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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine work worthy of a fine man.
Perhaps it takes a politician of Roy Jenkins' stature to write a work worthy of a man who was once described as "The greatest living Englishman." Whilst not an uncommon surname, the very word "Churchill" conjures up an image of one man and one man only. That man was Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill - soldier, journalist, painter, Nobel laureate, politician and leader of...
Published on 21 April 2009 by Ned Middleton

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56 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read with a good dictionary and a history book to hand...
How Churchill make so many costly mistakes and still be the greatest English politician of the 20th century? This book goes a long way to answer this whilst being generally a good read. RJ unveils the story with judgement and balance and obviously has a good mastery of the source material. However, there are niggles related to unecessary use of obscure vocabulary and...
Published on 26 Jan 2002


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine work worthy of a fine man., 21 April 2009
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Churchill: A Biography (Paperback)
Perhaps it takes a politician of Roy Jenkins' stature to write a work worthy of a man who was once described as "The greatest living Englishman." Whilst not an uncommon surname, the very word "Churchill" conjures up an image of one man and one man only. That man was Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill - soldier, journalist, painter, Nobel laureate, politician and leader of nations. I am not given to defacing books but I well remember being 15 years old when this great man died and going to the school library to read a short biography of his life. Directly after his name were brackets inside which was printed the year of his birth followed by a dash and a blank space reserved for the year of death. Having read the item, I carefully wrote "1965" into that blank space and closed the book.

For those who may not be unaware, Roy Jenkins was a leading British politician who, in post-war years was a fellow Member of Parliament alongside Churchill - although of a different political persuasion. In his preface, Jenkins describes having met Churchill as a boy and observing him at work in later years - although he is very careful to admit he did not know the man. With an honest and intuitive comment, he also declares his belief that a biography does not necessarily demand or even profit from such personal knowledge and that such familiarity can "distort as much as it illuminates."

Any biography should be a dispassionate account of whoever is under the microscope and should include those good, bad and even ugly aspects which combine to comprise the very qualities which made that subject exactly who and what they were. As biographies go, this is a first-class work. As a life story on Churchill, this will very probably stand the test of time to become recognised as the best ever. It really is all here; From an opening Chapter entitled; "The Brash Young Man (1874-1908)," through two world wars (Churchill was one of only two people holding ministerial office at the outbreak of both WW1 and WW2 (he was First Lord of the Admiralty on both occasions although he did hold other posts in between) and, of course the post-war years right up to 1965. In a word, this book is complete.

I always begin reading such factual works by studying the illustrations in order to get a feel for the product. In this instance, I spent almost 30 minutes just reading the captions and comparing them to the relevant image. There are 84 historic photographs arranged together in 2 areas and another selection of 12 pictures which are works of art reproduced in colour. Whilst some of these are portraits of Churchill, others reveal his own skills with a paintbrush.

This is a comprehensive work on one of the greatest statesmen of all time. Consequently, I would suggest would-be students of Churchill ensure this work is elevated to the top of their list as far as their own studies are concerned.

NM
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Most Important Man in the World, 27 Jun 2013
By 
John M. Ford "johnDC" (near DC, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Churchill: A Biography (Paperback)
Roy Jenkins gives us an exhaustively-researched biography of Winston Churchill. It is a complete treatment which deals with Churchill's early years, family life, writing projects, and political machinations as well as his high-profile WWII and post-war leadership. Reading it (or listening to the audio book) is a significant time commitment.

I won't try to summarize Churchill's life briefly, accepting the author's implied judgment that this is not possible. Instead, I will share two impressions of him that came from reading this book. The first is that Winston is, with all due respect, a bit of a pompous ass. He was certainly courageous, brilliant, resilient, charming, and loyal. But he also insisted on his comforts, indulged in petty jealousies, exaggerated his accomplishments, and loved the sound of his own thundering voice. These qualities are manifest throughout his life--and account for some of his public successes. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed his company. I hope I would have seen the value of enduring it.

