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February 22 2020
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Winston Churchill watches a German V-1 buzz-bomb attack in Southern England with his daughter Mary. Her diary provides a fresh look at life during the London Blitz.

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

The popular historian Erik Larson has done it again. The hugely best-selling author of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania; In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin; and Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History has once more captured an iconic historical moment and brought it vividly to life in near-novelistic prose, yet without inventing a single thing. Dry-as-dust historians, often in the Academy, have a great deal to learn from writers such as Larson, who are introducing the public to the splendor and terror of the past in vast numbers without compromising one iota on fact.

The Splendid and the Vile is the story of the London Blitz, starting from the moment that Winston Churchill became prime minister on May 10, 1940, until the Luftwaffe raid that destroyed the parts of the House of Commons exactly one year later, coincidentally on the same night that Rudolf Hess flew to Scotland.

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