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Troublesome Young Men: the Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power in 1940 and Helped to Save Britain Hardcover – 2 Apr 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; First Edition edition (2 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747581916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747581918
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 24.1 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 590,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A 'gripping new political history of the countdown to 1939...recounted with such journalistic flair that it constantly feels fresh.' -- Tristram Hunt, The Guardian

About the Author

Lynne Olson is the author of two books with her husband Stanley Cloud, The Murrow Boys and A Question of Honour. They live in Washington, D. C.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

With those words to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on 7 May 1940 (quoting a speech of Oliver Cromwell to Parliament in 1653), Conservative MP Leo Amery stunned Parliament and galvanised Parliamentary opposition to Chamberlain. Three days later Neville Chamberlain resigned and Winston Churchill took office. Amery's challenge marks the emotional climax of Lynne Olson's "Troublesome Young Men". "Troublesome Young Men" tells the story of the small group of Conservative MPs who opposed Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement toward Hitler's Germany from the mid-1930s until Churchill's accession to power.

Olson's book is a valuable piece of work for a number of reasons. During the premiereship of Neville Chamberlain it is often overlooked tht was not Winston Churchill who stood out as the primary threat to Chamberlain's appeasement policies and grip on power but the young MPS who are the subject of Olson's book. Those MPs included future Prime Ministers Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan and others including Robert Boothby, Ronald Cartland, Bobbety Cranborne (the future Lord Salisbury) and Violet Bonham Carter. Amery was certainly not young, he was a schoolmate of Churchill's at Harrow, but was just as `troublesome'. Olson does a good job of taking this cast of characters and providing the reader with information as to who they were and why they took a political stand in the face of fierce opposition from a fierce and vindictive Conservative Party leadership.

Olson also does a good job of portraying Chamberlain in a light that, while being far from sympathetic, paints a more substantive picture than the usual superficial clichés about his character and premiership that one often finds.
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By Cathy T on 23 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I confess that I am not an expert on the period in question, and no doubt someone who knows more could find many flaws in this book. However, it is a highly readable account of the role played by some lesser-known figures in seeking to warn of the rising menace posed by Hitler. Some of the characters portrayed were still alive when I was young, such as Macmillan and Boothby, but I had little interest then in their earlier history. Now I find it fascinating.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jens Guld on 24 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We have wars between nations, class wars, the war between man and woman and the war between the generations.
Normally all these happen in parallel without interfering very much with one another but from the Russian revolution and till a year or two into World War II power politics and and class war got in one anothers way. If you were a class warrior you had to backpedal power politics and vice versa.
For a power politician it was obvious that the old English, French, Russian entente should be resurrected, but for the Western European ruling classes it was not obvious at all. The Russian revolution had really given them a freight. Hitler and Mussolini were nothing new. Such people were the political representatives of the lower middle classes and would happily ally themselves with the upper classes against workers, social democrats and communists. What was new, was that Hitler and Mussolini could not be removed from power after they had done the dirty work, because they had learned from Lenin and Trotsky how power is retained. This was a nasty surprise, still the Fascists kept the lower classes in line and Germany could be encouraged to plough the Soviet Union under. However that would mean that Germany would control half of Russia and that caused a certain amount of cold feet in the West and the feet got colder when Stalin did the only sensible thing he could under the circumstances and cut a deal with Hitler about Poland in which Stalin got the Eastern (Russian speaking) part. However, though this led to England declaring war, it took quite some time before England began taking the war seriously.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Re Abrams on 14 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This has to be one of the best books i've ever read. what a story and there where so many facts that I didn't know about until I read the book.

It also gave me an interest in Ronnie Cartland who having read more about him I now believe that he would of been a potential PM

FANTASTIC and have recommended this book to loads of folk
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By irene reveco on 13 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
Bought as a present
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