‘The Splendid and the Vile’ Recounts Churchill’s First Year as Prime Minister

Erik Larson loved his first book, The Naked Consumer, in which he described how companies spy on individual consumers. But, according to Larson, no one else loved the book. Undeterred, he continued to write and is now the author of five nonfiction bestsellers.

Larson will be in Knoxville to talk about his latest book, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, on Tuesday, February 25, at 7 p.m. at the Bijou Theatre. The event is sponsored by Friends of the Knox County Public Library, Union Ave Books, the Knox County Public Library, and the East Tennessee Historical Society.

Tickets for the event are $38 each and can be purchased online at knoxbijou.org or at the Tennessee Theatre Box Office located on Clinch Avenue. Each ticket holder will receive a copy of The Splendid and the Vile, and the author will be available to sign copies after he speaks.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Larson takes readers to “a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.” The story he tells is one of political brinksmanship as well as a portrait of the lives of Churchill and his family during a critical year in history.

Larson, who is an engaging speaker, last visited Knoxville in 2016 when the paperback edition of his book Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania was released.

Advance Praise for The Splendid and the Vile

“What Larson brilliantly provides are the finer details of the effects on England as he focuses on the family and home of its dynamic, idiosyncratic, and indefatigable leader…. Larson’s skill at integrating vast research and talent for capturing compelling human dramas culminate in an inspirational portrait of one of history’s finest, most fearless leaders.” — Booklist (starred review)

“If you’re a World War II/Winston Churchill buff — or maybe if ‘The Crown’ turned you into one — this book should be just up your alley…. I have an early copy of this book on my desk and idly began reading the first pages — and suddenly time disappeared.” — The Seattle Times, 5 of the most highly anticipated books in 2020

Located in the heart of downtown Knoxville in The Daylight Building, just two blocks from Market Square, Union Ave Books is a locally owned independent bookstore. For more information about the store, please visit unionavebooks.com.

Friends of the Knox County Public Library is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster a love of libraries, books, and reading in the Knox County area. The organization raises funds to sponsor community outreach programs, represent the interests of Knox County library patrons, and support a variety of services offered by the local library system that would otherwise not be available due to budget or staff restrictions.
For more information about Friends, please visit knoxfriends.org.