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5.0 out of 5 stars For the researcher or the enthusiast, 28 Nov 2002
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taking a rest - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Churchill War Papers: at the Admiralty: September 1939 to May 1940 1 (Hardcover)
Martin Gilbert, now Knighted as Sir Martin Gilbert, is one of the great historians of our time, and he has written the definitive biography of Sir Winston Spencer Churchill. He has been at work for 38 years, and the task is not yet complete. The biography itself was completed in 1988, the production of these companion volumes continues.

The biographic work itself is 8 volumes in length, and presently there are 15 additional companion volumes that contain every note and correspondence imaginable. These books get right down to the one-sentence telegrams of congratulation. To give you a sense of their scope and detail, this volume that covers 9 months runs to 1,370 pages with notes.

The books are fascinating for what they contain, and for the completeness they represent. All the information is here, these were not meant to be widely read, but to be documentary, so there is nothing missing. I also enjoy them as they give the reader a glimpse in to the world of the Biographer, a man who in this instance has spent nearly 40 years of his life on his subject.

These put the work of the Biographer in perspective. It may be more appropriate to say a Biographer of Mr. Gilbert's stature. It is often remarked that no biographical study has ever been so complete as his work of Churchill, and if you happen to have one of these books you will certainly see why. I enjoy reading them a bit at a time, as they bring you into Mr. Churchill's day, note-by-note, letter-by-letter, and they document an incomparable life.
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