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Citizens of London

The Americans who made it to London post-World War II found a vibrant city fueled by courage and resolve.

  • By Randy Dotinga

April 10, 2010

Quick! Name an American ambassador to Britain . Well, there was President John F. Kennedy ’s father. And... um, maybe John Adams or Thomas Jefferson . How about another question?

Few in England would have had any trouble naming the US envoy to the Court of St. James during and after World War II. His name was John G. Winant , and he served as a bridge and a beacon. As one Briton put it, he “convinced us that he was a link between ourselves and millions of his countrymen, who, by reason of his inspiration, spoke to our very hearts.”

Winant was only one of hordes of Americans who landed in Britain to help it survive the worst days of its existence. They found a bustling capital city that boasted more glory than misery, more excitement than tedium, more amour than armor.

Citizens of London tells the story of these Americans in an engaging history that says plenty about the Yankees who came to pull Britain’s teapots out of the fire. Or, as the book’s subtitle puts it more elegantly, “The Americans Who Stood With Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour.”

Lynne Olson , the author and a former White House correspondent, chooses to focus on three American men – Winant, W. Averell Harriman and journalist Edward R. Murrow – who cozied up (sometimes literally) to Britain’s power players.

The first two, as Olson writes, served as FDR’s eyes and ears. Murrow did the same thing for the entire United States , or at least anyone near a radio. But their value also came in their relationships with Prime Minister Winston Churchill , who knew the United States held the key to his country’s survival and needed to find Americans to both trust and manipulate.

“Rarely – before or since – has diplomacy been so personal,” Olson writes of the relationships between Churchill and FDR’s two emissaries.

Winant was the public face of the US on the streets of London, a generous character who made points by popping up in local neighborhoods with offers of assistance after German bombings. Harriman, who’d go on to a long career in politics, served as a kind of top-level go-between. The superintense Murrow, meanwhile, embraced danger – he “repeatedly gambled his life” by tagging along on air raids – and went all-out to support the British cause. (Times, and wars, have changed. Even amid all of today’s endless accusations of bias against the media, it’s hard to imagine Brian Williams or Katie Couric going rogue on the objectivity front.)

While it has some exciting moments when American visitors experience the Blitz firsthand, “Citizens of London” isn’t a barnburner of a book. This is mainly a story of political, personal, and military maneuvering.

But there’s still plenty to appreciate thanks to Olson’s storytelling skills, including recaps of romance that never seem too gossipy or out of place. All three men at the center of the book – Harriman, Morrow, and Winant – had affairs with members of Churchill’s family.

“The war was an irresistible catalyst,” wrote Dwight D. Eisenhower ’s chauffeur, Kay Summersby , who’s thought to have engaged in a fling with the general herself. “It overwhelmed everything, forced relationships like a hothouse, so that in a matter of days, one would achieve a closeness with someone that would have taken months to develop in peacetime.”

“Citizens of London” encompasses much more than just Americans in England. The wide range of topics include war strategy, Eisenhower’s insecurity over his lower-class upbringing and the lack of deprivations back home in the US compared with Britain. While the English tried to win rare onions in raffles, American women refused to give up their girdles during a rubber shortage.

The book also tracks the experiences of black American soldiers, presidential adviser Harry Hopkins (a widely despised, power-behind-the-throne kind of character), and Churchill’s shy, idealistic wife, Clementine, who warned her husband against being influenced by his wastrel and wealthy friends who “can’t bear the idea of the lower classes being independent & free.”

Ultimately, many of the Americans who visited British soil believed they’d succeeded not only in saving the country but at seeing it at its best – “a magical place where courage, resolution, sacrifice, and a sense of unity and common purpose triumphed, if only for a few short years.”

Quite a few of the Americans, in fact, would never stop missing this most glorious of battlefields.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance writer in San Diego .

