Last Hope Island

Last Hope Island

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

eBook - 2017
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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 emigré 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
Published: Random House Publishing Group

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ajohn42458
Feb 11, 2020

Please is there any chance of this book becoming an e-book, or being printed in large print? Due to macular degeneration I am unable to read books unless they are large print. Most of my reading is done by utilizing Kindle, and I obtain e-books through the San Diego Public Library on the Cloud. Audio books I find a bit slow.

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janajensen
Dec 16, 2019

A very good book offering insights to interactions between the leaders of countries and resistance organizations trying to cope with the rising power that was Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. The author has performed a gigantic effort collecting so much information about these interactions, which are not so well known except among serious students of World War II. Moreover, the author has organized that information in a masterly way. It is a big book, almost 500 pages of narrative without including the extensive notes. Even so, the author kept my attention throughout. Her success in the presentation comes from its focus on the many people, both famous and not, involved in fighting the German aggression that caused so much death and suffering to millions of Europeans. There are many heroes described for us to admire. There are many foibles and stupidities and regrettable necessities revealed in the decisions of even the most distinguished of the many allied leaders. The reader will be inspired by many stories of those who risked everything to oppose the conquering evil, but also dismayed and saddened by decisions and actions of persons whose petty personalities or intellectual blindness to obvious facts caused additional, unnecessary suffering and death to so many. My only complaint about this fine work is the total lack of any maps to complement the narrative. Be prepared to seek out your own maps to properly follow the movement and locations of the people and events.

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xiaojunbpl12
Sep 09, 2019

War is atrocious, and this book makes WWII the most fascinating war event to me, repercussions long last and positivities forced out. More than a few occasions where I embraced the idea how humanity could benefit from an unfortunate warfare.
Numerous figures, facts, stories, spectacles, turmoils, twists... of which I’d heard little until now, complex, but never confusing.
Main structure is chronological, with jump forward and repeat echoing inserted opportunely to make it more interesting and better understood.

h
historyhawk
May 24, 2019

focuses on the govt's in exile in england in ww2 and how they helped the war effort from afar.

i
IV27HUjg
Sep 08, 2018

Personally I by far prefer Citizens of London. Great read & audio also.

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Steve_49
Mar 15, 2018

Outstanding, easy-to-read narrative of the involvement of of the European countries overrun by the Germans in WWII. I have been a great admirer of Winston Churchill. However, this books describes some of his actions which may have been less than honorable, but were probably necessary given the context of the extreme pressure he was under. The descriptions of the resistance and intelligence-gathering of the occupied nations are tremendous. We owe a lot to the many brave men and women who risked everything they had, including their families, to help defeat the Nazi tyranny. A truly inspirational book!

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SRZ37
Jan 14, 2018

A thrilling history, detailed yet very readable, of the combined Allied effort against Germany, based in Great Britain and extending to the occupied countries. Has stunning revelations into the dark side of many of our heroes -- including Americans. Especially sad was the West's abandonment of Poland and Czechoslovakia, two countries that had suffered most because they were caught between the Soviets and the Nazis, to the Russians at the end of the war, to endure even more suffering and privation. Really tragic. I'm going to read all of Lynne Olson's books.

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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.

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