Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

( 19 )

Overview

The most complete portrait ever drawn of the complex emotional connection between two of history’s towering leaders

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were the greatest leaders of “the Greatest Generation.” In Franklin and Winston, Jon Meacham explores the fascinating relationship between the two men who piloted the free world to victory in World War II. It was a crucial friendship, and a unique one—a president and a prime minister spending enormous amounts of time ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$12.72
BN.com price
(Save 24%)$16.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (185) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $5.99   
  • Used (171) from $1.99   
Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price

Overview

The most complete portrait ever drawn of the complex emotional connection between two of history’s towering leaders

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were the greatest leaders of “the Greatest Generation.” In Franklin and Winston, Jon Meacham explores the fascinating relationship between the two men who piloted the free world to victory in World War II. It was a crucial friendship, and a unique one—a president and a prime minister spending enormous amounts of time together (113 days during the war) and exchanging nearly two thousand messages. Amid cocktails, cigarettes, and cigars, they met, often secretly, in places as far-flung as Washington, Hyde Park, Casablanca, and Teheran, talking to each other of war, politics, the burden of command, their health, their wives, and their children.

Born in the nineteenth century and molders of the twentieth and twenty-first, Roosevelt and Churchill had much in common. Sons of the elite, students of history, politicians of the first rank, they savored power. In their own time both men were underestimated, dismissed as arrogant, and faced skeptics and haters in their own nations—yet both magnificently rose to the central challenges of the twentieth century. Theirs was a kind of love story, with an emotional Churchill courting an elusive Roosevelt. The British prime minister, who rallied his nation in its darkest hour, standing alone against Adolf Hitler, was always somewhat insecure about his place in FDR’s affections—which was the way Roosevelt wanted it. A man of secrets, FDR liked to keep people off balance, including his wife, Eleanor, his White House aides—and Winston Churchill.

Confronting tyranny and terror, Roosevelt and Churchill built a victorious alliance amid cataclysmic events and occasionally conflicting interests. Franklin and Winston is also the story of their marriages and their families, two clans caught up in the most sweeping global conflict in history.

Meacham’s new sources—including unpublished letters of FDR’s great secret love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the papers of Pamela Churchill Harriman, and interviews with the few surviving people who were in FDR and Churchill’s joint company—shed fresh light on the characters of both men as he engagingly chronicles the hours in which they decided the course of the struggle.