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Military History Book Review: Citizens of London

Citizens of London: How Britain Was Rescued in Its Darkest, Finest Hour

 by Lynne Olson, Bond Street Books, 2010, $34.95

The hero of this World War II history is not a cigar-chomping general or rhetorical prime minister but a New England diplomat who was so tongue-tied that the most common reaction to his speeches was sympathy. Certainly Lynne Olson’s pleasant new book Citizens of London features a cast of grand Americans who braved life in London between 1939 and 1945, but none is described in the Olympian proportions the author reserves for John Gilbert Winant.

Olson’s book—at least the best parts of it—relates the tale of the Americans who endured danger and deprivation in London throughout the war while their compatriots lived in relative comfort across the Atlantic. They withstood the blitz and tried to convince the U.S. government to declare war on Germany. They brought some consolation to the hard-pressed Londoners in their hour of need. And many remained in London through the buildup of U.S. troops in 1943–44 and even after the troops had shipped out to Normandy.

Some, such as General Dwight D. Eisenhower and former World War I flying ace Lt. Col. Tommy Hitchcock Jr., were gallant and soldierly. Others, like presidential adviser Harry Hopkins and ambassador W. Averell Harriman, were deft political operators. But none could match Winant for sheer human decency, which made him a hero to the Brits with whom he withstood the Nazi onslaught. His appointment as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain was a stroke of brilliance.

A former Republican governor of New Hampshire, Winant was as inarticulate as a politician could possibly be. But his concern for the poor was legendary, and he was at heart a New Dealer before the term was invented.

Winant would walk the streets after bombings and console despondent Londoners. His public comments were never flowery, but they struck a chord with the great and the masses in England, and he was viewed as the embodiment of American support for England—even when that support was lacking. (Olson wholly sympathizes with the British point of view that the United States was far too slow in aiding its cousin across the Atlantic.)

Winant’s seeming sole moral shortcoming centered on an affair he pursued with Winston Churchill’s daughter, Sarah, while Mrs. Winant was in the United States. In fact, these bellicose Yanks spent a good deal of time making love as well as war while the bombs fell: Olson meticulously chronicles liaisons between Pamela Churchill (the PM’s daughter-in-law) and Harriman, then Edward R. Murrow, as well as between Janet Murrow and another journalist.

The author does a splendid job of bringing these courageous, suffering souls to light, and she supplements their tale with the story of other nations’ expats in London at the time. The Poles come across as particularly admirable lot, and the book includes a fascinating description of the invaluable intelligence they provided to the Allies.

Olson seemingly lacked enough material for an entire book on the expats in London, however, as her book often drifts into a recitation of the all-too-familiar tale of World War II. Drawing from secondary sources and quoting contemporary historians, Olson simply tries too hard to set her Londoners in the context of the broader conflict. Yet her prose sparkles when she focuses on the band of London-based Americans and their problematic, critical and often affectionate dealings with the Brits.

It is just those exchanges, especially the ones between stiff-upper-lip London commoners and the cat’s-got-his-tongue Winant, that will linger with readers.

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here .  

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Citizens of London

The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour

Lynne Olson | 4.46 | 8,124 ratings and reviews

Ranked #92 in London

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CITIZENS OF LONDON

The americans who stood with britain in its darkest, finest hour.

by Lynne Olson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 9, 2010

A nuanced history that captures the intensity of life in a period when victory was not a foregone conclusion.

How the initially fragile Anglo-American alliance was forged in the perilous days of World War II.

In early 1941, Britain was perilously close to being forced to surrender to Germany. Submarines were sinking hundreds of thousands of tons of merchant shipping each month, creating dangerous shortages of food and materiel necessary to fight the war, yet Franklin Roosevelt held back from authorizing U.S. military convoys to accompany ships. Former Baltimore Sun White House correspondent Olson ( Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England , 2007, etc.) re-creates the dramatic interplay of personalities and world politics, from the relationship between Winston Churchill (who understood that America was Britain’s lifeline) and FDR (who feared precipitating war with Germany and was suspicious of British imperialist motives), to the successful efforts of a small group of Americans living in London who played a vital behind-the-scenes role in bringing the two leaders together and forming an important alliance. These included Ambassador John Gilbert Winant, a former Republican governor who was nonetheless an ardent New Dealer; Edward R. Murrow, whose live broadcasts brought the reality of German terror bombings home to Americans; Averill Harriman, FDR’s special emissary who served as lend-lease coordinator and coached the prime minister on how to deal with the president; and Harry Hopkins, FDR’s closest advisor. Though many mingled with Britain’s “rich and powerful,” Murrow relished reporting about the “front-line” troops in the “Battle of London,” the “firemen, wardens, doctors, nurses, clergymen, telephone repairmen, and other workers who nightly risked their lives to aid the wounded, retrieve the dead, and bring their battered city back to life.” After Pearl Harbor, strains in the alliance emerged regarding the conduct of the war, with Dwight Eisenhower playing a crucial on-the-scene role in integrating the U.S.-British military command.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-6758-9

