Tom's Reviews > Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

Franklin and Winston by Jon Meacham
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's review
Feb 10, 09

Read in February, 2009

I found I enjoyed Jon Meacham's Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship more than I did his American Lion: A Biography of President Andrew Jackson, though this may be due to either a better abridgment or my own sentiments on the subjects of this book, as I have more of a personal fondness for Churchill and FDR than I do Old Hickory.

That said, this book is not without flaws. While the audio reading covers all of their experiences and their friendship during the World War II period, Churchill seems to get more attention than FDR. This may be owing simply to Churchill having a more vibrant personality and FDR's own emotional guardedness, but it is noteworthy. Fortunately, I found Churchill's own personality more intriguing so this was no great fault for me. What seemed to come out though was Meacham describing Churchill has an eternal suitor to FDR, such that Stalin sounds almost like "the other woman" when he enters the scene for the Big Three summits.

Special note should be given to reader Len Cariou. I much preferred his reading here than I did on Joseph E. Persico's Franklin and Lucy: President Roosevelt Mrs. Rutherford and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life. In that reading, Cariou's timing seemed weird, with odd pauses mid-sentence. Here this was absent, but his assuming of other accents and voices for all direct quotations was still there, and so long as he wasn't attempting a cartoony accent as with Stalin, Hitler, or DeGaulle, or the high falsetto of an Eleanore or Clementine Churchill, it added an extra an extra treat to allow the reader to know what personage was speaking without always needing to be identified by the reader.
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