Churchill is revered as a wartime leader, responsible for thwarting Hitler's designs on Great Britain and pushing the German armies back from conquered Europe. This book highlights Churchill's political and interpersonal skills. His military background contributed to Britain's early French and Norwegian operations--which were largely unsuccessful. His greater contribution was fostering relationships among the maneuvering politicians, exiled monarchs, competing general officers, and demoralized refugees that were necessary to Allied victory. He spent much of the war meeting and organizing summits between key players. And he continued to facilitate relationships between American and Russian leaders even as their countries' increasing roles in the war edged Churchill and Great Britain to the sidelines.

The book is rich with revealing anecdotes. For example, the author describes a high-level summit in Washington, DC. The war was ending and the Allied leaders were discussing how to manage post-war Europe. Josef Stalin said, "The Germans won't be a problem. We'll just take fifty thousand of their top politicians and officers and shoot them." Aghast, Churchill made an impassioned speech about preferring to be taken outside and shot himself rather than to allow his country's honor to be stained by such an act. Churchill roared to a conclusion and there was an awkward silence. Franklin Roosevelt tried to lighten the mood with, "I propose a compromise figure of forty-nine thousand." Churchill stormed from the room. Nobody believed Stalin's subsequent claim that he had just been kidding.

One more anecdote: Late in Churchill's life, after he had retired from public view, he was working alone one day in his daughter's study, protected by a detail of British soldiers. A determined grandson worked his way through these defenses and interrupted the great man's writing. "Grandpapa," the boy demanded. "Are you really the most important man in the world?" "Yes," he responded, without hesitation. "Now bugger off!"