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2009

GENERAL HISTORY

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EMPRESS OF THE NILE

BOOK REVIEW

by Lynne Olson

MADAME FOURCADE'S SECRET WAR

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

by Howard Zinn ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 1, 1979

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History ). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

GENERAL HISTORY | GENERAL CURRENT EVENTS & SOCIAL ISSUES | CURRENT EVENTS & SOCIAL ISSUES | UNITED STATES | POLITICS | HISTORY

More by Rebecca Stefoff

A YOUNG PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

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TOMBSTONE

THE EARP BROTHERS, DOC HOLLIDAY, AND THE VENDETTA RIDE FROM HELL

by Tom Clavin ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 21, 2020

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad , the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

GENERAL BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR | GENERAL HISTORY | BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR | HISTORICAL & MILITARY | UNITED STATES | HISTORY

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Three Americans In London, Fighting For War

citizens of london book review

In The Same Boat: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (from left) leaves Westminster Pier in 1942 with American politicians Harry Hopkins, John Winant and William Bullitt. At right is British Labor Party politician and First Lord of the Admiralty A.V. Alexander. Charles Trusler/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images hide caption

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour By Lynne Olson Hardcover, 496 pages Random House List price: $28

In 1941, before the United States had entered World War II, a trio of Americans were embedded in London and helped to steer the United States' course to war.

At this point, Britain's policy of appeasing Adolf Hitler had failed, and the old appeasers were out of power. Winston Churchill had taken over as prime minister, and Britain was at war with Nazi Germany. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was aiding the British, but faced a U.S. Congress skeptical of actually going to war. As London endured devastating German bombing raids, some Americans were there, assuring the British of support and agitating for American entry into the war.

Author Lynne Olson, whose new book, Citizens of London, looks at this era, tells Robert Siegel that by March of 1941, after eight months of bombing, most Americans had abandoned London. Joseph Kennedy, who was the U.S. ambassador to England until 1940, was among those who had departed, telling Roosevelt he felt that England would be defeated and that America shouldn't help them.

Three who stayed disagreed with Kennedy's analysis. CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow told Americans what living through the blitz was like. The playboy industrialist turned diplomatic troubleshooter Averell Harriman was in London to expedite U.S. military aid. Both are still well-known, though the role played by John Gilbert Winant, Kennedy's successor, has largely been forgotten.

"There's no place I'd rather be at this time," Winant announced to the British press upon his arrival in England.

citizens of london book review

Lynne Olson was a Moscow correspondent for The Associated Press, and White House correspondent for The Baltimore Sun. She is the author of Troublesome Young Men and Freedom's Daughters . hide caption

Winant, says Olson, "Made very, very clear from the beginning that he, in fact, meant what he said when he arrived the first day. He wanted to be there for the British."

Winant had put his career on the line to participate in Roosevelt's administration. The liberal Republican — a former governor of New Hampshire — had broken ties with his party to support social reform.

"He was a big advocate of FDR and the New Deal," Olson says. "He actually sacrificed his political career for Roosevelt and the New Deal."

Upon arriving in London, he put himself in danger to show the British that he was serious about helping them.

"As soon as he arrived, when the bombing attacks began," Olson says, he would go out on the streets and ask Londoners what he could do to help. "His warmth and his compassion and his determination to stand with them and share their dangers was the first tangible sign for the British that America and its people really cared about what happened to them. So, he really became a symbol of the best side of America."

