The Splendid and the Vile Book Reviews

Erik Larson

The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson Book Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz—an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis
“One of [Erik Larson’s] best books yet . . . perfectly timed for the moment.”—Time • “A bravura performance by one of America’s greatest storytellers.”—NPR 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • Vogue • NPR • The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • The Globe & Mail • Fortune • Bloomberg • New York Post • The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • LibraryReads • PopMatters

On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.
The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.

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Book Name The Splendid and the Vile
Genre History
Language English
E-Book Size 5.31 MB

The Splendid and the Vile (Erik Larson) Book Reviews 2024

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Great book. Tells the interesting facts about one of the world’s most interesting leaders....2 👍👍

A big disappointment. The book itself provides some interesting details, but I didn’t finish reading it. I stopped reading it because the ebook version for Apple devices is just plain lousy. Underlining or highlighting passages all too often doesn’t work as it should—and that disgusted me.

Depiction of the human spirit. Incredible depiction of hope that overcame the fear.

Despite 600 pages, I wish it was longer and was sad it ended. Wonderful read, a page turner throughout. Great insight on Churchill and his family in the first year of ww2.

Character overload. The history and learning about WC in this story was interesting but it had way too many characters and unnecessary details. Appears to me the author was simply creating a longer novel with very little purpose. Good to fall asleep to.

One Terrific read.. A Fantastic historical read. I hated to put the book down each night as my old tired eyes could not read anymore. The author managed to keep my interest constantly. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in WORLD WAR II HISTORY. I am sorry I have come to the “finis” of the book. 🥸😥.

Excellent book and a stunning portrayal of the British. I learned a great deal from this book. I hadn’t known much about Churchill before. He was truly a remarkable human being. The British resolve during a relentless onslaught was stunning and admirable.

Easy to read history. Informative and insightful, this book paints a picture of Britain under Churchill in the darkest days when the Empire stood alone against the Nazis.

The Historian’s Writer. I have rarely picked up a book that I thought was fiction, only to find it is non-fiction. It has happened to me twice, both Eric Larson books. What a pleasure to read history written by a novel writer.

Enamored. My first book on Churchill and Erik Larsen provided me with a vivid story about the man, his family and his staff I feel like I now know them all personally. Frightening years that but for his leadership may have changed the world forever. Thank you for letting these historical figures introduce themselves through their own words and actions. Oh how I wish I could experience a night at Chequers!

Outstanding. Proving yet again why he and David McCullough are the Kings of History.

Great Book. This book is great because it is historical fiction about Adolf Hitler

Engaging. Eric Larson is such a good author with well researched and well written accounts of his subjects. This stunning book of Winston Churchill gives an account of his history as he led England to victory over her aggressors. Brilliant!

Well told. What a year! Larson's weaving together the public and personal accounts of Churchill's first year as PM is magnificent.

A slog of a history book. DNF. A slog of a history book. DNF

Thrilled and exhausted. I am so grateful to the author for this exhaustive account of the war times of Winston Churchill. The progress of the war in England was so painful. This book had a big impact on me.

Wonderful Read. I read a lot of history and this struck me as one of he most intimate and well written portrayals of Churchill and his family in his first year as PM. Larson acutely describes the horrors of the bombings of London, which is often not emphasized in history volumes. Most endearing were descriptions of Churchill weeping in times of great sadness. Well done.

Most Splendid,indeed. Spectacular view of WWII from 10 Downing Street and the heart of the British fight against Hitler’s forces.

Completely gripping. Incredible feat of storytelling. Totally transports the reader to a world changing time in history, and leaves you in awe of what was endured and overcome.

The Splendid and the Vile - very good. Great review of Churchill’s first year as PM and how life continued during those dangerous days. Very good read. Very interesting, and new to me, presentation of material.

Fresh Insight on Churchill. I found Larsen's new book, "The Splendid and the Vile", well worth reading. It gave a personal context to the immense challenge which faced England and Churchill when they alone were standing up to Hitler. We see the events through the eyes of those who worked for the prime minister as well as the family and friends he had. A sense of the German actors and their strategies are touched on in a readable way. I thought it ironic that as everyday items came into short supply, King George asked his ambassador to the US to send the Palace toilet paper! Alas, echoes of today's pandemic!

Amazing Character Study. A thoroughly enjoyable portrait of Winston Churchill told in stressful times by the people and events that surrounded him, he truly rose to the challenge.

Fascinating!. Another engrossing look at history from Erik Larson. Highly recommend.

Splendid and the Vile. Riveting and full of little known idiosyncrasies!

Fantastic book. Nothing not to like.. Read it

Splendid. It was an up close look of the challenges of life during wartime. It was interesting to learn how people dealt with daily life while being bombed constantly. Worth a read.

Fascinating Book. Fascinating history. Wasn't so interested in reading a book about Winston Churchill and WWII, but have read Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Evil, so I know how Erik Larsen can expertly weave many facets of a story together. He does the deep research and writes in a novel like narrative that makes this history lesson a real page turner.

Interesting. Good read!

Larson at his best. I have read several works about Churchill. This is one of the best and most entertaining. This is a story of true courage, which at this time we surely need.

Another Great Erik Larson Read. I was expecting the same play by play of America’s involvement post December 1941 and was sadly disappointed that the book was coming to an end. I say that to say - I could have read another 500 pages. Thanks!

Truthfull. Thoughtfully written account of all sides Winston!

U. Uh

Wonderful. Excellent read

Mildly intetesting. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.

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Summary of The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

The The Splendid and the Vile book written by Erik Larson was published on 25 February 2020, Tuesday in the History category. A total of 3,692 readers of the book gave the book 4.5 points out of 5.

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