Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Irregulars

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Irregulars

Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington

by Jennet Conant

The Irregulars by Jennet Conant X
The Irregulars by Jennet Conant
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2009, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

This article relates to The Irregulars

Print Review

Britain & The USA in World War II
Very often a parent gives life to a rebellious child and the two of them engage in a lifelong love-hate relationship - until, for health or other reasons, that parent needs help. At that point the prodigal child often returns to step in at the parent's hour of need; though not always without a little coaxing. Such was the case with Britain and the United States at the outset of World War II.

America had a large population of Anglophobes and isolationists due a rocky history between the two nations that began with the Boston Tea Party. However, when Europe, including Britain, was faced with almost certain annihilation at the hands of Hitler's troops, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill turned to the biggest kid on the block for support. And although American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wasn't a confirmed isolationist, he was not altogether keen on involving his country in another all out world war either (World War I having ended barely 20 years before). So Churchill pulled out all the stops, adding his own personal touch to the behind-the-scenes work of Stephenson's gang at the British Security Coordination.

Even though he had been singularly unimpressed with Roosevelt when the pair met some 20 years earlier, Churchill was more than willing to put all differences aside when it became clear to him that Britain's – indeed all of Europe's – future was at stake. Britain desperately needed American military intervention. So he buried his pride. From almost pleading with Roosevelt to enter the war in the beginning to allowing the US President to tease him in public, Churchill showed that personal sacrifice is not too much to ask of a statesman if it will benefit his country.

To their credit the pair never allowed pettiness to supersede their shared political goals, sometimes drawing on common personal ground – both had children in military service, both enjoyed good food and the cocktail hour – to strengthen an at-times fragile but internationally vital friendship.

Related Link: From materials such as personal correspondence and interviews with surviving former staff and family members, John Meacham's Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship paints a personal picture of the complicated relationship between these two powerful statesmen during the watershed years of The Great War.

Article by Donna Chavez

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Irregulars. It originally ran in September 2008 and has been updated for the September 2009 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: An American Summer
    An American Summer
    by Alex Kotlowitz
    As a Chicagoan, I've become used to the most common reactions when I'm traveling and tell someone ...
  • Book Jacket: The Sun Is a Compass
    The Sun Is a Compass
    by Caroline Van Hemert
    Caroline Van Hemert fell in love with her future husband, Pat, in 2001, discovering they shared a ...
  • Book Jacket: Women Talking
    Women Talking
    by Miriam Toews
    Miriam Toews' Women Talking is a circadian novel, unfolding over a span of just a few hours and ...
  • Book Jacket: Confessions of an Innocent Man
    Confessions of an Innocent Man
    by David R. Dow
    It is circumstance that carries the wave that sweeps trendy Houston restaurateur Rafael Zhettah to ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    When We Left Cuba
    by Chanel Cleeton

    An exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    D-Day Girls
    by Sarah Rose

    The dramatic story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain's elite spy agency to help pave the way for Allied victory.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones

A masterpiece of storytelling, and a 2018 Oprah's Book Club Selection.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win Women Rowing North

The instant New York Times bestseller

A guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A B Penny A T U

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.