Hardworking, irascible, and proud to the end, Winston Churchill was also admirable and worth knowing. It is worth your while to spend time with him in this book.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FASCINATING ONE VOLUME BIOGRAPHY, 1 Sep 2003
By 
Luciano Lupini (Caracas Venezuela) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Churchill: A Biography (Paperback)
A review by Luciano Lupini:This book by Roy Jenkins, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, of the Oxford University, member of the House of the Lords and President of the Royal Society of literature is a very readable biography of Sir Winston Churchill. Very well written, outstanding in the breadth of material researched and deliciously witty, this one of the best single volume approach to the life of one of the human milestones of the 20th Century.
Unless you have the time and purpose to go through the 8 volumes of the official biography started by Randolph Churchill but really attributable to Sir Martin Gilbert (ed. from 1966 to 1988), you will not be able to get a better factual assessment of the life and deeds of THE PRIME MINISTER par excellence. It covers every important aspect of Churchill's life, and then some. From birth to schooling, his first exposures to war and politics, then early triumphs, despair, resurrection and demise, we get a clear picture of one of the principal players in English politics for almost 60 years.
The book has a very well organized index, for reference purposes. For instance, under Churchill, Sir Winston Spencer, we have subtitles that address topics such as Characteristics and qualities (memory, self-confidence, personal bravery, argumentativeness, etc.) Education, Health, Honors, Military Career, etc. that much facilitate a cross reading of important topics. We derive the impression that in such a difficult task ( a portrait of a man so complex and about whom so many have written) Jenkins has succeeded.
WHY READ THIS BOOK ? This work might be even superior to Jenkins biography about another giant of English politics: Gladstone. This may be just a coincidence, but a double one if we recall the final assessment that Jenkins provides about Churchill:
.."When I started writing this book I thought that Gladstone was, by a narrow margin, the greater man, certainly the more remarkable specimen of humanity. In the course of writing it I have changed my mind. I now put Churchill, with all his idiosyncrasies, his indulgences, his occasional childishness, but also his genius, his tenacity and his persistent ability, right or wrong, successful or unsuccessful, to be larger than life, as the greatest human being ever to occupy 10 Downing Street........"
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A statesman on a statesman, 7 Feb 2003
By 
This review is from: Churchill: A Biography (Paperback)
Jenkins is famous principally as a Labour cabinet minister and European President of some repute. His biography of Churchill now adds another field in which he deserves to be remembered: biographer.
The release of the biography has been timely becasue of Churchill's sucess in being named the "greatest Britain" in a recent BBC poll. The boom therefore allows a timely re-evaluation of his life, and perhaps in the wake of Jenkin's death, a chance to study the qualities of the author as well.
Jenkins writing style is slightly pompous. He obviously has a vast knowledge of parliament and its' members, and he was particularly adept at realting Churchill's experiences not only to his own, but also to more recent events, providing a useful yard staick for younger readers. However, he can occasionally deviate: do we really need to know in a book on Churchill that Clement Attlee deliverd a speech at Jenkins' wedding. Also, his constant use of French phrases tends to irritate, expecially when one cannot find a French-English dictionnary in the house.
Despite these problems of accessibility, the book is a triumph. Churchill packed so much into his life that one might a single-volume biography ambitious, especially considering his decisive role in WWII. He deals in depth with every phase of his life, summarising effectively and being scrupulously fair in his evaluation. He also succeeds in capturing his personality, and the many humorous anecdotes make the book a real pleasure to read.
I would agree with the criticisms levelled at Jenkins about the lack of detail on his post-45 political career. The running of the Conservative party between 1945 - 51 was mostly left to RA Butler, but some insight here would have been useful, as would an axplanation as to why he was the best PM ever. An evaluation of Churchill's reputation and a look at the way politicians have repeatedly sought to evoke his memory would also have made interesting reading, and I am sure would not have been beyond the formidable talents of Lord Jenkins.
These small points aside, Churchill is a classic political biography, and is a major piece of work for which Jenkins deserves to be remembered alongside his pioneering time as Home Secretary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb biography, 9 Oct 2014
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Churchill: A Biography (Kindle Edition)
This magnificent big biography of the great Prime Minister and war leader, written by the former Labour Cabinet member and Social Democratic Party founder Roy Jenkins, was the British Book Awards Best Biography of the Year in 2003. It is political and personal biography as its very best, beautifully written and covering all aspects of the colourful life of Churchill, which packed in more incident, especially on the political and literary fronts, then any other figure during the twentieth century. His magnificent leadership during the Second World War is of course rightly lauded, but there was so much more to him than this: his early military and journalistic experiences in the Boer War; his Cabinet career as quite a radical Liberal President of the Board of the Trade in the reforming 1906-10 Liberal Government; his dramatic changes of party from Conservative to Liberal in 1904 and back to Conservative in 1924, holding very high offices in Liberal and Conservative Cabinets, e.g. as a Liberal Home Secretary and a Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer; and as a Liberal First Lord of the Admiralty in the First World War and a Conservative First Lord of the Admiralty at the beginning of the Second World War, before the crisis of confidence caused by Chamberlain's wretched appeasement policy led to Churchill's assuming the pinnacle of his power and influence on the world stage. His loss of office in the Labour landslide of the 1945 General Election was for him shockingly unexpected and, in hindsight it would no doubt have been better for him had he retired from front line politics at that point (he was already 70). But he was motivated to continue as Leader of the Opposition due to his fears of the encroaching influence of the Soviet Union in central and Eastern Europe and his belief that only a strong Anglo-American alliance could combat this; in fact this was also the policy of Attlee's Government. He was also very involved in founding and supporting some of the earliest European institutions that later became the embryonic EC (though most modern Conservatives would be reluctant to admit this!). Churchill's return to power in 1951 made him a Prime Minister at 77, something which is pretty much unthinkable now, but after a couple of reasonable years, when his main driving force was horror of the H Bomb and a desire to reach some kind of understanding with the Soviet Union, his health deteriorated when he had a major stroke in the summer on 1953. After this, the author's recounting of his clinging to power for another year and a half makes for unedifying reading and one feels sorry both for Churchill as a human being and for his Cabinet colleagues having to work with him in this state; only his enormous prestige made his continuation in office even plausible. After his retirement in April 1955, the remaining near decade of his life was dominated by lengthy stays in southern France and Italy and in Mediterranean cruises on Aristotle Onassis's yacht; yet despite these absences and detachment from life in Britain, he remained an MP, even after a fall in 1962 which incapacitated him, almost until his death, standing down at the dissolution of Parliament in summer 1964 before the General Election that saw Labour returned with a small majority, and dying in January 1965. The biography also extensively covers Churchill's prodigious and mostly high quality literary output over a period of some 60 years, and his love of and talent for painting, demonstrating what a genuine polymath he was. A remarkable biography of a remarkable statesman.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN, 13 Feb 2007
By 
DAVID BRYSON (Glossop Derbyshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Churchill: A Biography (Paperback)
Roy Jenkins was the son of a Welsh miner, both father and son becoming Labour MP's. He excelled academically, and from an early age assumed a famously grand manner of speaking. The Marquis of Salisbury said that Jenkins made him feel common, and Aneurin Bevan, on being told that the young Jenkins was brilliant but lazy, replied `Brilliant he may be, but a boy from Abersychan who talks like that? You can't tell me he's lazy.' Jenkins failed narrowly to become British prime minister, but he held the same two of the `three great offices of state' - Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer - as Churchill himself did, and there is something about the languid assurance of his narrative that suggests that he feels at home in such company. In particular, when I read his rather bald ex cathedra final assessment that Churchill rather than Gladstone was the greatest of prime ministers I almost sensed an unspoken `and I would know about that.'

