John Keegan's fascination with Churchill goes back to when he was at school in WWII. Viewing him as war hero and then again in the early 1950s as Prime Minister, it is only in later years and wearing his historian's hat that Keegan has been able to consider the life and role of Winston Churchill as a historian. Was Churchill as a great a wartime leader as he has hitherto been made out? Keegan discusses the view of the soldiers such as Alanbrooke, his wartime Chief of Staff, who thought Churchill better as a pragmatist than as a strategist, witness Gallipoli in WWI and myriad near-misses in WWII. He also considers Churchill the politician who surprisingly got it wrong so often, not least in the 1945 election. Keegan also writes vividly about Churchill's upbringing, his distant relationship with his syphilitic father, Lord Randolph Churchill and skittish American mother, Jenny Jerome. He identifies the ambitious streak in Churchill which emerged early on and led him into the army and the Boer War.