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This study examines the controversial career of Winston Churchill. Each contributor is considered an expert on some aspect of his life, and the resulting interplay of sometimes unflattering and critical ideas about his policies and motives gives insight into how he came to be considered "the saviour of his nation". This book is for students of world and British history, especially political historians of the 20th century. It should also be of interest to readers of biographies and Churchill more

Product details

  • Paperback | 594 pages
  • 158 x 234mm | 397g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 32pp plates, index
  • 0192823175
  • 9780192823175

Table of contents

Churchill and the pitfalls of family piety; Churchill and Germany; Churchill and France; Churchill and social reform; Churchill's economic ideas 1900-1930; Churchill and Lloyd George; Churchill and the labour market; Churchill and the First World War; Churchill and Zionism; Churchill and the British Empire; Churchill and the monarchy; Churchill and appeasement; Churchill, radio and cinema; Churchill in 1940 - the worst and finest hour; how Churchill became Prime Minister; Churchill, Japan, and British security in the Pacific 1904-1942; wheel within a wheel - Churchill, Roosevelt and the special relationship; Churchill and Stalin; Churchill's strategy; Churchill and the defence chiefs; Churchill and the Navy; Churchill and Eisenhower in the Second World War; Churchill and the use of special intelligence; Churchill and science; Churchill and Europe; Churchill and India; Churchill and Egypt 1946-1956; Churchill and the government of 1951-1955; Churchill the parliamentarian, orator and more

Review Text

Expert essays on a fascinating subject, edited by Blake (A History of Rhodesia, 1978, etc.) and Louis (English History and Culture/Univ. of Texas). The editors have rounded up 29 specialists who distill their expertise into brief pieces that summarize many aspects of Churchill ("perhaps the great figure in 20th-century history," suggest Blake and Louis). The text glitters with gems like Russian diplomat Ivan Maisky's prophecy (quoted in an essay by Robin Edmond) that Churchill would come to power "when the critical moment...arrives...because he is a major and forceful figure, whereas the other members of the cabinet are colorless mediocrities." As George Addison explains elsewhere, Churchill, even in his early career, was not only a writer/journalist but a hard fighter for humane social reform, "a founder of the welfare state." David Cannadine tackles Churchill's family, the Marlboroughs, a conniving, dishonest, nearly perfect disgrace to the very idea of aristocracy - but the future politician was loyal to them, Cannadine says, and it cost him dearly. David Craig's piece on Churchill and Germany follows, illustrating the British leader's limitations (no grasp of German language, literature, or music) but also his lack of rancor and a view of Versailles that was both shrewd and enlightened. "Churchill and Stalin," by Robin Edmonds, reveals Churchill's lifelong antipathy to Russia; to understand the WW II rapprochement between Churchill and Stalin, it's necessary to read other essays that stress the Britisher's practicality and absolute willingness to sacrifice anything, including his own obsessions, for his country. Churchill's old-fashioned sense of the world surfaces repeatedly in relation to ideas and people (notably, De Gaulle, in a piece by Douglas Johnson), but the point emerges throughout that with Churchill's stubborn mind-set came a realistic, flexible acceptance of life that stood England in good stead. Lacking an essay on Churchill the writer; still, a solid bet for anyone concerned with 20th-century history. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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3 50% (2)
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