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The relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt was among the most momentous - and mysterious - in history. The story of how these fiercely independent leaders worked together to defeat Hitler's Germany has been divined mainly from their cautious letters and the comments of staffers. Meanwhile, the detailed record of their fellow head of government, Canadian Prime Minister William L. Mackenzie King, who knew each of them better than they knew each other, has been largely overlooked.
A sublime diplomat, King was determined, as leader of the largest British Dominion and America’s closest neighbor, to serve as a lynchpin between the great powers. Churchill and Roosevelt both came to rely upon him as their next most important ally, routinely confiding in him and never suspecting that he was meticulously recording every word, prayer, slight, and tic from their countless interactions in his voluminous unpublished diary.
The Third Man casts an intimate new light on the most important figures of the twentieth century and their historic partnership.
A Note From the Publisher
“When Canada Mattered could have been the title of this superb book. With a novelist’s brilliant understanding of character and a scholar’s careful attention to detail, Neville Thompson explains how the often mocked Mackenzie King played an indispensable part in creating the bonds between Churchill and Roosevelt that defeated democracy’s greatest foe. The book is a tonic for our troubled times.” —John English, author of Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau
“Neville Thompson has a surprise for all those whose devout conviction is that there can be nothing new to say about Roosevelt, Churchill and Mackenzie King. In these pages readers in Canada, the United States, Great Britain and around the world will see FDR, WC and old Mackenzie King in a light never seen before—a light shined brightly on these war leaders in a book that is itself a welcome new bright spot in the vast literature of World War II.” —David Shribman, Pulitzer Prize winner and syndicated newspaper columnist
"Hats off to Neville Thompson’s The Third Man for shedding new light on the relations between Churchill and Roosevelt and on the key role played by Mackenzie King and Canada in the Second World War. The result is an engrossing, highly readable story which really does make us think again about the past. – Margaret Macmillan, Emeritus Professor of International History, University of Oxford and author of Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
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