Hitler brought them together; later in the war, they drifted apart, but even in the autumn of their alliance, the pull of affection was always there. Charting the personal drama behind the discussions of strategy and statecraft, Meacham has written the definitive account of the most remarkable friendship of the modern age.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The World War II friendship of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill spanned an ocean and transformed the globe. Jon Meacham, Newsweek's managing editor, has crafted a superbly researched biography about the human roots of the wartime Anglo-American alliance. Drawing on original interviews and previously untapped archival research, he explains how the two leaders' shared backgrounds and spontaneous friendship shaped the progress and resolution of the war.
The New York Times
Meacham, the managing editor of Newsweek, uses several previously unavailable sources, including the World War II papers of Pamela Churchill Harriman, then married to Churchill's son, Randolph, and he interviewed a number of those still living who spent time in the two men's company. Written with grace and conviction, his portrait of this epic friendship focuses on the elements of character and fortitude that bonded these two leaders together, and ''proves it does matter who is in power at critical points.'' — David Walton
The Washington Post
With its keen, nuanced analysis and sympathetic insight, Meacham's book makes for intense and compelling reading. His achievement is memorable, even considering the innate drama of his topic. His heroes are charismatic giants, paladins in a titanic struggle between good and evil, and masters of the English language and the theatric moment. — Daniel Davidson
The New Yorker
After their first meeting, in 1918, Roosevelt said that Churchill was “a stinker”; Churchill didn’t even remember Roosevelt. But by their next exchange, in 1939, Churchill was convinced that Britain’s future depended on getting Roosevelt to like him. Meacham’s engaging account argues that personal bonds between leaders are crucial to international politics. He draws heavily on diaries and letters to describe a complicated courtship and, at times, seems amazed at what Winston is willing to put up with from Franklin. Churchill paints a landscape for the President, sings for him, and agonizes when his notes go unanswered; Roosevelt teases him in front of Stalin, criticizes him to reporters, and eventually breaks his heart with a diverging vision of the postwar world. But Churchill never gives up, and he later recalled, “No lover ever studied the whims of his mistress as I did those of President Roosevelt.”
Publishers Weekly
Drawing on interviews with surviving staffers and other previously untapped sources, Newsweek managing editor Meacham delves into the deep and complicated relationship between the two men who may very well have been the most powerful men on the planet during the most threatening times of the 20th century. FDR and Churchill spent much time together (a total of 113 days), planning, eating, smoking and drinking many a cocktail, and Meacham fleshes out the men behind the public faces, revealing the intricacies and the sometimes raw opportunism of their complicated relationship. Veteran actor and audiobook reader Cariou's authoritative presentation is rock solid and gripping. His gravelly baritone is transformed into Roosevelt's calm yet commanding voice one minute, and Churchill's more bombastic British accent the next (though occasionally, his enthusiastic Churchill is reminiscent of the sinister aliens Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons). All in all, he does a wonderful job of capturing not only the friendship between the two men, but also the tensions that build as the world turns to war. Simultaneous release with the Random hardcover (Forecasts, Aug. 4, 2003). (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The managing editor of Newsweek describes a complex relationship. With the first serial to Newsweek, of course. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Admiring, even romantic chronicle of the Anglo-American leaders’ warm personal relationship before and during WWII. Newsweek managing editor Meacham (ed., Voices in Our Blood: America’s Best on the Civil Rights Movement, 2000) begins in Yalta, 1945, at a time he much later characterizes as "the true twilight" of the friendship between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. The president is not well—distracted, even—and the prime minister is feeling both his and his former empire’s diminished status as the war winds to its end, with Uncle Joe Stalin and the Soviet Union on the rise. The author then goes back to 1918 and the duo’s first meeting (not recalled fondly by FDR) before swiftly, almost breathlessly moving forward to 1939 and the Nazi invasion of Poland. What ensues between the two Greatest Leaders of the Greatest Generation is much like a courtship. Churchill pursued the US’s might (albeit mostly potential at the time), seeing Roosevelt as the reluctant bride-to-be with an enviable dowry of ships, planes, materiel, and men. But FDR, though eight years Winston’s junior, was no naïve ingénue. As Meacham ably shows, he was capable of Clintonesque compartmentalizing, courting Stalin while dissembling artfully to maintain Churchill’s affections. (Assessing Roosevelt’s actual extramarital affairs, Meacham assures us that the president was interested more in romance than in sex.) Roosevelt also managed to disguise the effects of his polio and to win an unprecedented four US presidential elections. Meacham quotes liberally from the two men’s vast correspondence (some 2,000 letters) and from eyewitnesses to the 113 days they spent together. He has clearly mastered hismaterial, though he does not comment on the long-standing controversy over whether either leader knew in advance about Pearl Harbor and concludes with the un-startling statement that the world would be different had Hitler won. A pleasant walk over very familiar ground. (b&w photos throughout.)
From the Publisher
“This is at once an important, insightful, and highly entertaining portrait of two men at the peak of their powers who, through their genius, common will, and uncommon friendship, saved the world. Jon Meacham’s Franklin and Winston takes its place in the front ranks of all that has been written about these two great men.“
—Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation

“Franklin and Winston is a sensitive, perceptive, and absorbing portrait of the friendship that saved the democratic world in the greatest war in history.”
—Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., author of The Age of Roosevelt

“Jon Meacham has done groundbreaking work by focusing on the World War II alliance between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill as a friendship. Using important new sources, he has brought us a shrewd, original, sensitive, and fascinating look at the many-layered relationship between these two towering human beings, as well as their friends, families, aides, and allies. The book reveals the emotional undercurrents that linked FDR and Churchill—and sometimes estranged them—and teases out which of the ties between them were heartfelt and which were based on raw mutual political need. Meacham triumphantly shows how lucky we are that Roosevelt and Churchill were in power together during some of the most threatening moments of the twentieth century.”
—Michael Beschloss, author of The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1941–1945

“The relationship between FDR and Churchill was the most important political friendship of the twentieth century, not only determining the outcome of World War II but also setting a pattern that has endured ever since. Jon Meacham brings it to vivid life, shedding new insights into its strange and poignant complexity, and why its legacy has helped shape the modern world.”
—Richard Holbrooke, author of To End a War

“Jon Meacham enlivens the two men, their families, and their personal relations and relationships, providing a human context for the world-shaping leaders of the Anglo-American alliance during the Second World War.”
—Warren F. Kimball, author of Forged in War: Roosevelt, Churchill, and the Second World War

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812972825
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/12/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 140,583
  • Product dimensions: 5.17 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham is the managing editor of Newsweek. Born in Chattanooga in 1969, he is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. The editor of Voices in Our Blood: America's Best on the Civil Rights Movement, Meacham lives in New York City with his wife and son.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

TWO LIONS ROARING AT THE SAME TIME

A Disappointing Early Encounter- Their Lives Down the Years-The Coming of World War II

In the opening hours of a mission to wartime Europe in July 1918, Franklin Roosevelt, then thirty-six and working for the Navy Department, looked over a typewritten "Memorandum For Assistant Secretary" to discover what was in store for him in London. Reading the schedule's description of his evening engagement for Monday, July 29, Roosevelt learned that he was "to dine at a function given for the Allied Ministers Prosecuting the War." Hosted by F. E. Smith, a government minister and good friend of Winston Churchill's, the banquet was held in the hall of Gray's Inn in London. It was a clear evening-the wind was calm-and Roosevelt and Churchill, the forty-three-year-old former first lord of the Admiralty who was then minister of munitions, mingled among the guests below a portrait of Elizabeth I.

