Author Erik Larson on Churchill's Darkest Year
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.
Please Note: This program has a rescheduled date (originally March 16, 2020).
On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next 12 months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to unite his country and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end.
In his newest book, The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson (author of New York Times bestsellers The Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts), creates a vivid portrait of London and Churchill during the Blitz, detailing how the prime minister taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson offers a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill, his family, and his cadre of close advisors.
Join Larson in conversation with Robert Costa, national political reporter for the Washington Post, as he discusses his extensive research for the book and his insights into how, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country together.
A copy of The Splendid and the Vile (Crown) is included in the ticket price.