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Posted August 16, 2007
Lights in England's Blackest Hours
From a niche in time comes an eye-opener for all but the most knowledgeable readers of English history in the period immediately before World War II, the so-called age of appeasement. Troublesome Young Men details the background, lifestyle and deeds of the few in Britain's elite who dared to challenge the iron rule of Neville 'Peace in our Time' Chamberlain. No, it is not a paean to Winston Churchill but rather the tale of those who brought him, somewhat reluctantly, to power ... Macmillan, Boothby, Cartland, Amery, Eden to name just few. To those of my generation growing up in England in the late 1940s and 50s, many of these names, other than Churchill, of course, were known as respected politicians whose deeds had passed beyond current affairs yet were too recent for history classes. Now, 50 years and many history books later, I find that Macmillan and Eden balked at taking 10 Downing Street. Any previous actions notwithstanding, Churchill, too, remained loyal to Chamberlain and as a member of his cabinet 'Admiralty' defended him in the House of Commons. Chamberlain, himself, was not the querulous, umbrella-toting wimp he his known as today but a flint-hearted Nixonesque dictator who employed bullies, smear tactics and wiretaps against disssenters. There are also some 'juicy bits': a whiff of upper-crust bisexuality Macmillan cuckolded by Boothby for decades, a humiliation the eventual Prime Minister didn't overcame until he found his feet again guiding Eisenhower in the North African campaign a son that was hanged as an instrument of Nazi propaganda. This is not arid history but a thoroughly absorbing account of a crucial period of the 20th century. Author Lynne Olson, former White House correspondent for The Sun of Baltimore deserves nothing but praise for her work.
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Posted August 10, 2013
Very readable and very fact-filled and interesting story of the
Very readable and very fact-filled and interesting story of the Tory rebels who opposed Neville Chamberlain in 1940. The book, through, covers decades, and WWII is only a small portion of it (with 1942-1945 largely overlooked). If you like British political history, this is a must-buy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 12, 2012
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