Winant, Harriman and Murrow all advocated for America to enter the war. Winant and Harriman, the diplomatic pair, told Roosevelt that England had to be saved.

Like Family

All three men were close to Churchill and his family, perhaps shockingly so. As Olson documents in Citizens of London, Harriman had an open affair, encouraged by Churchill, with Churchill's own daughter-in-law, Pamela, while his son was off fighting in the war. Later, Pamela took up with Murrow. Winant, the ambassador, had an affair with Sarah Churchill, the prime minister's married daughter.

"London was extraordinary that way," Olson laughs. "It really was a hothouse. ... Being stuck in a war situation can be a real aphrodisiac. Everybody is thrown together, and things happen that normally don't happen."

From Churchill's perspective, that closeness may have been by design.

"Churchill actually invested a lot in these three men. He courted them as relentlessly as he was going to court Roosevelt later in the war," Olson says. "And so he drew them into his official family. He gave them tremendous access to himself and to other members of his government. But he also made them part of his own family. Winant and Harriman, in particular, spent many, many weekends with the Churchills."

After the war ended, Murrow and Harriman went on to greater fame — Murrow for fighting Sen. Joseph McCarthy while at CBS, and Harriman for his political career. Winant's life after the war was more tragic.

"Winant was Roosevelt's man. His whole life was bound up with Franklin Roosevelt," Olson says. "And when Roosevelt died in 1945, it was really the end for John Gilbert Winant. The Republicans no longer wanted him. He hoped that he was going to become secretary-general of the new U.N., but that didn't happen when Roosevelt died. So there was really very little for him.

On top of that, his affair with Sarah Churchill ended badly. "He was an exhausted, sick man after the war," Olson continues. "Less than two years after the war, he killed himself."

This downward spiral helps to explain why Winant's fortunes have fared less well in history's memory than that of Murrow or Harriman. Olson hopes her book can help to correct that oversight.

"He was really a major architect of the Anglo-American alliance," Olson says. "He played a huge role in keeping it together, in kind of helping the British and Americans get along during the war. And to have him disappear so completely is really wrong. And I think it's important to restore him to the place in history that he really deserves."

Citizens of London

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citizens of london book review

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson

citizens of london book review

Introduction

The acclaimed author of Troublesome Young Men reveals 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, 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 man formed close ties with Winston Churchill—so much so that all became romantically involved with members of the prime minister’s family. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Lynne Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and reluctant American public to back the British at a critical time. Deeply human, brilliantly researched, and beautifully written, Citizens of London is a new triumph from an author swiftly becoming one of the finest in her field.

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Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour, Lynne Olson, author; Arthur Morey, narrator Early on, the author makes his pro Obama view obvious which ... (read more)

We learned so much from this book that wasn't previously known about Americans during London's darkest hours.

Impressive research! Enjoyed learning the 'inside' stories.....a good read!

a harrowing story of Americans in London During the bombing in World War II: Edward R. Murrow, Hugh Winamt (ambassador to England, ) and Averill Harriman

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citizens of london book review

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Author Lynne Olson

Citizens of London

The americans who stood with britain in its darkest, finest hour.

C itizens of London is the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States and Britain forged their crucial wartime alliance, as seen from the viewpoint of three key American players in London. Drawing from a wide variety of primary sources, Lynne Olson depicts the personal journeys of these men, who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and reluctant American public to back the British at a critical time.

The three —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 – formed close ties with Winston Churchill and were drawn into Churchill’s official and family circles. So intense were their relationships with the Churchills that all of them were involved romantically with members of the prime minister’s family: Harriman and Murrow with Churchill’s daughter-in-law, Pamela, and Winant with his favorite daughter, Sarah.

