C. S. Lewis is universally recognized as one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century. A noted scholar, Lewis was able to reach a vast popular audience during his lifetime and continues to attract thousands of new readers every year. But how did Lewis first become a popular public figure? During the most desperate years of World War II, Lewis was asked by the British Broadcasting Corporation's recently created Home Service to give radio addresses on Christianity to a nation shaken by war. The choice was controversial. At first dismissed by critics as a layman who was unqualified to tackle such weighty issues, Lewis proved to be enormously persuasive. These radio talks were eventually published as Mere Christianity, which now ranks as one of the great classics of religious literature.
This rich chapter in Lewis's life, which deals with his love-hate relationship with the "new" medium of broadcasting, has received little attention from biographers and commentators. Yet it was Lewis's work on the radio that made him a household name. By combining narrative skill and adroitly quoting from correspondence, Phillips captures Lewis's reservations, vexations, achievements, and, finally, his enormous success.
C. S. Lewis in a Time of War is a fascinating look at how these talks were created and the enthusiastic response they generated at a time when bombing in London caused many radio stations to be evacuated. This book reveals a rich, previously untapped vein of Lewis's life and work that will intrigue his millions of fans.