There are only a few works of art that manage to put one so completely in the swirl of true historical moment - this is one of them. In that sense, it is in bizarre counterpoint to say, the book and movie, Berlin Alexanderplatz (1930s Berlin among the "lumpen proletariat").
This work is fascinating - not only for the quite candid reflections of a very smart and likeable man at the top at a rare moment in history (and how vital decisions during World War II came to be made) but for its spectacular view of the high social and political scene. For example, the intimately interwoven backgrounds of SO many of the "great" (due to family or school) were, for this American, simply astounding! Truly it seems one web that tightly connects all the heralded figures in Britain, whether at university, on newspapers, in government, leading the military.
The book reflects day by day, the gossip, the rumors, the changing opinions, the reaction to the good and bad news, the snatched moments of joy, the ongoing ferment of a nation facing destruction, the frequent but irregular deaths of the loved, among the very bright and extraordinary.
You'll get wonderfully lost in these diaries (though it's wonderfully organized - with perhaps the greatest biographical sketches and footnotes I've ever seen in any book in my life).
Colville is a wonderful guide - over the pages you come to see his real virtues: his modesty, his honesty, his candor (to his diaries), his courage and his loyalty.
And of course one sees Churchill and dozens of others daily - intimately - in a time of crisis.
Come and jump into the midst of wartime Downing Street - you'll want to roll around in the vicariously felt dangers, the humor, the rumor mills among the halls of power - for days, for weeks.