Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
on 3 August 2009
The traditional view of the unlikely friendship between Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George is that of 'David and Winston', political friends and rivals who, while they might have disagreed, never fell out. As Lloyd George's great grandson has put it, 'the friendship which changed history'. Toye challenges this view, at the same time pointing out that, at various times, it was convenient for the two men to create the myth. What emerges is a picture of two men, very different in temperament, who, while they got on personally, were political rivals, both having their eyes on the Premiership, and willing to undermine each other in order to get it. The most fascinating part is that dealing with Churchill's wartime premiership, which we are now much more aware was hardly the triumphant progress some have portrayed it as. The statement that Llooyd George embraced defeatism, and may even have seen himself as a British Petain is sadly only too likely, given other material which has come to light in recent family memoirs.
Toye rightly does not over-egg the pudding. Clearly the men were friends as well as colleagues, but he captures the complexity of political friendship over decades.