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

Extended Audio Sample Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour Audiobook, by Lynne Olson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.59 out of 54.59 out of 54.59 out of 54.59 out of 54.59 out of 5 4.59 (22 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lynne Olson Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 ISBN: 9781400185955
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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, Averell Harriman, and John Gilbert Winant. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and a reluctant American public to support the British at a critical time. The three-Murrow, the handsome, chain-smoking head of CBS News in Europe; Harriman, the hard-driving millionaire who ran FDR's Lend-Lease program in London; and Winant, the shy, idealistic U.S. ambassador to Britain-formed close ties with Winston Churchill and were drawn into Churchill's official and personal circles. So intense were their relationships with the Churchills that they all became romantically involved 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. Others were honorary "citizens of London" as well, including the gregarious, fiercely ambitious Dwight D. Eisenhower, an obscure general who, as the first commander of American forces in Britain, was determined to do everything in his power to make the alliance a success, and Tommy Hitchcock, a world-famous polo player and World War I fighter pilot who helped save the Allies' bombing campaign against Germany. Citizens of London, however, is more than just the story of these Americans and the world leaders they aided and influenced. It's an engrossing account of the transformative power of personal diplomacy and, above all, 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 class-conscious capital transformed by the Blitz into a model of stoic grace under violent pressure and deprivation. 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Rich in anecdote and analysis, this is a terrific work of history. Jon Meacham, author of the New York Times bestseller American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 2/5/2014

    " Riveting, a real page turner. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff Crosby | 2/1/2014

    " Electing to concentrate on three Americans who spent much of World War II in London, Olson develops an interesting history of the war in Europe that revolves around the Anglo-American alliance. While this book is less sharply focused than her Troublesome Young Men, I found her view of wartime London engaging. While some of the chapters do not always flow easily from one to another, the exposition of ideas makes the book well worth your time. I particularly enjoyed learning about Gil Winant--the US ambassador--an individual about whom I knew nothing. I also found the chapters that described the blitz and living conditions in London particularly interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee | 1/29/2014

    " During the past year I have a read several histories about World War II (Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Tears of Darkness, Unbroken, and two volumes of Churchill's Second World War). Citizen's of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in It Darkest, Finest Hour provided a wholly different look at the the relationship between two main allies during the war: USA and Great Britain. Seen through the eyes of three Americans (John Gilbert Winant who served as the American ambassador to Great Britain, W. Averell Harriman who first served as liaison for the Lend Lease Program and later as ambassador to the Soviet Union, and Edward R. Murrow, a journalist) the trials and tribulations experienced by the British people are daunting. Lynn Olson explains how each of these men made enormous contributions to the war effort, particularly in supporting the British during the time when the United States maintained a hands off stance. The troubled relationships between these two important allies were starkly drawn. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beverly | 1/27/2014

    " I re-read his book for book club and loved it the second time around as much as the first reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 1/18/2014

    " I won this on first reads. Wonderful read!! I am very into history and all the amazing things we can learn from it. This was rich in history and so well written. The facts could have been dull and dry but Lynne puts it all together so well that it is a joy to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kiersten | 1/17/2014

    " In addition to describing the complicated relationship between America and Great Britain leading up to and during America's involvement in WWII, this book is also an homage to the beauty of the human spirit, to quiet heroes. I knew that Joseph Kennedy was the American ambassador to Britain during the Chamberlain era; I had never heard of Gil Winant. I'm so glad that I was introduced to him by this book. I'm itching to read more about him and about Edward Murrow as wel.l (I want to watch Good Night and Good Luck again now, too.) Averell Harriman was an interesting character, but not as compelling as Winant or Murrow. The first half of the book, dealing with the London Blitz, was especially moving. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/12/2014

    " Great book -- will review later. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 12/9/2013

    " I chose this as a book club book, and it was a good selection. It is well written and I learned a lot that I didn't know while reading it. I listed to the Playaway and it kept me very interested. I recommend it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 11/6/2013

    " One of the best things about book clubs, is that one reads books one would never otherwise even consider. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie Moseley | 7/6/2013

    " terrific read, fascinating look at all the major players of WWII "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janie | 3/4/2013

    " Excellent. Focusing on 3 Americans in London in the lead up to and during the war, with much insight into FDR, Churchill and the city of London. No blood, no military maneuvers, rather a social/political approach that made it a fascinating read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kay Uyterlinde | 2/1/2013

    " Informative view of the relationship of the United States and Great Britain during World War II. I learned a lot about the politics of this time in history. It was a complicated book with many historical characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janel | 1/31/2013

    " Excellent book! Highly recommend it to anyone who loves history and enjoys finding fresh perspectives on history you thought you knew. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy Doran | 12/6/2012

    " this is eye opening and really very good "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherri Dishon | 11/22/2012

    " Even if you're not all that interested in the subject of history, this book is worth reading. It's very long but it kept my attention. Nice details about people and not at all like a dry text book of events. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 8/10/2011

    " Just finished this book and really enjoyed it. At 500 pages, it's a little dense, but if you are a history fan I highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jay | 6/16/2011

    " I enjoyed it. Although probably geared toward the history buff (which I am not) I found the book engaging. It delves into the close alliance between the British and Americans during WWII but with a good storyline of 3 key individuals. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bolivera | 5/16/2011

    " Really enjoyed this book and the insights into the experience of prominent Americans in London waiting for the US to join the war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 4/27/2011

    " Olson's writing easily rivals Manchester or Ambrose. If you are a history buff, you will enjoy this book. So many interesting details! So many unsung heroes and so many others who took the credit. Morey does a stellar job narrating too.
    I could stop listening! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 3/11/2011

    " I chose this as a book club book, and it was a good selection. It is well written and I learned a lot that I didn't know while reading it. I listed to the Playaway and it kept me very interested. I recommend it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 12/27/2010

    " Great book -- will review later.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellie | 11/17/2010

    " BRILLIANT explanation of those who greatly supported Britain during WWII. Clear portraits of Edward R.Murrow, FDR, Jonathan Winant, ambassador. General Eisenhower was a wonderful man. "

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About the Author
Author Lynne Olson

Lynne Olson worked for more than ten years as a journalist, including stints as Moscow correspondent for the Associated Press and White House correspondent for the Baltimore Sun. Four of her five books—all works of history—have dealt in some way with London during World War II. Among her titles are Last Hope Europe, A Question of Honor, Troublesome Young Men, Freedom’s Daughters, and the national bestseller Citizens of London. She has won the Christopher Award and has been shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History.

About the Narrator

Arthur Morey has won three AudioFile Magazine “Best Of” Awards: in 2011 for Biography and History, in for History and Historical Fiction, and in 2009 for Nonfiction and Culture. His work has also garnered multiple AudioFile Earphones awards, and he has been nominated for an Audie Award. He graduated from Harvard and did graduate work at the University of Chicago. He has won awards for his fiction and drama, worked as an editor with several book publishers, and taught literature and writing at Northwestern University. As a narrator, he has received nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.