What were Roosevelt and Churchill like on this summer night? Frances Perkins knew them both in these early years. A progressive reformer, the first female member of a president's cabinet-Roosevelt would name her secretary of labor after he was elected in 1932-Perkins saw their strengths and their weaknesses. She first encountered Roosevelt in 1910 at a tea dance in Manhattan's Gramercy Park. Perkins was a graduate student at Columbia, already immersed in the world of social causes and settlement houses; Roosevelt was running for the state senate from Dutchess County. "There was nothing particularly interesting about the tall, thin young man with the high collar and pince-nez," Perkins recalled. They spoke briefly of Roosevelt's cousin Theodore, the former president of the United States, but Perkins did not give this Roosevelt "a second thought" until she ran across him again in Albany a few years later. She watched him work the Capitol-"tall and slender, very active and alert, moving around the floor, going in and out of committee rooms, rarely talking with the members, who more or less avoided him, not particularly charming (that came later), artificially serious of face, rarely smiling, with an unfortunate habit-so natural that he was unaware of it-of throwing his head up. This, combined with his pince-nez and great height, gave him the appearance of looking down his nose at most people." Later, the toss of the head would signal confidence and cheer. In the young Roosevelt it seemed, Perkins said, "slightly supercilious." She once heard a fellow politician say: "Awful arrogant fellow, that Roosevelt."

Perkins had also spent time with Churchill when she visited pre-World War I England. He was, she recalled, "a very interesting, alert, and vigorous individual who was an intellectual clearly." Churchill, she would tell President Roosevelt years later, "is this kind of a fellow: You want to be careful. He runs ahead of himself, or at least he used to." He was stubborn, Perkins said, "so sure of himself that he would insist upon doing the thing that he thought was a good thing to do. He was a little bit vain. He thought people were old fuddy-duds if they didn't agree with him." Her bottom line?

"He's pig-headed in his own way," Perkins said. "He's often right and brilliant, but . . ." But. She left the sentence unfinished.

The Gray's Inn dinner was a glittering occasion, with high British officials going out of their way to pay homage to Roosevelt as the representative of their American ally. Hailing Roosevelt as "the member of a glorious family," Smith, who later became the earl of Birkenhead, said, "No one will welcome Mr. Roosevelt on his visit to England with a warmer hand and heart than we do." Then Roosevelt-to his "horror," he said-was unexpectedly asked to say a few words. He stumbled a bit as he began. Uncertainly, trying to find the right note, Roosevelt said he had been "given to understand that I should not be called upon to speak" and in his nervousness, looking around at the faces of his hosts, began to talk about the importance of the personal in politics and war. Citing the need for an "intimate personal relationship" among allied nations, Roosevelt said: "It is quite impossible . . . to sit at home 3000 miles or more away and to obtain that close man-to-man, shoulder-to-shoulder touch, which today characterizes the work of the Allies in conducting the War." Warming to his point, Roosevelt concluded: "We are with you-about ninety-nine and nine-tenths of 110,000,000 of our people are with you-in the declaration that we are going to see this thing through with you."

In later years, Churchill would not recall meeting the American visitor. Roosevelt certainly recalled meeting Churchill, however, and long remembered Churchill's brusqueness. "I always disliked him since the time I went to England in 1917 or 1918," Roosevelt said to Joseph P. Kennedy, the American ambassador to Britain, in a conversation in 1939. "At a dinner I attended he acted like a stinker." Roosevelt and Churchill would not be in contact again for another twenty-one years. When they were, Churchill, not Roosevelt, would be the one sounding the trumpet about the indispensability of an "intimate personal relationship." The man who would bring them together: Adolf Hitler, a corporal who won the Iron Cross, First Class, six days after Roosevelt and Churchill dined at Gray's Inn.

they had been born eight years and an ocean apart-Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill on November 30, 1874, at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire; Franklin Delano Roosevelt on January 30, 1882, at Hyde Park in Dutchess County, New York. They loved tobacco, strong drink, history, the sea, battleships, hymns, pageantry, patriotic poetry, high office, and hearing themselves talk. "Being with them was like sitting between two lions roaring at the same time," said Mary Soames. With Roosevelt in his naval cape and Churchill in his service uniforms, they understood the stagecraft of statesmanship. "There was a good deal of the actor in each," said Mike Reilly, Roosevelt's Secret Service chief, "and we Secret Service men who had to arrange their exits and their entrances found we were working for a pair of master showmen who were determined that no scenes would be stolen by the other."

