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Extended Audio Sample Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War Audiobook, by Lynne Olson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lynne Olson Narrator: Arthur Morey, Kimberly Farr Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2017 ISBN: 9781524723798
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A groundbreaking account of how Britain became the base of operations for the exiled leaders of Europe in their desperate struggle to reclaim their continent from Hitler, from the New York Times bestselling author of Citizens of London and Those Angry Days

When the Nazi blitzkrieg rolled over continental Europe in the early days of World War II, the city of London became a refuge for the governments and armed forces of six occupied nations who escaped there to continue the fight. So, too, did General Charles de Gaulle, the self-appointed representative of free France.    

As the only European democracy still holding out against Hitler, Britain became known to occupied countries as “Last Hope Island.” Getting there, one young emigré declared, was “like getting to heaven.”

In this epic, character-driven narrative, acclaimed historian Lynne Olson takes us back to those perilous days when the British and their European guests joined forces to combat the mightiest military force in history. Here we meet the courageous King Haakon of Norway, whose distinctive “H7” monogram became a symbol of his country’s resistance to Nazi rule, and his fiery Dutch counterpart, Queen Wilhelmina, whose antifascist radio broadcasts rallied the spirits of her defeated people. Here, too, is the Earl of Suffolk, a swashbuckling British aristocrat whose rescue of two nuclear physicists from France helped make the Manhattan Project possible.

Last Hope Island also recounts some of the Europeans’ heretofore unsung exploits that helped tilt the balance against the Axis: the crucial efforts of Polish pilots during the Battle of Britain; the vital role played by French and Polish code breakers in cracking the Germans’ reputedly indecipherable Enigma code; and the flood of top-secret intelligence about German operations—gathered by spies throughout occupied Europe—that helped ensure the success of the 1944 Allied invasion.  

A fascinating companion to Citizens of London, Olson’s bestselling chronicle of the Anglo-American alliance, Last Hope Island recalls with vivid humanity that brief moment in time when the peoples of Europe stood together in their effort to roll back the tide of conquest and restore order to a broken continent.

Praise for Last Hope Island

“Spellbinding . . . [a] masterful account of England in World War II . . . [Olson] brings both a journalist’s eye and a novelist’s command of character and setting to this subject.”BookPage, “Top Pick”

“A rip-roaring saga of hairbreadth escape, espionage, and resistance during World War II, Lynne Olson’s Last Hope Island salvages the forgotten stories of a collection of heroic souls from seven countries overrun by Hitler who find refuge in Churchill’s London and then seek payback in ways large and small. In thrilling fashion, Olson shows us that hell hath no fury like a small country scorned.”—Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake

“Lynne Olson is a master storyteller, and she brings her great gifts to this riveting narrative of the resistance to Hitler’s war machine.”—Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Being Nixon

“A powerful and surprising account of how figures from Nazi-occupied Europe found Great Britain an essential shield and sword in the struggle against Hitler. This is a wonderful work of history, told in Olson’s trademark style.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • You wouldn’t think that there would still be untold tales about World War II, but Lynne Olson, a master of that period of history, has found some. Not only does she narrate them with her usual verve, but her book reminds us how much we unthinkingly assume that it was the United States and Britain alone who defeated the Nazis in Western Europe. Last Hope Island is a valuable, and immensely readable, corrective. Adam Hochschild, New York Times bestselling author of King Leopold’s Ghost

    “This is a history book that reads like the best thrillers. . . . Olson offers a fascinating view of the war and its aftermath, less from a military than from a high-level civilian perspective. . . . The many individuals are finely drawn, major developments are well covered, and the book provides an unusual and very insightful angle on the war.
  • Lynne Olson is a master storyteller, and she brings her great gifts to this riveting narrative of the resistance to Hitler’s war machine. You will be thrilled and moved—and enraged, saddened, and shocked—by the courage and steadfastness, human waste and stupidity, carelessness and nobility, of an epic struggle. Last Hope Island is a smashing good tale. Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Being Nixon
  • In a series of compelling books in recent years, Lynne Olson has established herself as an authoritative and entertaining chronicler of perhaps the largest single event in human history—the Second World War. Now comes Last Hope Island, a powerful and surprising account of how figures from Nazi-occupied Europe found Great Britain an essential shield and sword in the struggle against Hitler. This is a wonderful work of history, told in Olson’s trademark style. Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion
  • “Olson’s masterfully researched account…brings both a journalist’s eye and a novelist’s command of character and setting to this subject…For American readers inclined to begin their World War II reading after US entry into the conflict, Last Hope Island opens a fascinating trove of stories, characters and facts.”

    BookPage

  • “A powerful and surprising account of how figures from Nazi-occupied Europe found Great Britain an essential shield and sword in the struggle against Hitler…A wonderful work of history.”

    Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • Spellbinding . . . [a] masterful account of England in World War II . . . [Olson] brings both a journalist’s eye and a novelist’s command of character and setting to this subject. . . . For American readers inclined to begin their World War II reading after U.S. entry into the conflict, Last Hope Island opens a fascinating trove of stories, characters and facts. . . . Olson’s book, ten years in the making, not only helps illuminate the past but also serves as an insightful backdrop for today’s discussion of the future of twenty-first-century European alliances. BookPage, “Top Pick”
  • A rip-roaring saga of hairbreadth escape, espionage, and resistance during World War II, Lynne Olson’s Last Hope Island salvages the forgotten stories of a collection of heroic souls from seven countries overrun by Hitler who find refuge in Churchill’s London and then seek payback in ways large and small. In thrilling fashion, Olson shows us that hell hath no fury like a small country scorned. Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake
  • “[A] riveting narrative of the resistance to Hitler’s war machine. You will be thrilled and moved—and enraged, saddened, and shocked—by the courage and steadfastness, human waste and stupidity, carelessness and nobility, of an epic struggle.”

    Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author

  • “This is a history book that reads like the best thrillers…A fascinating view of the war and its aftermath, less from a military than from a high-level civilian perspective.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • A BookPage Top Pick for May 2017
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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 Narrators

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.

Kimberly Farr is an actress and eight-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award for narration. She has appeared on Broadway and at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Roundabout Theatre, Playwright’s Horizons, and the American Place. She created the role of “Eve” in Arthur Miller’s first and only musical, Up from Paradise, which was directed by the author. She appeared with Vanessa Redgrave in the Broadway production of The Lady from the Sea and has acted in regional theaters across the country, including a performance in the original production of The 1940’s Radio Hour at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage.