Churchill and the Blitz: “The Splendid and the Vile”

Listen 48:59
Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill, right, accompanied by officials, inspects the damage caused by German bombs in London's East End, Sept. 9, 1940, during the Blitz.  (AP Photo/British Official Photo)

Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill, right, accompanied by officials, inspects the damage caused by German bombs in London's East End, Sept. 9, 1940, during the Blitz. (AP Photo/British Official Photo)

Guest: Erik Larson

Winston Churchill faced his most challenging test in his first year as Prime Minister when Hitler began the Blitz bombing campaign against England. The nine months of nighttime raids killed 44,000 people, injured over hundred thousand and devastated London. Author ERIK LARSON examines this trying year starting in May of 1940 and how Churchill lead the country through it in his new book The Splendid and the Vile. Larson is the author of many popular nonfiction books including Devil in the White City about a serial killer in Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair, and Dead Wake, about the sinking of the Lusitania. He joins us to talk about Churchill’s leadership of both the military forces and the British people, his family life, and his efforts to persuade FDR to enter the war. We’ll also talk to him about what lessons the “British Bulldog” could teach today’s leaders facing the COVID-19 crisis and an economic recession, and why the Black Lives Matter movement is calling out Churchill.

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