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Born just two weeks apart in 1874, Winston Churchill and William Lyon Mackenzie King took different paths to achieve their objective of a parliamentary career, Churchill through military exploits and King via academic excellence. When he became prime minister, King realized that Canada had to progress from a subservient position to an independent one. Thus, when the Second World War broke out, Canada's parliament made its own decision to be a participant.

King had been highly critical of Churchill's vehement anti-Nazi stance in the 1930s. However, when Churchill became prime minister, King and Canada gave him whole-hearted support. King changed his opinion of Churchill, and this developed into almost hero worship as the war progressed.

Not just a chronicle of the relationship between these two men during the 50 years they knew each other, this book also examines their influence on the progress of their countries during that period.

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Winston Churchill and Mackenzie King
Average rating
5 / 5
Churchill's Enduring Canadian Partner
July 14th, 2015
Before reading this book, I had read a higher-profile book by British author Max Hastings, called "Finest Years." The reader might be forgiven for concluding that Britain's Commonwealth allies were little more than accessories to the fact during the war. Yes, America's role made the Allied cause go from 'couldn't win' to 'inevitable victory.' If you've studied the war from a Canadian perspective, you know an important piece is missing. Terry Reardon shows how, for 50 years, the lives and careers of Winston Churchill and William Lyon Mackenzie King progressed together, and methodically builds a recounting of a personal and political relationship. This is a book that assumes you know the ebb and flow of World War Two, and then shows you what you never knew, never thought of asking, and spins a fascinating, page-turning, and very readable yarn about Britain's premier PM, and Canada's wiliest, ablest and most successful Prime Minister. Reardon tells you what the massive Churchill book industry missed, and provides a balanced look back at the life, the feelings, the political skills, and what it was like to have Mackenzie King as a friend. The bulk of the book deals with the war years, though the book's chapters on the 1920s and 1930s breathe overdue life into some of Canada's more important political events. Reardon brings out the humanity and personality of both Churchill and King. This book paints colour on the black-and-white blueprint of the first half of the 20th century.
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