Editor’s comments: It’s no secret to readers that I enjoy Erik Larson’s work. His unique blend of great research and near-fictional personalities creates a look at one year in England’s history while under siege from the German Luftwaffe. Actual facts from 45,000 civilian deaths (5,500 children) during the blitz year are embroidered not just by Churchill’s fame but also his and his eccentric family’s peccadillos.
Favorite excerpt, particularly given our current world circumstance:
“The speech set a pattern that he would follow throughout the war, offering a sober appraisal of facts, tempered with reason for optimism. “It would be foolish to disguise the gravity of the hour,” he said. “It would be still more foolish to lose heart and courage.”