On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45, 000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold the country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally — and willing to fight to the end (Larson, cover). How Churchill and his trusted advisers, family, and friends were able to accomplish this herculean feat during the year from May, 1940 to May, 1941 is the story Erik Larson relates in his wonderful new book — The Splendid And The Vile (Crown Books, New York, 2020). The book presents a portrait of remarkable leadership in the face of almost overwhelming difficulties and is as readable as a novel. Join us as the story of how Churchill’s leadership became what was perhaps the primary reason for Great Britain’s survival during this turbulent year.