They were the sons of rich American mothers. Jennie Jerome married Lord Randolph Churchill in 1874; Sara Delano became the second wife of James Roosevelt in 1880. Roosevelt, the cousin of a president, came from the Hudson Valley, Groton School, Harvard College, and Columbia Law School; Churchill, the grandson of a duke, from Blenheim, Harrow, and Sandhurst. In a sign of how small the elite Anglo-American world in which they moved was, one of the wives of Winston's cousin the duke of Marlborough was romanced by Winthrop Rutherfurd, the husband of Franklin's illicit love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd. As boys, Roosevelt and Churchill were obsessive collectors: stamps, birds, books, and naval prints for Roosevelt, toy soldiers and butterflies for Churchill. Cousin Theodore's legend fired young Roosevelt's political imagination; Lord Randolph's career fascinated his son. As children and young men, they read the same books: Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense, the naval writings of Admiral Thayer Mahan, G. A. Henty's boys' books about the glories of empire, Kipling's poems and fiction, and Macaulay's history and essays. They loved Shakespeare, the Sermon on the Mount, and movies-even bad ones.

Politics was a shared passion. "My husband always had a joy in the game of politics," Eleanor said. "It was always to him an interesting game, like chess-something in which you pitted your wits against somebody else's." Until he became president, Roosevelt was a state senator, assistant secretary of the navy, the 1920 Democratic nominee for vice president, and governor of New York-and his four White House victories are unmatched in American history. Churchill was the quintessential parliamentarian. "Westminster is his ambience-his aura, as a spiritualist would say," wrote Colin Coote, managing editor of the Daily Telegraph. From his first election to the House of Commons in October 1900 to his summons by King George VI to become prime

minister in May 1940, Churchill would serve as parliamentary undersecretary for the Colonies, president of the Board of Trade, home secretary, first lord of the Admiralty, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, minister of munitions, secretary of state for war and air, secretary of state for the Colonies, and chancellor of the Exchequer. He was always looking ahead. At the Munitions Ministry in September 1917, Churchill said: "There are only two ways left now of winning the war, and they both begin with A. One is aeroplanes and the other is America."

Their minds raced and roamed. Roosevelt loved what he called "bold, persistent experimentation" in politics and government and liked to lecture Middle Eastern leaders-from the shah of Iran to Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia-on how they might grow trees and crops in the desert. In 1918, Felix Frankfurter was visiting Cliveden, Nancy Astor's country house in England, and listened as she attacked Churchill, who was not there, at length. At last A. J. Balfour, a former prime minister, told her: "Nancy, all you say about Winston may be true, but Winston has ideas, and to a statesman with ideas much shall be forgiven."

Ceremony fascinated them. At the height of World War II, when they were in Washington, Roosevelt and Churchill took time to confer about the music that would be played at a White House concert. With Roosevelt's approval, Churchill proposed "some . . . early American airs and suggests that the list include some of Stephen Foster's-Old Kentucky Home, and others-popular Civil War airs, and winding up with the Battle Hymn of the Republic." Roosevelt's intimates belonged to an exclusive Cuff Links Club, whose founding members had been part of Roosevelt's failed vice presidential campaign; Churchill's inner circle dined together in the Pinafore Room of the Savoy as members of the Other Club, established by Churchill and F. E. Smith in 1911. Roosevelt and Churchill were fascinated by the drama of war. Roosevelt "really had military genius, and there's where he and Churchill came closest together," said the columnist Walter Lippmann. "What they loved was the war room-the maps, deployment, deciding on where to land."

In their hearts, though, they were men of peace. To them war was a necessary evil. "I have seen war," Roosevelt once said, his remarks based on his memories of the 1918 trip to Europe. "I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen two hundred limping, exhausted men come out of line-the survivors of a regiment of one thousand that went forward forty-eight hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war." After the bloodshed of the western front, Churchill took the same view. "War, which used to be cruel and magnificent, has now become cruel and squalid," Churchill wrote in 1930. "Instead of a small number of well-trained professionals championing their country's cause with ancient weapons and a beautiful intricacy of archaic manoeuvre, sustained at every moment by the applause of their nation, we now have entire populations, including even women and children, pitted against one another in brutish mutual extermination, and only a set of bleary-eyed clerks left to add up the butcher's bill."