Citizens of London , however, is more than the deeply human story of these three Americans and the world leaders they aided and influenced. It’s a compelling account of the transformative power of personal diplomacy. Above all, it’s a rich, panoramic tale of two cities: Washington, D.C., a lazy Southern town slowly growing into a hub of international power, and London, a staid, class-conscious capital transformed by war into a vibrant cosmopolitan metropolis, humming with energy, romance, excitement, and danger. To a number of Americans who spent time in wartime London and the rest of Britain, the country seemed like a kind of Brigadoon—a magical place where courage, resolution, sacrifice, and sense of unity and common purpose triumphed, if only for a few short years.

“A triumph of research and storytelling… history on an intimate level.” —Walter Isaacson, author of The Code Breaker and Leonardo da Vinci

“In this engaging and original book, Lynne Olson tells the story of the Americans who did the New World credit by giving their all to help Churchill’s Britain hold on against Hitler. Rich in anecdote and analysis, this is a terrific work of history.” —Jon Meacham, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

“ Citizens of London is a great read about a small band of Americans and their courageous role in helping Britain through the darkest days of early World War II. I thought I knew a lot about that dangerous period but Lynne Olson has taught me so much more.” —Tom Brokaw, former NBC News anchor and author of The Greatest Generation

“If you don’t think there’s any more to learn about the power struggles, rivalries and dramas—both personal and political—about the US-British alliance in the World War II years, this book will change your mind—and keep you turning the pages as well.” —Jeff Greenfield,  former Senior Political Correspondent, CBS News

“Ingenious history… All three men were colorful, larger-than-life figures, and Olson’s absorbing narrative does them justice.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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In which we ask colleagues at The Times what they’re reading now.

Last summer, I happened to meet two authors whose books sent me into a World War II reading binge. Lynne Olson’s “Last Hope Island” chronicles the story of the Poles, French, Dutch and other Europeans who took refuge in Britain and fought to liberate their homelands from there. This was a discovery and led me to her previous books, including “Citizens of London” and “The Murrow Boys,” the latter written with her husband, Stanley Cloud, and both remarkable accounts of Americans in the wartime British capital. I also loved “The Jersey Brothers,” by Sally Mott Freeman, about three brothers in the Navy. The oldest was on the USS Enterprise carrier in the Pacific. The middle one, Freeman’s father, set up Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Map Room to track the war. The youngest was captured by the Japanese and the book is the story of the search for this brother, missing in action. So powerful, so richly researched.

— Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent

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citizens of london book review

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Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour

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Citizens of london: the americans who stood with britain in its darkest, finest hour audible audiobook – unabridged.

  • Listening Length 17 hours and 29 minutes
  • Author Lynne Olson
  • Narrator Arthur Morey
  • Audible release date February 22, 2010
  • Language English
  • Publisher Tantor Audio
  • ASIN B0039KZ7MY
  • Version Unabridged
  • Program Type Audiobook
  • See all details

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COMMENTS

  1. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britai…

    The acclaimed author of Troublesome Young Men reveals 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, 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 ...

  2. CITIZENS OF LONDON

    This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs. Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil. 20. Pub Date: April 18, 2017.

  3. BOOK REVIEW: 'Citizens of London'

    CITIZENS OF LONDON: THE AMERICANS WHO STOOD WITH BRITAIN. IN ITS DARKEST, FINEST HOUR. By Lynne Olson. Random House, $28. 496 pages, illustrated. REVIEWED BY MURIEL DOBBIN. More than half a ...

  4. Citizens of London

    The Americans who made it to London post-World War II found a vibrant city fueled by courage and resolve. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood With Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour By ...

  5. Military History Book Review: Citizens of London

    by Lynne Olson, Bond Street Books, 2010, $34.95. The hero of this World War II history is not a cigar-chomping general or rhetorical prime minister but a New England diplomat who was so tongue-tied that the most common reaction to his speeches was sympathy. Certainly Lynne Olson's pleasant new book Citizens of London features a cast of grand ...

  6. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest

    "Engaging and original, rich in anecdote and analysis, this is a terrific work of history."—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion " Citizens of London is a great read about the small band of Americans and their courageous role in helping Britain through the darkest days of early World War II. I thought I knew a lot about this dangerous period, but Lynne Olson ...

