The most complete portrait ever drawn of the complex
emotional connection between two of history’s towering leaders
Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were the greatest
leaders of “the Greatest Generation.” In Franklin
and Winston, Jon Meacham explores the fascinating relationship between the
two men who piloted the free world to victory in World War II. It was a crucial
friendship, and a unique one—a president and a prime minister spending enormous
amounts of time together (113 days during the war) and exchanging nearly two
thousand messages. Amid cocktails, cigarettes, and cigars, they met, often
secretly, in places as far-flung as Washington, Hyde Park, Casablanca, and
Teheran, talking to each other of war, politics, the burden of command, their
health, their wives, and their children.
Born in the nineteenth century and molders of the twentieth
and twenty-first, Roosevelt and Churchill had much in common. Sons of the
elite, students of history, politicians of the first rank, they savored power.
In their own time both men were underestimated, dismissed as arrogant, and
faced skeptics and haters in their own nations—yet both magnificently rose to
the central challenges of the twentieth century. Theirs was a kind of love
story, with an emotional Churchill courting an elusive Roosevelt. The British
prime minister, who rallied his nation in its darkest hour, standing alone
against Adolf Hitler, was always somewhat insecure about his place in FDR’s
affections—which was the way Roosevelt wanted it. A man of secrets, FDR liked
to keep people off balance, including his wife, Eleanor, his White House
aides—and Winston Churchill.
Confronting tyranny and terror, Roosevelt and Churchill
built a victorious alliance amid cataclysmic events and occasionally
conflicting interests. Franklin and
Winston is also the story of their marriages and their families, two clans
caught up in the most sweeping global conflict in history.
Meacham’s new sources—including unpublished letters of FDR’s
great secret love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the papers of Pamela Churchill
Harriman, and interviews with the few surviving people who were in FDR and Churchill’s
joint company—shed fresh light on the characters of both men as he engagingly
chronicles the hours in which they decided the course of the struggle.
Hitler brought them together; later in the war, they drifted
apart, but even in the autumn of their alliance, the pull of affection was
always there. Charting the personal drama behind the discussions of strategy
and statecraft, Meacham has written the definitive account of the most
remarkable friendship of the modern age. Download and start listening now!