Roosevelt and Churchill were courageous and cool under fire. In February 1933, in Miami, an assassin armed with a revolver fired five shots at Roosevelt, missing the president-elect but killing the mayor of Chicago, who was sitting next to FDR in a car. Roosevelt never flinched. That evening, the president-elect appeared unshaken and went to bed after drinking a glass of whiskey. Facing a ferocious storm on an Atlantic cruise in 1935-a sailor on board thought the tempest looked "as if all the devils of hell were breaking loose"-Roosevelt was unruffled. "He was interested but not in the least alarmed," said Admiral Wilson Brown, a Roosevelt naval aide.

At Omdurman, Churchill rode in a fabled cavalry charge, brandishing a Mauser pistol; went to the front as a battalion commander in the trenches in World War I; refused to leave London during the Blitz; preferred rooftops to bomb shelters during air raids; and had to be forbidden by George VI to strike the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. En route to Washington aboard the Queen Mary for a meeting with Roosevelt in 1943, Churchill waved away reports of German submarines, saying that he had had a machine gun mounted in his lifeboat. "I won't be captured," he said. "The finest way to die is in the excitement of fighting the enemy."

They were deeply driven. Seated next to Violet Bonham Carter, daughter of Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, at dinner when he was thirty-three, Churchill said, "We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm." On his first American lecture tour in 1900, Churchill was introduced to a Boston audience by an American novelist named Winston Churchill (no relation). "Why don't you run for the Presidency of the United States?" the British Churchill asked the American Churchill. "Then I will become Prime Minister of England, and we can amaze everybody." Careening from hot spot to hot spot in the empire at the turn of the century, Churchill was aware of the impression his stark ambition made on others. Some of his critics, he wrote in a memoir, "proceeded to be actually abusive, and the expressions 'Medal-hunter' and 'Self-advertiser' were used from time to time in some high and some low military circles in a manner which would, I am sure, surprise and pain the readers of these notes."

Roosevelt was stoked by ambition, too. By the end of his college years at Harvard, Roosevelt seems to have grasped what it would take to get what he wanted in life: a relentless drive. In an editorial addressed to the incoming freshman class at Harvard in 1903, Roosevelt, then president of the Crimson, wrote: "It is not so much brilliance as effort that is appreciated here-determination to accomplish something."

The young Roosevelt was openly ambitious and privately anxious, and the war between these impulses came to the surface when he slept. "Sometimes he'd have nightmares and then he'd generally do very strange things," recalled Eleanor. "He was a collector of books and so one night I woke up to see him standing at the foot of the bed reaching for something. I said, 'What on earth are you doing?' and he said, 'I can't reach that book, and if I don't get it now I may miss getting it!' " Substitute any of life's great consolations for the book-love, office, fame-and we have a glimpse of the turmoil Roosevelt kept hidden from public view.

In their youth and early adult years, Churchill and Roosevelt could be unpopular with their contemporaries. As a young member of Parliament, Churchill was often isolated. "His parents' friends found him an interesting phenomenon; men of his own age thought him brash, offensive and arrogant," said Jock Colville. Roosevelt was blackballed from Porcellian, his father's and his uncle's Harvard club.

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

CHAPTER 1

TWO LIONS ROARING AT THE SAME TIME

A Disappointing Early Encounter- Their Lives Down the Years-The Coming of World War II


In the opening hours of a mission to wartime Europe in July 1918, Franklin Roosevelt, then thirty-six and working for the Navy Department, looked over a typewritten "Memorandum For Assistant Secretary" to discover what was in store for him in London. Reading the schedule's description of his evening engagement for Monday, July 29, Roosevelt learned that he was "to dine at a function given for the Allied Ministers Prosecuting the War." Hosted by F. E. Smith, a government minister and good friend of Winston Churchill's, the banquet was held in the hall of Gray's Inn in London. It was a clear evening-the wind was calm-and Roosevelt and Churchill, the forty-three-year-old former first lord of the Admiralty who was then minister of munitions, mingled among the guests below a portrait of Elizabeth I.

