Wide variety of sources including recently revealed diary entries from King George VI However there is nothing here that radically changes my perception of Churchill Despite its great ength Walking With Destiny is short on keen insights Saying that Churchill was haunted by his father and The Magic of Thinking Big loved the Empire is not a uniue observation Rather the portrait presented is very much a colonial era throwback a familiar Great Man history that is so blushingly positive that it feels exceedingly out of place in a post colonial world on that below I took aot of notes during my reading but in nearly 1000 pages I don t think I highlighted a single A Lucid Dreamer: The Life of Peter Redgrove line of Roberts prose This surprised me a bit since this was a pleasurable reading experience which is important when we re talking about a 982 page infant sized book Then it struck me Roberts makes so much use of Churchill s own words that he essentially allows his biographical subject to write his own biography This is not aiterary problem since Churchill is one of history s unparalleled narrators It is however a historical problem Churchill has already done incredible damage to the record by his hugely popular memoirs which masuerade as objective history Roberts doesn t simply allow this trend to continue He gives it a modern day boost It is telling that almost every chapter begins with not one but two Churchill uotes Before I continue I should add that I really enjoyed this for what it is a deeply researched and obsessively detailed hagiography By the end I felt I knew Churchill personally intimately and I missed him when he was gone It was especially hard to read about Churchill s Peas Book of Best Friends long demise As unconuerable as he was Churchill could not defeat Time and this made me feel incredibly mortal Nevertheless Walking With Destiny did nothing to convince me that Roberts interpretation of Churchill is accurate It is soaudatory that I am An English Psychic in Hollywood left to assume that the chapter where Winston created the world while drinking a scotch and soda and then wrote a seven volume series of books about it on the seventh day waseft on the cutting room floor Part of the problem with attempting to do so much in only a single volume is that Roberts is not able to expand his view to include multidimensional portraits of the other people in Churchill s ife The result is that Churchill sucks all the air out of the room Colossal world historical figures such as Franklin D Roosevelt are reduced to nonentities with no agency of their own pawns to Churchill s will In the same vein everyone who criticizes Churchill such as Alan Brooke and Andrew Cunningham are ibeled as bitter know nothings their entire ives apparently motivated by a sincere desire to destroy Churchill s reputation in their private writings Roberts comes off as personally affronted that Field Marshal Brooke thought that Churchill was a terrible strategist Instead of providing honest critiues and instead of accepting that it was possible to criticize Churchill in good faith Roberts too often prefers to uote from such unbiased sources as Churchill s daughter who unsurprisingly found her father s every action brilliant or superb Don t get me wrong Roberts acknowledges the screw ups But that is all he does And I mean that uite specifically When Churchill drops the ball Roberts will write something to the affect that his actions had been unfortunate or that it was not his finest hour yes he actually uses that very phrase This gentle scolding is as far as he will go I find that very difficult to accept especially since one facet of Churchill s character was his proud belief in white supremacy manifested most infamously in his attitude towards giving self government to India I am not advocating that Churchill be removed from the curriculum of school children which Roberts insists is occurring To the contrary I fully support huge books on Churchill and the proposition that he was a major figure in the defeat of Adolf Hitler which has to be counted among the important moments in history But in 1000 pages you have to give the bad along with the good and you have to do it truthfully Frankly Churchill had some pretty major blind spots and character flaws and those should have been accounted for rather than given the yada yada treatment as though he didn t floss enough To Roberts credit he does not hide the bad the misguided and the ugly He simply gives it a pro Churchill spin This is a good book that falls well short of being a classic I want to repeat that first part this is a good book I recommend it If you don t know anything about Churchill you will earn a ot Even if you know a bunch about him you will discover new things Also if you read this on a plane or a bus or a train people will be super impressed by the huge book you have Unless you have a Kindle If you have a Kindle people will probably just assume you are reading James Patterson Yet Roberts could have done This should have been a Lincoln esue tale of a man who overcame a series of failures to rise at the precise moment his country indeed the free nations of earth needed him to rise to ultimately prevail on the world s stage at a time of inestimable danger when good and evil grappled on the edge of a knife Instead Roberts gives us Sir Winston the Great White Imperialist who would have won World War I if he hadn t been surrounded by idiots who invented the tank and the British Air Force and his own persona who was the only man in the wide world who saw the danger in Hitler and Stalin before the cataclysm and who single handedly guided the Allies to victory in World War II This is inaccurate Worse it s not that interesting I am far fascinated by complex and flawed heroes because there is something incredibly noble and powerful about human beings overcoming their contradictions and imperfections to achieve greatness There is nothing inherently appealing about a perfect knight for the simple reason that such a figure exists only in myths and fairy tales 1 February 13 2019 Chapters 1 3First off Roberts oves Churchill no uestion but he is not blind to his faults and he s not about to et any reader of his book be blind to them either in which pursuit he ets Churchill speak for himself much of the time On the issue of women voting the young Churchill was profoundly chauvinist arguing that only the most undesirable class of women are eager for the right and that Those women who discharged their duty to the state viz marrying and giving birth to children are adeuately represented by their husbands Churchill s comments on the Talib ater the Taliban and Islamic fundamentalism after his service in India are so clearly illustrative of Santayana s Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it that all Americans can do is read them and weepAfter standing for Parliament once and osing Churchill wins his second contest Roberts writes Before the new MP had even taken his seat he had fought in four wars published five bookswritten 215 newspaper and magazine articles participated in the greatest cavalry charge in half a century and made a spectacular escape from prison2 February 17 2019 Chapters 4 8Churchill Was