Books: Eavesdropping on History


It is fun to be in the same decade with I you," Franklin Roosevelt cabled his friend Winston Churchill. Fun hardly seemed the right word at the time: the two leaders were sharing some of the darkest moments in history. It was January of 1942. The Japanese, after their attack on Pearl Harbor, were invading the Philippines and advancing southward through British Malaya; the Germans ruled most of Europe. But Jan. 30 was also Roosevelt's 60th birthday, and Churchill remembered to wish him many happy returns, "and may your next birthday see us a long...

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