What were Roosevelt and Churchill like on this summer night? Frances Perkins knew them both in these early years. A progressive reformer, the first female member of a president's cabinet-Roosevelt would name her secretary of labor after he was elected in 1932-Perkins saw their strengths and their weaknesses. She first encountered Roosevelt in 1910 at a tea dance in Manhattan's Gramercy Park. Perkins was a graduate student at Columbia, already immersed in the world of social causes and settlement houses; Roosevelt was running for the state senate from Dutchess County. "There was nothing particularly interesting about the tall, thin young man with the high collar and pince-nez," Perkins recalled. They spoke briefly of Roosevelt'scousin Theodore, the former president of the United States, but Perkins did not give this Roosevelt "a second thought" until she ran across him again in Albany a few years later. She watched him work the Capitol-"tall and slender, very active and alert, moving around the floor, going in and out of committee rooms, rarely talking with the members, who more or less avoided him, not particularly charming (that came later), artificially serious of face, rarely smiling, with an unfortunate habit-so natural that he was unaware of it-of throwing his head up. This, combined with his pince-nez and great height, gave him the appearance of looking down his nose at most people." Later, the toss of the head would signal confidence and cheer. In the young Roosevelt it seemed, Perkins said, "slightly supercilious." She once heard a fellow politician say: "Awful arrogant fellow, that Roosevelt."

Perkins had also spent time with Churchill when she visited pre-World War I England. He was, she recalled, "a very interesting, alert, and vigorous individual who was an intellectual clearly." Churchill, she would tell President Roosevelt years later, "is this kind of a fellow: You want to be careful. He runs ahead of himself, or at least he used to." He was stubborn, Perkins said, "so sure of himself that he would insist upon doing the thing that he thought was a good thing to do. He was a little bit vain. He thought people were old fuddy-duds if they didn't agree with him." Her bottom line?

"He's pig-headed in his own way," Perkins said. "He's often right and brilliant, but . . ." But. She left the sentence unfinished.

The Gray's Inn dinner was a glittering occasion, with high British officials going out of their way to pay homage to Roosevelt as the representative of their American ally. Hailing Roosevelt as "the member of a glorious family," Smith, who later became the earl of Birkenhead, said, "No one will welcome Mr. Roosevelt on his visit to England with a warmer hand and heart than we do." Then Roosevelt-to his "horror," he said-was unexpectedly asked to say a few words. He stumbled a bit as he began. Uncertainly, trying to find the right note, Roosevelt said he had been "given to understand that I should not be called upon to speak" and in his nervousness, looking around at the faces of his hosts, began to talk about the importance of the personal in politics and war. Citing the need for an "intimate personal relationship" among allied nations, Roosevelt said: "It is quite impossible . . . to sit at home 3000 miles or more away and to obtain that close man-to-man, shoulder-to-shoulder touch, which today characterizes the work of the Allies in conducting the War." Warming to his point, Roosevelt concluded: "We are with you-about ninety-nine and nine-tenths of 110,000,000 of our people are with you-in the declaration that we are going to see this thing through with you."

In later years, Churchill would not recall meeting the American visitor. Roosevelt certainly recalled meeting Churchill, however, and long remembered Churchill's brusqueness. "I always disliked him since the time I went to England in 1917 or 1918," Roosevelt said to Joseph P. Kennedy, the American ambassador to Britain, in a conversation in 1939. "At a dinner I attended he acted like a stinker." Roosevelt and Churchill would not be in contact again for another twenty-one years. When they were, Churchill, not Roosevelt, would be the one sounding the trumpet about the indispensability of an "intimate personal relationship." The man who would bring them together: Adolf Hitler, a corporal who won the Iron Cross, First Class, six days after Roosevelt and Churchill dined at Gray's Inn.

they had been born eight years and an ocean apart-Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill on November 30, 1874, at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire; Franklin Delano Roosevelt on January 30, 1882, at Hyde Park in Dutchess County, New York. They loved tobacco, strong drink, history, the sea, battleships, hymns, pageantry, patriotic poetry, high office, and hearing themselves talk. "Being with them was like sitting between two lions roaring at the same time," said Mary Soames. With Roosevelt in his naval cape and Churchill in his service uniforms, they understood the stagecraft of statesmanship. "There was a good deal of the actor in each," said Mike Reilly, Roosevelt's Secret Service chief, "and we Secret Service men who had to arrange their exits and their entrances found we were working for a pair of master showmen who were determined that no scenes would be stolen by the other."

They were the sons of rich American mothers. Jennie Jerome married Lord Randolph Churchill in 1874; Sara Delano became the second wife of James Roosevelt in 1880. Roosevelt, the cousin of a president, came from the Hudson Valley, Groton School, Harvard College, and Columbia Law School; Churchill, the grandson of a duke, from Blenheim, Harrow, and Sandhurst. In a sign of how small the elite Anglo-American world in which they moved was, one of the wives of Winston's cousin the duke of Marlborough was romanced by Winthrop Rutherfurd, the husband of Franklin's illicit love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd. As boys, Roosevelt and Churchill were obsessive collectors: stamps, birds, books, and naval prints for Roosevelt, toy soldiers and butterflies for Churchill. Cousin Theodore's legend fired young Roosevelt's political imagination; Lord Randolph's career fascinated his son. As children and young men, they read the same books: Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense, the naval writings of Admiral Thayer Mahan, G. A. Henty's boys' books about the glories of empire, Kipling's poems and fiction, and Macaulay's history and essays. They loved Shakespeare, the Sermon on the Mount, and movies-even bad ones.

