The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, by Erik Larson
Erik Larson is known for some really interesting non-fiction books. He has covered Nazis, serial killers, hurricanes, sinking ships and gun control. I have read several and have enjoyed each one.
The Splendid and the Vile is a deep dive into Winston Churchill and his leadership during the Blitz, the period of German bombing of London during 1940 and 1941 in World War II. Larson covers aspects of Churchill’s leadership and those advisors he kept close to him, as well as his family life during that time.
Larson draws on first person sources by those who worked with Churchill, as well as his friends and family. London also had a number of citizen diarists who recorded their thoughts and feelings during the Blitz, and those records provided wonderful context into this book.
This book was interesting, and I enjoyed learning more about a pivotal historical figure. Churchill was a fascinating character for sure, and Larson does a good job of interjecting personal details about the man.
All that said, this book isn’t as riveting as his serial killer or disaster books, but one can’t have everything…