David Reynolds

David Reynolds’s From Munich to Pearl Harbor: Roosevelt’s America and the Origins of the Second World War came out in 2001. He is a fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the longest-serving president in American history – 12 years and a month. He won four elections and forged a Democratic majority that lasted into the 1960s. When he took office in March 1933 the US banking system had collapsed and a quarter of the workforce was unemployed. When he died in April 1945 Americans were enjoying unprecedented prosperity and...

Enjoying every moment: Ole Man Churchill

David Reynolds, 7 August 2003

In August 1940, Winston Churchill likened the relationship between Britain and America to the Mississippi: ‘It just keeps rolling along,’ he told the Commons, ‘full flood, inexorable, irresistible, benignant.’ In the car afterwards he sang ‘Ole Man River’ (out of tune) on the way back to Number Ten.

Sixty years later, one might say the same about Ole Man...

Too Proud to Fight: The ‘Lusitania’ Effect

David Reynolds, 28 November 2002

The Old Head of Kinsale juts out into the Atlantic from the southern coast of Ireland. For centuries sea captains have used it as a landmark. On 7 May 1915 a local family named Henderson, picnicking on the promontory in bright sunshine, were admiring a huge passenger liner with four raked-back funnels steaming eastward close to shore. Suddenly a vast plume of water and smoke towered above her...

Zest: The Real Mrs Miniver

David Reynolds, 25 April 2002

‘Perhaps it is too soon to call this one of the greatest motion pictures of all time,’ the New York Times said in June 1942, ‘but it is certainly the finest yet made about the present war, and a most exalting tribute to the British.’ The film was Mrs Miniver, whose heroine had come from a 1939 bestseller by the British writer Jan Struther. MGM’s 1942 movie had...

Big Man to Uncle Joe: The Big Three

Max Hastings, 22 November 2018

Winston Churchill​ was the dominant personality on the allied side in the Second World War: not the leader of the most important belligerent, nor even the most influential warlord in the Grand...

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