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, author of Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
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he was meticulously recording every word, prayer, slight, and tic from their countless interactions in his voluminous unpublished diary.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 offers us a truly unique look at the personalities, the strategies, and the epic relationship that won WWII.