Churchill and the King
The Wartime Alliance of Winston Churchill and George VI
By Kenneth Weisbrode
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670025763, 224pp.)
Publication Date: October 31, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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For fans of The King's Speech, the intriguing bond between monarch and prime minister and its crucial role during World War II
The political and personal relationship between King George VI and Winston Churchill during World War II is one that has been largely overlooked throughout history, yet the trust and loyalty these men shared helped Britain navigate its perhaps most trying time.
Despite their vast differences, the two men met weekly and found that their divergent virtues made them a powerful duo. The king’s shy nature was offset by Churchill’s willingness to cast himself as the nation’s savior. Meanwhile, Churchill’s complicated political past was given credibility by the king’s embrace and counsel. Together as foils, confidants, conspirators, and comrades, the duo guided Britain through war while reinspiring hope in the monarchy, Parliament, and the nation itself.
Books about these men as individuals could fill a library, but Kenneth Weisbrode’s study of the unique bond between them is the first of its kind.
Kenneth Weisbrode is a writer and historian living in Turkey. His previous book is The Atlantic Century: Four Generations of Extraordinary Diplomats who Forged America's Vital Alliance with Europe.
“Churchill and the King is a slim volume . . . yet it merits a place on Churchillians’ bookshelves . . . Weisbrode chooses to sketch . . . a credible account of the relationship between these two men who led Britain in World War II.”
—Paul Reid, The American Spectator
“Wonderfully readable . . . This is popular history at its best . . . Weisbrode does a very good job of illuminating the bonds that drew two men with such different personalities together.”
—The Daily Beast
“An organic comparison of two highly flawed and deeply sympathetic characters at the helm of England at her most perilous hour. . . .Weisbrode makes a very compelling case that each man was ‘working against his own faults, on behalf of the other.’ An inspired, engaging comparative portrait.”
“Historian Weisbrode shares the story of how two of the most important figures in 20th-century Britain, Churchill and King George VI, worked tirelessly to maintain British interests throughout WWII. . . The friendship that grew between these two historical figures makes for an uplifting story.”
“Churchill and the King is a thoughtful, deeply insightful account of two unconventional friends -- the shy, stammering George VI and the flamboyant Winston Churchill -- who, after triumphing over their own personal adversities, join forces to rally their countrymen and inspire the world in the dark days of World War II. "
—Lynne Olson , author of Citizens of London, Troublesome Young Men, and Those Angry Days
“Weisbrode’s excellent book on Churchill’s relationship with King George VI is very well done and will take an honoured place on my Churchill shelf.”
—Paul Johnson, author of Modern Times and Churchill
“One of the last unexplored relationships of World War Two is that between Winston Churchill and the only person who could have sacked him during that conflict, King George VI. They had very different personalities and views on politics, but their country needed them to work in perfect tandem. As Kenneth Weisbrode writes, ‘Somehow they made it work,’ and in this well-researched and well-written book, he shows how what began as a professional necessity turned into a genuine friendship, and eventually one of the best working relationships of either man’s life.”
—Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War and Masters and Commanders
“The shy, stammering King and the loquacious, domineering Prime Minister were an odd couple--but they gave each other courage and confidence when England stood alone. Ken Weisbrode has written an elegant and perceptive study of friendship in power.”
—Evan Thomas, author of Ike's Bluff and Sea of Thunder