Charles C. Chadbourn, III
Editor, International Journal of Naval History
This article is another of our continuing series where readers of this journal interested in international naval history and related topics may share with colleagues ideas on good books to read which may be of general interest. Contributions are not full book reviews, rather suggestions for worthwhile reading. Of course, most selections will probably come from historical monographs and will be naval, but other genres are welcome as well. Nor do these suggestions necessarily have to be recently published items, although, of course, those are especially helpful. As the writings of Sir Julian Corbett, Carl von Clausewitz, and even Thucydides demonstrate, older works often retain their usefulness for contemporary readers for generations. If you would like to contribute to this on-going series, please send your submission directly to the Editor of IJNH. Some of the more exciting books I read every year come from the recommendations of my colleagues.
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What Are They Reading? Vol. 4Charles C. Chadbourn, III; Editor, International Journal of Naval History
Erik Larson, THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE: A SAGA OF CHURCHILL, FAMILY, AND DEFIANCE DURING THE BLITZ (2020)
Anyone who has read Erik Larson’s previous books such as Dead Wake and In the Garden of the Beasts knows that Larson is an author who never disappoints. He makes history come alive in a very personal way. The Splendid and the Vile is no exception. Larson always manages to offer fresh insight, even on well know topics. This riveting account examines Winston Churchill’s leadership as Prime Minister of Great Britain during London’s darkest year of the Second World War through the lens of those closest to him, his family. Coming to power only two weeks before Dunkirk, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country and a family together. Churchill is a welcome antidote to today’s political dysfunction.