The Splendid and the Vile

Check out if you’re a closet Anglophile or if the history of World War II fascinates you.

Winston Churchill’s time as the Prime Minister of England during World War II is chronicled through the eyes of those who knew him best. Erik Larson uses diary entries and historical facts to piece together a comprehensive picture of the events of The Blitz as it unfolded for Great Britain. The reader also gets a peek into the diaries of some of The Third Reich’s top-ranking officials.

I found the way Larson tells the story of The Blitz through the documentation of events and the use of diarists to be illuminating. Churchill was an eccentric and enigmatic man. The doubts that swirled around his appointment as Prime Minister and the sentiment of the British people toward Churchill and his government are little known facts that aren’t often discussed. The book also acquaints the reader with personal insights into many of the prominent figures surrounding Churchill at the time.

This book is captivating and expansive about a time in British history that will never be forgotten. The spirit of the British people was never extinguished, even though they were up against overwhelming odds. Churchill’s tenacity and patriotism saw him through many difficult and sensitive situations. This book left me with no doubt that Churchill was indeed “the man for the job.”