I had an interesting relationship with Lynne Olson’s book Citizens of London. Sometimes I was drawn into what she was writing. Sometimes I was so bored with it, I would count the number of pages I had left in the chapter.
Citizens of London is a historical book about the relationship between the United States and London during World War II. The bulk of the book takes place in London (as the title suggests) and it focuses especially on John “Gil” Winant (US Ambassador to London), Edward Murrow (CBS correspondent), FDR, and Winston Churchill.
Olson is a good writer. She elegantly weaves in quotes with her writings and manages to flow from one thing to another without abrupt shifts. When she was talking about subjects that interested me—like the living conditions of wartime London or the various affairs Churchill’s family members had with Americans – I was a fan of Citizens of London. However, at least half of the book was talking about meetings between various US and British governmental authorities, a subject that I found dry, and one her adept writing could not save.
I give the book a 3/5. Though it wasn’t one that I loved, Olson gave a thorough and well-written description of Americans in WWII London.
Watch Jon Stewart’s Interview with Lynne Olson
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