Monday, September 07, 2009

Franklin and Winston

Finished this very interesting look at the relationship of two of the 20th century's great men - Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship.

The book was an unflinching history of the relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. I came away from the reading with a much different picture of the two men. Even though he was the younger of the two, Roosevelt played what best seemed to fit the role of the older brother in the relationship. He could be patronizing and dismissive but at the same time patient and encouraging. However, also like a big brother he could be mean spirited when trying to impress someone he wanted to befriend (in this case Roosevelt was often awful to Churchill when he was with Joseph Stalin).

Churchill for his part did seem to play the role of a younger brother who badly wanted the approval and friendship of Roosevelt. Churchill easily forgot slights at the hands of Roosevelt and choose just to remember the high points and good times. That's certainly not how I pictured Churchill before reading the book.

If you are a fan of history or a World War II buff - I'd highly recommend this most readable of books.

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