Politics was a shared passion. "My husband always had a joy in the game of politics," Eleanor said. "It was always to him an interesting game, like chess-something in which you pitted your wits against somebody else's." Until he became president, Roosevelt was a state senator, assistant secretary of the navy, the 1920 Democratic nominee for vice president, and governor of New York-and his four White House victories are unmatched in American history. Churchill was the quintessential parliamentarian. "Westminster is his ambience-his aura, as a spiritualist would say," wrote Colin Coote, managing editor of the Daily Telegraph. From his first election to the House of Commons in October 1900 to his summons by King George VI to become prime

minister in May 1940, Churchill would serve as parliamentary undersecretary for the Colonies, president of the Board of Trade, home secretary, first lord of the Admiralty, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, minister of munitions, secretary of state for war and air, secretary of state for the Colonies, and chancellor of the Exchequer. He was always looking ahead. At the Munitions Ministry in September 1917, Churchill said: "There are only two ways left now of winning the war, and they both begin with A. One is aeroplanes and the other is America."

Their minds raced and roamed. Roosevelt loved what he called "bold, persistent experimentation" in politics and government and liked to lecture Middle Eastern leaders-from the shah of Iran to Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia-on how they might grow trees and crops in the desert. In 1918, Felix Frankfurter was visiting Cliveden, Nancy Astor's country house in England, and listened as she attacked Churchill, who was not there, at length. At last A. J. Balfour, a former prime minister, told her: "Nancy, all you say about Winston may be true, but Winston has ideas, and to a statesman with ideas much shall be forgiven."

Ceremony fascinated them. At the height of World War II, when they were in Washington, Roosevelt and Churchill took time to confer about the music that would be played at a White House concert. With Roosevelt's approval, Churchill proposed "some . . . early American airs and suggests that the list include some of Stephen Foster's-Old Kentucky Home, and others-popular Civil War airs, and winding up with the Battle Hymn of the Republic." Roosevelt's intimates belonged to an exclusive Cuff Links Club, whose founding members had been part of Roosevelt's failed vice presidential campaign; Churchill's inner circle dined together in the Pinafore Room of the Savoy as members of the Other Club, established by Churchill and F. E. Smith in 1911. Roosevelt and Churchill were fascinated by the drama of war. Roosevelt "really had military genius, and there's where he and Churchill came closest together," said the columnist Walter Lippmann. "What they loved was the war room-the maps, deployment, deciding on where to land."

In their hearts, though, they were men of peace. To them war was a necessary evil. "I have seen war," Roosevelt once said, his remarks based on his memories of the 1918 trip to Europe. "I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen two hundred limping, exhausted men come out of line-the survivors of a regiment of one thousand that went forward forty-eight hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war." After the bloodshed of the western front, Churchill took the same view. "War, which used to be cruel and magnificent, has now become cruel and squalid," Churchill wrote in 1930. "Instead of a small number of well-trained professionals championing their country's cause with ancient weapons and a beautiful intricacy of archaic manoeuvre, sustained at every moment by the applause of their nation, we now have entire populations, including even women and children, pitted against one another in brutish mutual extermination, and only a set of bleary-eyed clerks left to add up the butcher's bill."

Roosevelt and Churchill were courageous and cool under fire. In February 1933, in Miami, an assassin armed with a revolver fired five shots at Roosevelt, missing the president-elect but killing the mayor of Chicago, who was sitting next to FDR in a car. Roosevelt never flinched. That evening, the president-elect appeared unshaken and went to bed after drinking a glass of whiskey. Facing a ferocious storm on an Atlantic cruise in 1935-a sailor on board thought the tempest looked "as if all the devils of hell were breaking loose"-Roosevelt was unruffled. "He was interested but not in the least alarmed," said Admiral Wilson Brown, a Roosevelt naval aide.

At Omdurman, Churchill rode in a fabled cavalry charge, brandishing a Mauser pistol; went to the front as a battalion commander in the trenches in World War I; refused to leave London during the Blitz; preferred rooftops to bomb shelters during air raids; and had to be forbidden by George VI to strike the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. En route to Washington aboard the Queen Mary for a meeting with Roosevelt in 1943, Churchill waved away reports of German submarines, saying that he had had a machine gun mounted in his lifeboat. "I won't be captured," he said. "The finest way to die is in the excitement of fighting the enemy."