President Kennedy said to Gore Vidal `But for the Civil War nobody would have heard of Lincoln.' Similarly, if Churchill had not become wartime prime minister, it is perfectly arguable that Jenkins might have had the more distinguished career. Churchill was not an outstanding Home Secretary, whereas Jenkins deserves immortality as the Home Secretary who put the weight of the government behind the abolition of the death penalty in Britain. As Chancellor Jenkins (Labour, remember) was named by none other than Mrs Thatcher as the best since the war, whereas Churchill's time at the Treasury is mainly notable for the disastrous adoption of the gold standard, albeit against his own better judgment.

The main focus of the narrative is political, in my opinion rightly. Asquith complained that Churchill not only talked too much but that it was all about politics. However politics is largely a matter of personalities, and Jenkins builds up a coherent picture of the aspects of his subject's character that led him to become what he became. Churchill's physical courage was apparent from his time in the Boer War, and his relentless driving energy strikes me as downright phenomenal - I am daunted even by the amount he ate, let alone by how much he drank, let alone how much he managed to do in spite of all that. He was undistracted by affairs or infidelities certainly, but he always had time for his family as well as his painting and bricklaying, to say nothing of his phenomenal literary output, something to which Jenkins, as another author, devotes considerable space.

This book is biography, not history, but while the two are inseparable Jenkins doesn't force his own judgements on us. I started by regretting this, but gradually I came to prefer it. Jenkins is thorough, and we are taken methodically through who did what and said what. Churchill's more spectacular clangers -the Dardanelles in WWI, the Gold Standard, the Abdication, his ludicrous views on Indian independence - are set in context without preaching. Whatever made Churchill great, it wasn't consistency of judgment. What should make this book mandatory reading for those who take a simplistic view of the lead-up to WWII is Jenkins's flat account of the matter. I started by wanting him to take a view on what constituted `appeasement' (a slogan if there was ever one) but I prefer Jenkins's way. The trick with Churchill was to harness that volcano of energy to the right cause, and I guess we were lucky. Chamberlain, not Churchill, declared war on Germany. Munich was not very dignified, but Britain was rearming under Chamberlain and needed to play for time. Going to war when we did was none too overdue, and I wonder whether Churchill might not have blown it by bulldog-at-a-gate reaction.

What makes a politician `great'? Luck and PR for the most part, I'd say. Churchill was an outsize personality. He had a terrific gift of phrase, he could dominate, but above all he could talk everyone into acquiescence. That kind of acquiescence doesn't last long, and Jenkins's nicely-judged assessments of this or that speech are probably more significant to Jenkins as another speech-maker than to most of us. A lot of so-called `leadership' is really just a holding operation - don't fall flat on your face even once. Churchill had a job to do, it was a job he wanted, he had the energy for it, and could he ever talk. The British public were not overawed with his oratory, they just felt it was up to what the occasion called for. He didn't fight the war, they did. They felt they owed him nothing, and they owed him nothing.

