The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor

The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor

Hardback

By (author) Jonathan Rose

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  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 528 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 238mm x 54mm | 1,000g
  • Publication date: 28 May 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New Haven
  • ISBN 10: 0300204078
  • ISBN 13: 9780300204070
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Illustrations note: 13 b/w illus.
  • Sales rank: 46,957

Product description

This strikingly original book introduces a Winston Churchill we have not known before. Award-winning author Jonathan Rose explores in tandem Churchill's careers as statesman and author, revealing the profound influence of literature and theater on Churchill's personal, carefully composed grand story and on the decisions he made throughout his political life. Rose provides in this expansive literary biography an analysis of Churchill's writings and their reception (he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 and was a best-selling author), and a chronicle of his dealings with publishers, editors, literary agents, and censors. The book also identifies an array of authors who shaped Churchill's own writings and politics: George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Margaret Mitchell, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, and many more. Rose investigates the effect of Churchill's passion for theater on his approach to reportage, memoirs, and historical works. Perhaps most remarkably, Rose reveals the unmistakable influence of Churchill's reading on every important episode of his public life, including his championship of social reform, plans for the Gallipoli invasion, command during the Blitz, crusade for Zionism, and efforts to prevent a nuclear arms race. In a fascinating conclusion, Rose traces the significance of Churchill's writings to later generations of politicians, among them President John F. Kennedy as he struggled to extricate the U.S. from the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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Author information

Jonathan Rose is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History, Drew University. He lives in Morristown, NJ.

Review quote

'Jonathan Rose...has shown how Churchill excelled in the application of language to the exercise of power and concludes that he 'modelled his politics on literature.' The proof is abundant and well presented in this excellent, thorough and enjoyable biography that adds a fresh and fascinating dimension to a great statesman.'-Lawrence James, The Times -- Lawrence James The Times 'This is no incidental postscript to the hundreds of volumes already published about Churchill, but a painstaking study building a formidable case for taking him seriously not just in political history but in literary history too...Rose made his reputation as the historian of the working-class autodidacts in Britain. Now he has consolidated it by writing about an upper-class autodidact, whose intellectual life he captures well.' -Peter Clark. The Financial Times -- Peter Clark The Financial Times '[Rose] assembles a mass of fascinating information about Churchill's writings, readings, and politicking, much of it until now available only in the archives at Churchill College.'-Cita Stelzer, TLS -- Cita Stelzer TLS "A masterpiece ... a more mentally nimble version of [Churchill] the man than any previous portrait ... superb, revelatory ... a bravura new take on the man and his life ... nobody should miss it." -Steve Donoghue, Open Letters -- Steve Donoghue Open Letters "Immensely enjoyable ... marvelous ... This gracefully written book is an original and textured study of Churchill's imagination." -Michael F. Bishop, Washington Post -- Michael F. Bishop Washington Post "Rose's swift, incisive narrative portrays Churchill as a brilliant, if flawed, manipulator of political theater."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Kirkus Reviews "The biographical inattention to [Churchill's] voluminous body of written work ... has been a strange oversight. Now that wrong has been righted, in a single stroke and ably so, by Jonathan Rose's The Literary Churchill."-Anthony Paletta, Daily Beast -- Anthony Paletta Daily Beast "Well-researched and clearly informed by great admiration and attunement to its subject ... [and] crammed with interesting facts." -Martin Rubin, Washington Times -- Martin Rubin Washington Times "Rose doesn't miss a trick in this fascinating look into the literary mind of one of the men who made world history."-Dave Wood, syndicated columnist ("Book Report") -- Dave Wood Book Report