They were deeply driven. Seated next to Violet Bonham Carter, daughter of Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, at dinner when he was thirty-three, Churchill said, "We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm." On his first American lecture tour in 1900, Churchill was introduced to a Boston audience by an American novelist named Winston Churchill (no relation). "Why don't you run for the Presidency of the United States?" the British Churchill asked the American Churchill. "Then I will become Prime Minister of England, and we can amaze everybody." Careening from hot spot to hot spot in the empire at the turn of the century, Churchill was aware of the impression his stark ambition made on others. Some of his critics, he wrote in a memoir, "proceeded to be actually abusive, and the expressions 'Medal-hunter' and 'Self-advertiser' were used from time to time in some high and some low military circles in a manner which would, I am sure, surprise and pain the readers of these notes."

Roosevelt was stoked by ambition, too. By the end of his college years at Harvard, Roosevelt seems to have grasped what it would take to get what he wanted in life: a relentless drive. In an editorial addressed to the incoming freshman class at Harvard in 1903, Roosevelt, then president of the Crimson, wrote: "It is not so much brilliance as effort that is appreciated here-determination to accomplish something."

The young Roosevelt was openly ambitious and privately anxious, and the war between these impulses came to the surface when he slept. "Sometimes he'd have nightmares and then he'd generally do very strange things," recalled Eleanor. "He was a collector of books and so one night I woke up to see him standing at the foot of the bed reaching for something. I said, 'What on earth are you doing?' and he said, 'I can't reach that book, and if I don't get it now I may miss getting it!'" Substitute any of life's great consolations for the book-love, office, fame-and we have a glimpse of the turmoil Roosevelt kept hidden from public view.

In their youth and early adult years, Churchill and Roosevelt could be unpopular with their contemporaries. As a young member of Parliament, Churchill was often isolated. "His parents' friends found him an interesting phenomenon; men of his own age thought him brash, offensive and arrogant," said Jock Colville. Roosevelt was blackballed from Porcellian, his father's and his uncle's Harvard club.


From the Hardcover edition.

Copyright© 2003 by Jon Meacham
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2004

    Highly recommended

    From a lover of history and biographies, this is a fascinating story of the relationship between the two men most responsible for saving the world in the 20th century.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 15, 2012

    There are no words to express the depth of my admiration for Chu

    There are no words to express the depth of my admiration for Churchill. If possible, it grew even deeper while reading this excellent book. It is true that the free world today owes its existence to this valiant and gallant man. Roosevelt, too, rose to great heights and gave everything, including his life, to free the world of tyranny, but Churchill was the grandest of the two. He never veered from his path, thank God.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2005

    Franklin and Winston

    Franklin and Winston is a very intimate portrait of the friendship between two of the most respected people in the world. This book describes their friendship from the very beginning all the way to the last time the two meet, it describes the ups and downs of their friendship and what they truly thought about each other and with the war. The book not only gives personal accounts of the two but also the view of their wife¿s, their family¿s and their closest friends. Franklin and Winston shows both men in a different light, than I have ever seen the two portrayed. The depth that Meacham shows is amazing. Franklin and Winston is an excellent portrayal of the two. I loved the book and have never read anything that went this in-depth of their very unique friendship. The chapters are a little long, and the book is slow in some places but once you get started it is hard to put down. Anyone who is at all intrigued by either man should read this, it gave so much insight that you feel that you personally have met the two.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Lake

    A beutiful lake that stretches for a mile.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A very fine account of one of the most important relationships in American History

    This epic relationship lasted because of each other's enduring qualities rooted in patience and perpetuity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Fantastic and human view of two great men

    Incredibly poignant view of these great men throughout their partnership. Well worth the read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 31, 2012

    An excellent book, I couldn't put it down. Jon Meacham writes wi

    An excellent book, I couldn't put it down. Jon Meacham writes with a style that certainly makes history come alive

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    Awe inspiring

    This book is an eye opener...magnificently written. There was something magical beteen these 2 friendships...that without these two men ...the outcome of WWII might have been completely different for the whole world. I do beliebe that these two friendships were pre ordained. Thank God, for us, that it was!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Story, a Bit Tedious

    Important subject and compelling idea of how a nuanced successful friendship, changed the world. The characters are interesting, to say the least... but they are drawn too faintly as the characters take a back seat to the interplay between them. The results make for some tedium; a disappointment.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2005

    Winston and Friend

    After reading this book, I arrived at two conclusions. First, the book should have had the title 'Winston and Friend'. The book had much more to do with Churchill than Roosevelt, with FDR serving as a backdrop for Churchill. Second, the book made me conclude that Churchill was the greater man. In fact, nowhere in this book did I find any indication of Roosevelt's greatness. Meacham painted him as somewhat petty and not really a leader. I did not find this a very enlightening book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 19 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)