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A remarkably vivid account of a key moment in Western history: The critical six months in 1940 when Winston Churchill debated whether the British would fight Hitler.
London in April, 1940, was a place of great fear and conflict. Everyone was on edge; civilization itself seemed imperiled. The Germans are marching. They have taken Poland, France, Holland, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia. They now menace Britain. Should Britain negotiate with Germany? The members of the War Cabinet bicker, yell, lose their control, and are divided. Churchill, leading the faction to fight, and Lord Halifax, cautioning that prudence is the way to survive, attempt to usurp one another by any means possible. Their country is on the line. And, in Never Surrender, we feel we are alongside these complex and imperfect men, determining the fate of the British Empire.
Drawing on the War Cabinet papers, other government documents, private diaries, newspaper accounts, and memoirs, historian John Kelly tells the story of the summer of 1940—the months of the “Supreme Question” of whether or not the British were to surrender. Impressive in scope and attentive to detail, Kelly takes readers from the battlefield to Parliament, to the government ministries, to the British high command, to the desperate Anglo-French conference in Paris and London, to the American embassy in London, and to life with the ordinary Britons. He brings to life one of the most heroic moments of the twentieth century and intimately portrays some of its largest players—Churchill, Lord Halifax, FDR, Joe Kennedy, Hitler, Stalin, and others. Never Surrender is a fabulous, grand narrative of a crucial period in World War II history and the men and women who shaped it.