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I have read the first two books of the trilogy, "Mantle of Command" and "Commander in Chief". The last in the series is still to be published. Most WWII historical buffs have fallen into the Churchill trap "The history of the Second World War will be kind to me for I shall write it."
The first two books in this series by Nigel Hamilton, a British historian, have well portrayed the Churchill - FDR relationship from their first meeting in 1941 throughout the war. Mantle of Command covers 1941 and 1942 while this book, Commander in Chief, deals with 1943. Hamilton's research is from documents left behind by FDR and personal stories of eye-witnesses. Many of the stories take on a much different slant from descriptions in Churchill's work. From these two volumes the reader can see that from 1941 on FDR ran the war in spite of some of his own generals as well as Churchill. It is obvious the Churchillian role diminished in late 1942-43 although he did succeed in getting us involved in Italy which became a quagmire. The FDR-Churchill battle concerning the post-war role of the British Empire and its colonies is extremely interesting. It is sad FDR did not live to write a history as he drove the events from 1942 on. Hamilton, the author of the "Monty" Trilogy sensed this and has done a great job of presenting modern research to rewrite much of the FDR-Churchill relationship.
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If you could sum up Commander in Chief in three words, what would they be?
Hard to stop listening
What other book might you compare Commander in Chief to and why?
The Mantle of Command. "FDR at War 1941-42. This is the forerunner to Commander in Chief and should be read first.
Which scene was your favorite?
The issues surrounding Prime Minister Churchill were key and well developed throughout both of Hamilton's books. I lost a lot of respect for Churchill whose 6 volume History of WWII is supposedly the definitive history of WWII. Although I haven't read Churchill's books, Hamilton's books are based on factual evidence documented throughout, whereas apparently Churchill's volumes were not. However, Churchill was very loyal to FDR which was important to a unified Allied effort.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
FDR and Churchill At War
Any additional comments?
Excellent books anyone interested in history will not want to miss.