Winston: An Inti...

BookPage

Above average
Reviewed by Alan Prince on Nov 01 2003

They both loved politics, history, strong liquor, and neither outdid the other in confidence and courage...author Jon Meacham tells the remarkable story of the two men who mapped the strategy that saved the world from the Axis war machines.

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