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Churchill: A Biography Hardcover – 12 Oct 2001
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Book buyers will never tire of reading about Winston Churchill, for "the greatest adventurer of modern political history" (RA Butler's verdict) led a life of action-packed drama and global significance. Roy Jenkins' Churchill is the latest biography of this great Briton, following closely in the tailwind of Geoffrey Best's Churchill: A Study in Greatness. Where Best restores altitude to Churchill's dipping reputation, seeing off academic critics of the last decade or so, Jenkins provides a jumbo-size old-fashioned biography, lauding his subject's achievements, sympathising with his quirks, and stepping lightly over his well-known mistakes. As he did in his earlier biographies of Dilke, Asquith and Gladstone, Jenkins sticks closely to the published record, utilising in particular the definitive researches of Martin Gilbert, but he brings the authority and the inside knowledge of British politics to his book, slipping in his own memories of Churchill, and his own comparable experience sat the Cabinet table. It is all here, from the Boer Wars to the nuclear bomb, from the hustings in Oldham to the diplomacy of Yalta, with due coverage of the big moments--at the Board of Trade and at the Admiralty in Asquith's peacetime and wartime cabinets, taking on the appeasers in the 1930s and Hitler in the 1940s. All the books are here, and all the political relationships tetchy and touchy alike, from Lloyd George to Baldwin, Smuts to Stalin, and of course, the British people. Like its subject the book is bulky and at times indulgent, but impossible not to enjoy.--Miles Taylor
Roy Jenkins' Churchill is an exhaustive biographical picture of one of the most enigmatic and important figures of the 20th century. From the Admiralty to the miners' strike, from the Battle of Britain to the Nobel Prize, Churchill oversaw some of the most important events the world has ever seen. Roy Jenkins deals with these events in an objective and accessible fashion, while also successfully conveying the contradictions and quirks in Churchill's divided character. In-depth analysis and brilliant historical research make this a striking one-volume biography of an extraordinary life written by a man who knows the cut-throat world of politics very well indeed. As a companion piece to his excellent biography of Gladstone, Jenkins' Churchill is packed with insights that only a fellow politician could convey.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The life of Winston Churchill is an immense topic, and requires a book of the same scale to do justice to it, so it's not surprising that this weighs in at 900+ pages - even before... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Aethelred
We need a Churchill now, you can see how his life gave him the right type of experience to lead the country in war when all seemed lost. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Frederick
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