A Unique Chronicle of World War II

Churchill, Roosevelt & Company: Studies in Character and Statecraft
By Lewis E. Lehrman
(Stackpole Books, 459 pages, $29. 95)

When the world goes to war things fall apart. I do not know how often such a point is made in discussing World War I and World War II, but the thought has occurred to me repeatedly. When armies began to roll in Europe things steadily changed on the home front. Increasingly the military took government positions once held by civilians. Increasingly women took positions held by men. The men went out to fight. I have often wondered what Winston Churchill’s deepest thoughts were as World War II wound down. I know his critics thought he loved war and the stature it gave him on the world stage, but, though he certainly loved the limelight, my guess is that he greeted the war’s end with deep-seated sadness. It was all such a waste. If only the upper classes had followed him in the 1930s and resisted the Nazis. Now the civilization that he relished lay in ruins. The age of empire was over.

Lew Lehrman, an author who frequently appears in our…

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