The book is a bit of a marathon, I'm sorry to say. Jenkins was no mean talker, in particular he was a devastating parliamentary debater. He is an excellent biographer if this is anything to go by, he is probably a good historian, but he is a downright bad writer. I would not have expected occasional bad grammar, bad syntax and misuse of words from such an aesthete, but they're here. He has a tin ear for English, particularly adverbs - `possibly excessively' `friendlily' and (dear God) `deadenly'. Such adverbs read to me uglily and ungainlily. Would `an united...' or `an horrendous...' pass in an English exam? If I were the examiner, not, er, an hope. Use of nouns and names as adjectives is an Americanism that doesn't suit him, but he uses it ad nauseam, and when it comes to the like of `an appealing (to Churchill) Texan companion' or `the then only seven-year-old redbrick and brown terracotta Midland Hotel' the entire English-speaking community should rise up in revolt.

At Fulton MO Churchill proposed an English-speaking alliance to outweigh his so-called Iron Curtain that he had negotiated in the first place. Stalin's response was obvious, and mine would have been the same in Stalin's place. Even dictators can talk sense, and Churchill got inebriated with his own verbosity, yet this is one sort of thing that he is supposed to be `great' for. Jenkins was a liberal-minded social democrat and his calm view of what caused so much excitement and worse should be a corrective to much that we are seeing today. If only he had said it better.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A highly readable and informative biography, 26 Aug 2002
By 
Paul Hickling (Oldham, Britain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Churchill: A Biography (Hardcover)
To those whose knowledge of Churchill is limited to his role in the Second World War don't be daunted by the size of this book. The book is very readable and flows very easily between the major landmarks in Churchill's life.
On the whole I enjoyed this book. Thanks to Roy Jenkins my knowledge of Churchill, especially his early years, has greatly improved. I did not realise how radical the Liberal Churchill really was. For example in the 1920's he believed the railways should be nationalised and as Home Secretary he did not believe that prison worked . As a resident of Oldham I did know Churchill was previously our local MP and I am now keen to find out more about his period.
The book takes a chronological approach to Churchill which, unlike some biographies,did not seem to hinder the analsis of the actions and decisions that Churchill took. Jenkins also managed to get the right balance between Churchill's political actions and beliefs and his personal character. I got the impression that Jenkins was keen to find out what made "Churchill tick". With a man of so many contradictions this was no easy feat!
I felt there were two main weaknesses to this book. The first was the later period of Churchill's life (post 1945). I felt that Roy Jenkins became less analytical about Churchill's reaction to the Labour Government and how he managed to rebuild the Tory party from its crushing electioral defeat in 1945. Reading this part of the book left me with many unanswered questions, for example What was Churchill's attitude towards the NHS, social security etc? How did Churchill manage to cut the Labour majority so quickly and what were the feelings of other Conservatives to his acceptance of the post war concensus?
These questions might have been addressed in a conclusion. However the lack of a conclusion was the main weakness of this book. The end was a rather disappointing paragraph from Jenkins that he thought Churchill was a better man than Gladstone. WHY? Roy Jenkins does not even attempt to analyse this statement. I think a final concluding chapter would have been an ideal place for Jenkins to have analysed Churchill's historical role and allowed him to justify his last paragraph.
Despite the disappointing end I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in finding out more about Churchill. I would recommend to Roy Jenkins that he takes a leaf out of Churchill's books and writes a further 10 pages to finish the book with a good strong conclusion.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely Informative and very readable in great chunks, 18 Dec 2001
By 
Methuselah's father (Maidenhead, Berks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Churchill: A Biography (Hardcover)
Even at this late stage there is something to be added to our appreciation of WSC, Roy Jenkins has the perception to do so. Whatever view we may have formed of RJ as a politician- and I imply nothing by that-RJ as an author is enjoyable and one soon settles down to his style with it's many sharply observed asides which lets us in on political life. There are so many facets to WSC, many of them were perhaps not admirable but RJ takes them all in his stride with tolerance and understanding of some of the less succesful phases of WSC's career.
What strengthens the book are the many one-liners summarising the important politicians and other notable characters of the day pithily. It is so important to understand the context in which WSC operated.
This is a political biography with sufficient personal details to round out the character. We learn that the quarrels between WSC and son Randolph were legendary but we do not know the detail of them and do not need to.
I was reluctant to come to the end of the book.
Critiscism or errors? Very trivial. RJ is less than sure in handling some militarisms eg Rawlinson's Fourth Army was a headquarters formation and replaced Gough's Fifth Army headquarters after it took the brunt of the March 21st attack. Most of the front line units in the order of battle were lost, many of the other units came under command of Fourth Army, new units joined. Not quite the inpression RJ gives but it really does not matter and has no effect on the centrepiece of the book. Why mention it? because RJ 'compelled' me to pay attention to every word that he wrote.
I must read more Roy Jenkins and have ordered Gladstone
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56 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read with a good dictionary and a history book to hand..., 26 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Churchill: A Biography (Hardcover)
How Churchill make so many costly mistakes and still be the greatest English politician of the 20th century? This book goes a long way to answer this whilst being generally a good read. RJ unveils the story with judgement and balance and obviously has a good mastery of the source material. However, there are niggles related to unecessary use of obscure vocabulary and foriegn phrases that will narrow its appeal. Also he assumes more historical background knowledge than I think is reasonable, for example he neglects to overview the Dardenelles fiasco sufficiently even though this was crucial to Churchill's early career. Also we are constantly reminded that it is RJ telling the story which comes over as self aggrandisement. This is epitomised in the last paragraph of the book when RJ grandly tells us that, having written this book, he now rates WSC higher than Gladstone. There is no analysis to back up this assertion and we are expected to accept it as a nugget of wisdom generously handed to us by the esteemed author. Still, its essential reading fans of political biography and I would not hesitate to recommend it with the above caveats.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A long, but good read for Churchill novices, 27 Mar 2006
By 
Mr. K. J. Santi (South England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Churchill: A Biography (Paperback)
I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend, who said it was a good read for someone who wanted to read about Churchill, but had minimal previous experience or exposure to the great man.

