On the Radar

Sonia Purnell April 1 7PM

Sonia Purnelll 040120

CLEMENTINE: THE LIFE OF MRS. WINSTON CHURCHILL 

A long over-due tribute to the extraordinary woman who was Winston Churchill’s closest confident, fiercest critic and shrewdest advisor that captures the intimate dynamic of one of history’s most fateful marriages, as seen on The Crown and Darkest Hour—“Engrossing…the first formal biography of a woman who has heretofore been relegated to the sidelines.” –The New York Times 

Late in life, Winston Churchill claimed that victory in the Second World War would have been “impossible” without the woman who stood by his side for fi>y-seven turbulent years. Why, then, do we know so little about her? In this landmark biography, a finalist for the Plutarch prize, Sonia Purnell finally gives Clementine Churchill her due. Born into impecunious aristocracy, the young ClemenHne Hozier was the target of cruel snobbery. Many wondered why Winston married her, when the prime minister’s daughter was desperate for his attention. Yet their marriage proved to be an excepHonal partnership. "You know,"Winston confided to FDR, "I tell Clemmie everything." Through the ups and downs of his tumultuous career, in the tense days when he stood against Chamberlain and the many months when he helped inspire his fellow countrymen and women to keep strong and carry on, ClemenHne made her husband’s career her mission, at the expense of her family, her health and, fatefully, of her children. Any real consideraHon of Winston Churchill is incomplete without an understanding of their relaHonship. Clementine is both the first real biography of this remarkable woman and a fascinaHng look inside their private world. 

"Sonia Purnell has at long last given Clementine Churchill the biography she deserves. SensiKve yet clear-eyed, Clementine tells the fascinatng story of a complex woman struggling to maintain her own idenKty while serving as the conscience and principal adviser to one of the most important figures in history. I was enthralled all the way through." -Lynn Olson, best selling author of Citizens of London and 2008 speaker to our chapter 


A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE AMERICAN SPY WHO HELPED WIN WORLD WAR II 

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by NPR, the New York Public Library, the Seattle Times, the Washington Independent Review of Books, BookBrowse, the Spectator, and the Times of London 

“Excellent…This book is as rivetng as any thriller, and as hard to put down.” -- The New York Times Book Review "A compelling biography of a masterful spy, and a reminder of what can be done with a few brave people -- and a little resistance.

 - NPR A never-before-told story of Virginia Hall, the American spy who changed the course of World War II, from the author of Clementine. 

In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her." The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a BalHmore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organizaHon dubbed Winston Churchill's "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare." She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and--despite her prosthetic leg--helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it. Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused orders to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberaHng swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day. Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall--an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war. 



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