Last Hope Island

Last Hope Island

Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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A groundbreaking account of how Britain became the base of operations for the exiled leaders of Europe in their desperate struggle to reclaim their continent from Hitler, from the New York Times bestselling author of Citizens of London and Those Angry Days

When the Nazi blitzkrieg rolled over continental Europe in the early days of World War II, the city of London became a refuge for the governments and armed forces of six occupied nations who escaped there to continue the fight. So, too, did General Charles de Gaulle, the self-appointed representative of free France.

As the only European democracy still holding out against Hitler, Britain became known to occupied countries as "Last Hope Island." Getting there, one young emigr#65533; declared, was "like getting to heaven."

In this epic, character-driven narrative, acclaimed historian Lynne Olson takes us back to those perilous days when the British and their European guests joined forces to combat the mightiest military force in history. Here we meet the courageous King Haakon of Norway, whose distinctive "H7" monogram became a symbol of his country's resistance to Nazi rule, and his fiery Dutch counterpart, Queen Wilhelmina, whose antifascist radio broadcasts rallied the spirits of her defeated people. Here, too, is the Earl of Suffolk, a swashbuckling British aristocrat whose rescue of two nuclear physicists from France helped make the Manhattan Project possible.

Last Hope Island also recounts some of the Europeans' heretofore unsung exploits that helped tilt the balance against the Axis: the crucial efforts of Polish pilots during the Battle of Britain; the vital role played by French and Polish code breakers in cracking the Germans' reputedly indecipherable Enigma code; and the flood of top-secret intelligence about German operations--gathered by spies throughout occupied Europe--that helped ensure the success of the 1944 Allied invasion.

A fascinating companion to Citizens of London, Olson's bestselling chronicle of the Anglo-American alliance, Last Hope Island recalls with vivid humanity that brief moment in time when the peoples of Europe stood together in their effort to roll back the tide of conquest and restore order to a broken continent.

Praise for Last Hope Island

"In Last Hope Island [Lynne Olson] argues an arresting new thesis: that the people of occupied Europe and the expatriate leaders did far more for their own liberation than historians and the public alike recognize. . . . The scale of the organization she describes is breathtaking." --The New York Times Book Review

" Last Hope Island is a book to be welcomed, both for the past it recovers and also, quite simply, for being such a pleasant tome to read." -- The Washington Post

"[A] pointed volume . . . [Olson] tells a great story and has a fine eye for character." -- The Boston Globe
Publisher: New York, NY : Random House, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780812997354
Branch Call Number: 940.5341 Ols
Characteristics: xviii, 553 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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DenisDesautels
Aug 26, 2017

One of the best "behind the scene" book I have read. Highly recommend.

m
maipenrai
Aug 21, 2017

Even though I have read extensively about WWII, especially the European Theater, I was pleasantly surprised to discover many stories and events about which I had no previous knowledge. I had never read about the governments in exile to the extent with which they are detailed in this marvelous book. The bibliography has generated numerous additions to my list to be read. I found this a unique aspect of WWII for me and perhaps for many. MI6 and undercover efforts are not depicted as the total success that is often highlighted. I learned of many important individuals who are often simply footnotes in WWII history. This is a great book in itself and because it generates the desire to know more about the events and people it describes. Highly recommend!!! Kristi & Abby Tabby

I love reading about world war two, and this book is one of the best out there period. It tells the story like no other author ever did.

e
Editor97
May 20, 2017

Excellent book. Well-written and organized. Should be required reading for all history majors. The British perspective gives Americans a new view of FDR.

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