  7. Amazon.com: Customer reviews: Citizens of London: The Americans Who

    Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Citizens of London: ... All of them were, in a sense, having the time of their lives, and having great fun in London. The books goes to show how every war, no matter the reason, has its winners and losers, and the little man is always on the short end of the stick.

  8. Book Reviews: Citizens of London, by Lynne Olson (Updated for 2021)

    The acclaimed author of Troublesome Young Men reveals 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, 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 ...

  9. Citizens of London

    About Citizens of London. The acclaimed author of Troublesome Young Men reveals 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, the handsome, chain-smoking head of CBS News in Europe; Averell Harriman, the hard ...

  10. CITIZENS OF LONDON

    A nuanced history that captures the intensity of life in a period when victory was not a foregone conclusion. Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010. ISBN: 978-1-4000-6758-9. Page Count: 496. Publisher: Random House. Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010. Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2009. Categories: GENERAL HISTORY. Share your opinion of this book.

  11. Three Americans In London, Fighting For War : NPR

    Author Lynne Olson, whose new book, Citizens of London, looks at this era, tells Robert Siegel that by March of 1941, after eight months of bombing, most Americans had abandoned London. Joseph ...

  12. Citizens of London

    Review: Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour User Review - Laurel - Goodreads. I loved this book. Anyone who has interest in Winston Churchill, WWII in Europe, or toured the museum at 10 Downing Street in London -- I think you will enjoy it too. It was a fascinating take on the ... Read full review

  13. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest

    Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2010: Citizens of London is the story of the American firebrands who broke rank with popular opinion and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with England during the bleak infancy of World War II. Author Lynne Olson more than lives up to the critical acclaim of her last book, Troublesome Young Men, by exploring the origins of an Anglo-American alliance that ...

  14. Citizens of London

    An enthralling, behind-the-scenes account of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain. Citizens of London brings out of history's shadows the three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, the handsome, chain-smoking news reporter; Averell Harriman, the hard-driving millionaire who ran FDR's Lend-Lease programme in London; and John G. Winant, the shy ...

  15. Citizens of London: Lynne Olson: 9781925106886: Amazon.com: Books

    Review of Olson's Citizens of London by Paul F. Ross Historian Lynne Olson writes her Citizens of London: The Americans who stood with Britain in its darkest, finest hour, to tell the stories of Gil Winant, Edward R. Murrow, and Averill Harriman in London, 1939-1945. Winant was the US ambassador to Britain for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

  16. Book Review of: Citizens of London

    Review of Citizens Of London, by Lynne Olson (Hardcover, 2010) (You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy) Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles. Superlatives fail me. To call this book a masterpiece is not giving it enough credit. This book sets the bar for nonfiction.

  17. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest

    Introduction. The acclaimed author of Troublesome Young Men reveals 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, 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 ...

  18. Citizens of London

    Citizens of London The Americans Who Stood With Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour. C itizens of London is the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States and Britain forged their crucial wartime alliance, as seen from the viewpoint of three key American players in London. Drawing from a wide variety of primary sources, Lynne Olson depicts the personal journeys of these men, who ...

  19. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest

    Editorial Reviews. Engaging and original, rich in anecdote and analysis, this is a terrific work of history."—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion "Citizens of London is a great read about the small band of Americans and their courageous role in helping Britain through the darkest days of early World War II. I thought I knew a lot about this dangerous period, but ...

  20. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest

    "Citizens of London is a great read about the small band of Americans and their courageous role in helping Britain through the darkest days of early World War II. I thought I knew a lot about that dangerous period but Lynne Olson has taught me so much more." —Tom Brokaw "In this engaging and original book, Lynne Olson tells the story of the Americans who did the New World credit by ...

  21. New & Noteworthy

    This was a discovery and led me to her previous books, including "Citizens of London" and "The Murrow Boys," the latter written with her husband, Stanley Cloud, and both remarkable ...

  22. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest

    Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour [Olson, Lynne, Morey, Arthur] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour

  23. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest

    In Citizens of London, Lynne Olson has written a work of World War II history even more relevant and revealing than her acclaimed Troublesome Young Men. Here is 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 ...