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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a 30 year literary ride, 10 Dec. 2002
taking a rest - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Search of Churchill (Paperback)
Biographers spend years and in this case decades, to bring their work, their subject to us. The manner their books came about is generally shared in their acknowledgement, or a section thanking those people and institutions that were instrumental in helping create the work. Sir Martin Gilbert is one of the great Historians of our time, and his main work as a historian is certainly a man that is truly unique, a historic original, a man whose peers can be counted on one hand.

"In Search Of Churchill" allows the reader to get about as close as he can to the writing of a biography without actually being one of Sir Martin's assistants. His work documenting Churchill is about to cross into its fifth decade. Sir Martin began as an assistant to Sir Winston Spencer Churchill's Son Randolph in 1962. In 1968 he took the task on alone, and has carried it forth, and continues to do so to this day.

Alone of course is the wrong word, while he certainly has written thousands of pages of what many consider the greatest biographical work ever done, hundreds of others living, and others through the papers they left behind, have helped Mr. Gilbert on this lifetime task. Churchill has not been the only subject of this great biographer which is yet another testimony to this historian.

Churchill is a constant, he is quoted almost daily, his speeches are legendary, as are his quips, which were at times poked in fun, and at others ended the careers of their target. Mr. Gilbert works toward answering questions that may not have a definitive answer, but if there is an individual to put forth valid opinion, none are more qualified than he. Why is Churchill a figure of history that has not been relegated to the past's vague memory, why does he routinely appear on magazine covers in this Country and others on a yearly basis? What was it about this man that has spawned an International Churchill Society who counts thousands on Continents around the world as paying members? Why are their new books on this man written on a regular basis, and how many authors have their books in print a century after they were written. Great Author's works line the shelves, but writing was an avocation for this man in addition to his other talents.

Mr. Gilbert brings you along to "meet" people who worked with Mr. Churchill. As his life spanned from the 1870's to the 1960's those who knew him are legion. He was Prime Minister twice, held nearly every major Government position, won the Nobel Prize, painted, and held the fort for the Western Democracies until help finally came. If such a man had not lived so large and so long he would almost be more believable as legend and or myth rather than the Statesman, warrior, orator, and one of England's greatest citizens that he continues to be, in some cases in memory only. He did have a head start, as his Mother was American, and perhaps that makes us in the USA feel we can claim him as partly ours.

The embassy in Washington D.C. has a statue of Churchill; in mid-stride he has one foot on American soil and one on the territory of the English Embassy. In life his influence, his determination, and sense of destiny spanned the Globe. Even in death he spans the 2 Countries he loved the most.

His like will never be seen again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest single book on Churchill ever written, 14 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: In Search of Churchill (Paperback)
This book is not just a story about how Martin Gilbert came to write his massive Churchill Biography, but a mini Biography of Churchill himself. It is full of tremendous anecdotes about this tremendous human being from the highest general to the lowly civilian, which will make you laugh, cry, and above all, once you have finshed reading this, will fill you with admiration for Churchill. He comes across as a man who was loved nad hated at the same time but in the end admired by all, for some aspect of his life. His failings are pointed out as well as his successes which is how it should be, as he should be remembered as an ordinary human like the rest of us, but who had a wonderfully interesting and contraversial career and made a decisive contribution to history. On the whole an absolutely wonderful read!!!
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In Search of Churchill
In Search of Churchill by Martin Gilbert (Paperback - 9 May 1995)
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