Review: Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

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

In  Franklin and Winston Jon Meacham has written a fascinating book about the friendship that developed between Roosevelt and Churchill through the conduct of World War II. Meacham's conversational style makes the book both entertaining and easy to read.

Meacham spends some time on the background of each leader, and on the events going on around them, but the focus is really on the relationship that developed between these two men. The positions their two nations found themselves in at the start of World War II, and the offices each man held in those nations, both helped shape their relationship. But Meacham makes it clear that both developed a fondness for the other that helped carry them through to the end - to Roosevelt's untimely death and Churchill being voted out of office.

Also helping shape the interplay between the two leaders was the role of the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin as the third member of the Allied Powers, and Meacham's accounting of the three men at the conferences the "Big Three" held during the war is an interesting part of the story.

Anyone who has recently read Erik Larson's The Splendid and the Vile will be familiar with many of the details covered in the first three chapters of this book (though Meacham did get there first - this book was originally published in 2003). 

Both men were great leaders in trying times, inspiring their nations to come together and rise to meet difficult challenges. Both also were not perfect, but their nations were fortunate that what may have been seen as their flaws in other times were the strengths their nations needed in time of war.

I rate Franklin and Winston 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I really liked the book and was glad I read it. I learned quite a bit from it. I recommend it.

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