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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 January 2012
I imagine that scores - possibly even hundreds - of books have been written about Churchill but for anybody who holds Churchill in the highest esteem - as I do - this is the perfect book with which to start to chart his life. Professor Jackson has researched his subject thoroughly and then has cut right to the bone. He has dealt with the man himself and those who aided him: Squadron-Leader Torr Anderson and Ralph Wigram, who assisted Churchill tremendously with details of pre-war aircraft manufacture (RAF with the former, Luftwaffe, the latter) don't get a look-in; and neither does his loyal secretary, Mrs. Violet Pearman - the devoted `Mrs. P'.

But it really doesn't matter; details of those (and many of Churchill's other faithful followers) can be found in other books: the rather wordy and overlong (double the size of this tome) book by Roy Jenkins and the excellent works by Martin Gilbert.

Not only does Professor Jackson concentrate on Churchill's life, from birth to death, he concisely explains the decisions made by Churchill and his contemporaries and how they affected him and world affairs. More than anything else, this book is extremely well-written; the author knows how to grip a reader's attention.

The book's puff states: `This is the eternally fascinating story of Winston Churchill's appointment with destiny'. It is.
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on 12 July 2012
I have just read "Churchill" by Ashley Jackson.

I thought that I already knew quite a lot about the life of Winston Churchill but this book filled in a lot of the gaps.

I found it very interesting and very easy to read. It was the sort of book that kept the interest going and I found it hard to put down.

A good, interesting overview of the life of Winston Churchill, recommended reading.
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on 9 August 2011
Prof Jackson has managed to write a refreshing, entertaining and highly readable new biography about the great Winnie Churchill. The author addresses some of the common criticisms and misguided beliefs about Churchill, especially the unfounded opinions that Churchill was a warmonger and anti-working class. Although written objectively I could feel the passion and love of the man on every page. I would recommend this to anybody interested in learning about Churchill ahead of the bibliographies by Gilbert & Jenkins. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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on 30 December 2013
A highly readable account of the life of one of the great figures of the 20th century. Extremely well written account which really puts Winston`s life into historical context with the wider events that were happening in the world. With any book trying to take you from childhood to old age on such a well known figure as Churchill its very easy for it to become a eulogy but this book manages to get strike a real balance in its analysis. There are numerous quotes throughout the book to give a real flavour of time and events and generally these seem well chosen. There are the mistakes and the triumphs but both are put into context. About a quarter of the book is dedicated to the events leading up to Second World War and perhaps for me it was Churchill`s earlier life that was most educating although I did not live through WWII. Overall I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history and wants a readable account of Churchill`s life. I have passed mine onto my best friend with a wholehearted recommendation.
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on 12 July 2014
This is an excellent biography of Churchill, which manages to combine entertainment and readability with serious depth of character analysis. The steadily paced narrative of Churchill's life also throws new light on many of the historical events and upheavals that he lived through and helped to shape. From his participation as soldier and journalist in the Boer War through to his political career, his liberal imperialism and social conservatism, his crossing of the floor in parliament and his meteoric rise in the Liberal government to First Lord of the Admiralty in World War I, Ashley Jackson develops a gripping account of a highly complex character, explaining everything about the young Churchill with great clarity. Where the book really excels, and is to be preferred to its predecessors, is in his even-handed assessment of his subject's later years, carefully demolishing some of the negative myths about Chruchill's roles as Home Secretary and Chancellor in the 1920s. He acknowledges the mistakes and flaws in Churchill's character wihtout allowing these to cloud his maginficent achievements, especially as wartime prime minister. Anyone interested in a balanced overview of Churchill's life and understanding exactly why he was so important to Britain's national survival, should start with this book.
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on 6 June 2013
I would recommend this book. It feels a little too pro-Churchill in places, but on the whole the author strikes a great balance of comment on the subject.
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on 8 January 2013
Great service - enjoyed book very much. passed it to my daughter who also found it excellent. But here again
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on 1 August 2014
Churchill is without a doubt one of the greatest politicians of the 20th century and is mainly known as a war-leader. However many facets of his personality are often unknown such as: he was the leading historical author of his time, accomplished painter and the list goes on.
This biography attempts to convey not only historical facts and speeches but also to give a sense of who Winston was a person. It strikes a balance between super-human larger than life image and the portrait painted by critics of Churchill. It covers his whole life, however no book will ever be able to fully describe 90 years in one of the most turbulent centuries.

I would consider this biography as a great introduction to W. Churchill with significant amount of details (Not a primer) and a fascinating insights into the life of a genius. Once you read it at the end there are suggestions for further study related to particular aspects of Churchill's life which offers a chance to investigate a particular area of interest.
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on 31 December 2015
A lot of people have made the mistake of seeing Jackson's work as a load of rubbish about railway timetables but clever people like me, who speak loudly in restaurants, see it as a deliberate ambiguity and a plea for understanding in a mechanised ethos.
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on 5 June 2014
Yes we have read articles and small reviews on Churchill. But I have never read the broad scope that this book covers and in enough detail to be convincing when the myths and falsehoods surrounding the man are exploded.
He was the bad boy as his style was dictatorial but that is the way of command.That others did not have the macro view and foresight that he had did not help either as they could not bring themselves to believe in "the impossible". He engineered the Americans into the Second World War and when they became dominant following the end they arrogantly ignored him To the Worlds detriment. Read and enjoy.

George Fleet
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