The Third Man
Churchill, Roosevelt, Mackenzie King, and the Untold Friendships that Won WWII
by Neville Thompson
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 16 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 23 Feb 2021
The relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt was among the most momentous - and mysterious - in history. The story of how these fiercely independent leaders worked together to defeat Hitler's Germany has been divined mainly from their cautious letters and the comments of staffers. Meanwhile, the detailed record of their fellow head of government, Canadian Prime Minister William L. Mackenzie King, who knew each of them better than they knew each other, has been largely overlooked.
A sublime diplomat, King was determined, as leader of the largest British Dominion and America’s closest neighbor, to serve as a lynchpin between the great powers. Churchill and Roosevelt both came to rely upon him as their next most important ally, routinely confiding in him and never suspecting that he was meticulously recording every word, prayer, slight, and tic from their countless interactions in his voluminous unpublished diary.
The Third Man casts an intimate new light on the most important figures of the twentieth century and their historic partnership.
A Note From the Publisher
“When Canada Mattered could have been the title of this superb book. With a novelist’s brilliant understanding of character and a scholar’s careful attention to detail, Neville Thompson explains how the often mocked Mackenzie King played an indispensable part in creating the bonds between Churchill and Roosevelt that defeated democracy’s greatest foe. The book is a tonic for our troubled times.” —John English, author of Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau
“Neville Thompson has a surprise for all those whose devout conviction is that there can be nothing new to say about Roosevelt, Churchill and Mackenzie King. In these pages readers in Canada, the United States, Great Britain and around the world will see FDR, WC and old Mackenzie King in a light never seen before—a light shined brightly on these war leaders in a book that is itself a welcome new bright spot in the vast literature of World War II.” —David Shribman, Pulitzer Prize winner and syndicated newspaper columnist
"Hats off to Neville Thompson’s The Third Man for shedding new light on the relations between Churchill and Roosevelt and on the key role played by Mackenzie King and Canada in the Second World War. The result is an engrossing, highly readable story which really does make us think again about the past. – Margaret Macmillan, Emeritus Professor of International History, University of Oxford and author of Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 8 members
It’s just a diary, right, how involved could it be? We are not talking about a few sentences each evening for a few years, no it’s 30,000 typed pages that begin in 1893 and stops just three days before he dies in 1950. He was Prime Minister of Canada on and off for twenty two years. After reading this book and allowing for self-centeredness and perspective I do believe he was a very important man whose name should have been mentioned with Winston Churchill, President Theodore Roosevelt and World War II. I would not try to list all Canada did for both wars but their contribution in money, and time seemed impressive. The meetings, and friendship between the three leaders solidifies the impression of the Third Man. Since I cannot vouch for the contents, the sheer uniqueness give it an automatic 5 for me.