Download The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz Audiobook

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz Audiobook, by Erik Larson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Erik Larson Narrator: Erik Larson, John Lee Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2020 ISBN: 9780593167175
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz—an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis “A bravura performance by one of America’s greatest storytellers.”—NPR “Churchill’s lessons of resilience and his style of steady-handed leadership are essential to the state of mind of American readers.”—Vanity Fair On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end. In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.   The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • An enthralling page-turner. O, The Oprah Magazine
  • “Through the remarkably skillful use of intimate diaries as well as public documents…a book that is fresh, fast and deeply moving.”

    New York Times Book Review
  • “Fascinating . . . The entire book comes at the reader with breakneck speed.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • "[A] fast-moving, immensely readable, and even warmhearted account of the battle to save Britain.”

    Christian Science Monitor
  • "[In] a time of sadness, fear, grief, and uncertainty…I find myself comforted by reading about other supremely challenging times in human history, and about resilience, and hope. For this, there is no better book right now than The Splendid and the Vile.”

    New York Post
  • The popular historian Erik Larson has done it again. As I read this book, I kept wondering what the swelling of powerful emotion was that I felt, sometimes in an almost physical sense. Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny, in Air Mail
  • William Shakespeare once wrote, ‘There is a history in all men’s lives.’ Certainly, this has been lived out in the remarkable writing career of Erik Larson. His dynamic ability to tell tales from deep within the dusty pages of history in a gripping and cinematic way has earned him wide acclaim. What sets his work apart is his signature way of using painstaking research through personal journals and historical records to spin a gripping nonfiction tale through the ordinary lives of the men and women who succeeded, failed, and perished as a result. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • The Splendid and the Vile delivers the great saga with a novelist’s touch. It’s like you’re watching and hearing the days and nights of 1940 as a passenger on a double-decker London bus. Chris Matthews, Churchill Bulletin
  • A propulsive, character-driven account of Winston Churchill’s first year as British prime minister . . . Readers will rejoice. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • Larson’s skill at integrating vast research and talent for capturing compelling human dramas culminate in an inspirational portrait of one of history’s finest, most fearless leaders. Booklist (starred review)
  • “Listeners will still be on the edge of their seats while listening to John Lee’s superb narration…Larson delivers the introduction and does a fine job, but Lee brings the polish and expressiveness of a gifted narrator—one who performs a perfectly credible Churchill voice. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “While the story of Churchill’s premiership and the Blitz have been told in greater historical depth, they’ve rarely been rendered so vividly. Readers will rejoice.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A Literary Hub Pick of the Month's Best Audiobooks
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Booklist Pick of Audiobooks of the Month
  • #1 New York Times bestseller
  • A Washington Post Pick of Most Anticipated Upcoming Books
  • A Huffington Post Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2020
  • A Pop Sugar Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2020
  • A New York Times Bestseller in Audio
  • A #1 Amazon.com bestseller in History
  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
  • An iBooks bestseller in Audiobooks
  • A Publishers Weekly bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of Books to Wake Up Your Book Club

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About the Author

Erik Larson is the author of four national bestsellers: In the Garden of Beasts, Thunderstruck, The Devil in the White City, and Isaac’s Storm, which have collectively sold more than five million copies and two of which have been #1 New York Times bestsellers. His books have been published in fourteen countries.

About the Narrator

John Lee is the winner of numerous Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration. His has twice won acclaim as AudioFile’s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and coproduced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.