The first point to note is that this is a big book, with the paperback I bought being nearly 1000 pages. Each is in small and tightly packed type which in sheer content terms, makes one page of this book equal to two of most other books. It will take a while to read, but persevere. Having spent several months reading it to its conclusion, I thought that the book and the life of Churchill have some strange parallels. Both have several superb qualities, but are balanced out by irritating bad points.

The first few hundred pages are excellent. There is much to learn about Churchill and his exploits as a solider at the turn of the (19th) century before he became seriously involved in politics. Much enjoyment is also gathered from the bare faced cheek and insolence Churchill shows to his peers and superiors, who he regarded as idiots and fools. His tentative early steps into government and his involvement in WW1 are not well known and explain where his later life opinions and beliefs were formed. Be careful to take time to understand the workings of the British governmental system - some extra reading into this may be beneficial.

Many people forget that when Churchill was at an age that most of us are contemplating retirement, he became prime minister of Britain and led the country through WW2. For me, this is where the book fades badly. The war years are covered sufficiently to give the reader a more detailed understanding of the behind-the-scenes activities that were not well know at the time. The reasons and justification for some of the Churchills decisions are surprising and not the immediately obvious. However, I felt that the author focused to much on Churchill the British politician, at the expense of Churchill the war leader.

An example of this is Churchill's frequent wartime summit visits abroad to America and Africa, where he met with the Americans and Russians. These get lengthy and in depth coverage, showing Churchill somewhat unfairly as attention seeking and vain. While they were undoubtedly key to the conclusion of the war, they distract from other critical events that Churchill was involved in. There is little coverage or insight into events such as the Battle for the Atlantic, the Battle of Britain, Normandy, the second front and the last days of Hitler.

The last section of the book which covers Churchill's post war years is noticeably weak. He was an active politician and had a second term as Prime Minister, but there is not much coverage of this - possibly because he achieved very little. I was especially disappointed with the scant few paragraphs that were devoted to Churchill's final few years. I felt this to be a bit disrespectful to the great man.

I am also in agreement with several other reviewers in stating that the authors frequent use of unrecognisable French phrases, and long forgotten old-English language that is no longer in common use extremely irritating. Not all of us have an Oxbridge background and I frequently had to use a dictionary to translate and understand the point that the author was making. The publishers editor should have stopped this in the drafting stage.

However it is easy to be critical of what is a very good book as there is so much in it. The amount of research to compile such a book, and the time required simply to write it must have been considerable. It is an excellent book and a rewarding read.
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