Review The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson


Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Sep 8, 2006
Not Afghanistan
Fantastic book. If you're a history nerd interested in this period, you'll want to check it out.

The book covers the first year of Churchill's time as Prime Minister, May 1940-May 1941 with a brief chapter on the entry of the US into WWII and a very good Epilogue. There are volumes written about this period and Churchill himself, but what sets this apart is how much it focuses on the people. Good or bad, very intimate portraits at times, it weaves enough of the history to tie in all of the personalities. The book is well written enough that jumping from one person to the next is fluid and you never have to ask who you're following or why. It obviously focuses on the Blitz and how the average citizen coped, plus the weight that fell on Churchill and his staff as cities were leveled and casualties soared into the tens of thousands.

If you're looking for more info on this period or want a deeper look into the lives of Churchill, his family, and the key players, particularly what they thought during the worst times, this is your book.