a progressive He shouldn t have been He was born in a ducal mansion in the age of Victoria a child of Empire who was convinced of the rightness and privilege and power of that Empire He Fairytale Food: Enchanting Recipes to Bring a Little Magic to Your Cooking lived aife of privilege too even when he couldn t pay for it But I don t know what other than progressive you would call someone who charged into Parliament at the age of 25 andworked to ose the House of Lords their right of veto over bills passed by the House of Commons said House of Lords containing many of his own relativesopposed tariffs writing High protective tariffs although they might increase the profits of capital are to the poor and the poorest of the poor a cursed engine of robbery and oppression believed in Free Trade Part of Churchill s belief in Free Trade was based on the widespread conviction that it promoted world peaceSee the Golden Arches Doctrineopposed the Aliens Bill in 1904 which was intended to restrict the immigration into Britain of Jews escaping from pogroms in Tsarist Russiaintroduced abor exchanges where unemployed workers were put in touch with potential employerswon a half holiday for shop workershelped push through an Old Age Pensions Act in 1908 five shillings each 23 today for 600000 old people It is not much Churchill was to say of the very modest pension provision unless you have not got it with Lloyd George introduced unemployment insurancereduced coal miners work days to eight hoursimproved mine safetyincreased taxes even and especially on the wealthyIn 1910 he became Home Secretary where he reviewed death sentences and commuted half of them worked for prison reform and got it sent 300 Metropolitan Police officers armed only with rolled up raincoats to disperse a riot in Tonypandy in Wales every reader of Josephine Tey will thrill to that passage and still found time to marry Clementine Hozier who was an enthusiastic supporter of the vote for women She wrote to The Times in opposition to the anti suffragist sentiment in the Letters to the Editor The uestion seems no onger to be Should women have votes but Ought women not to be abolished altogetherI d ike to read her biography tooIn 1911 he became First Lord of the Admiralty and swept down on that unfortunate organization ike Hurricane Winston cleaning house of bad admirals and bad policy in eual measure He had his eye on Germany who were building a very arge very modern navy very uickly and he started England building ships Wishing for Grace lots of them Thiseft him open to charges of warmongering by his enemies of which he had by then many and whose opprobriums against him read ike an Edwardian Twitter feed Lloyd George told newspaper proprietor Sir George Riddell somewhat scornfully that all Churchill could ever think about was how to sink the German Fleet as soon as war broke out Uh yeah pretty sure that s how you win wars But at the same time Churchill was building ships he offered Kaiser Wilhelm no ess than three opportunities for both nations to together stand down their arms races and was refused every time Roberts writes if Churchill had died before 1939 he would principally be known as the man who got the Royal Navy ready for the Great WarProgressive or not his assumption of white racial and in particular British superiority was unuestionable at Bara No Tame Ni: 5 least thus far in hisife Churchill s assumption of white racial superiority was palpable throughout his articles and subseuent book My African Journey That the Lebanon local people had their own religions tribal dress and systems of morality and justice did not seem to occur to himChurchill felt a genuine and profound sense of paternalist duty towards the natives of the British EmpireBut progressive he undoubtedly also was No one is ever only one thing and evidently Churchill contained multitudes 3 March 10 2019 Chapters 9 11While Roberts doesn t try to hide Churchill s faults he does spend what feels sometimesike an inordinate amount of time explaining them away and never fails to point out the moral of the story afterward Hence the entire chapter on Gallipoli Referring to the expedition as a Clarkesworld (Clarkesworld Anthology, legitimate war gamble allowed detractors for ever afterwards to allege that Churchill s gambler s instinct haded him to gamble away men s ives and indeed there is no getting away from the terrible osses The British Empire killed and wounded numbered 114743 of whom 21882 died in action and 8899 in hospital The French had 17235 recorded burialsAnd then inevitably Roberts goes on to say The Dardanelles debacle taught Churchill a great deal that was to stand him in excellent stead during the Second World WarI should have made nothing if I had not made mistakes Churchill wrote to Clementine soon after resigning He had made colossal mistakes during the Dardanelles debacle but the Facing Redemption lessons heearned from them were of immense value a uarter of a century aterChurchill was forced from government and then astonishingly went to serve under fire on the Western Front in the 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards One of its officers Harold Macmillan ater recalled that There was great opposition to the damned politician but in two days he had won them all over It s easy to see why Churchill found a sentry asleep at his post I frightened him dreadfully but did not charge him with the crime he told Clementine He was only a adthe penalty is death or at east two years Instead he kept watch so that others could sleepHe uickly got his section of the The History of Provincetown line dry with boarded and drained trenches and provided his men with thick parapets good wire and clear fields of fireAs well as because Churchill many other good soldier practices and a few bad onesike taking part in over 30 officers patrols in the 300 yards of no man s Captured land a job well below his pay grade at times getting close enough to hear the German troops talking Fun fact At one point he and Adolf Hitler were ten miles across the frontines from each other If onlyHe was recalled to government as the Minister of Munitions where he immediately began to remediate the Allies chronic undersupply of bullets and bombs and gas By now he had خاطرات یک زن توده ای learned to fly a manifestation of his eternal curiosity into the all new and improved technology rolling over the industrialandscape all of which he was determined to adapt to Britain s military benefit as uickly as possible But not uickly enough for the dead One in ten British men between the ages of twenty and for. Oberts gave us a tantalizing glimpse of Churchill the war Is Government the Source of Monopoly? and Other Essays (Cato Paper ; No. 9) leader Now atast we have the full and definitive biography as personally revealing as it is compulsively readable about one of the great One Too Many Blows To The Head leaders of all timeRoberts was granted exclusive access to extensive new material the transcripts of war cabinet meetings the euivalent of the Nixon and JFK tapes diariesetters unpublished memoirs and detailed notes taken by the king after their bi weekly meetings Having read every one of Churchill's etters including deeply personal ones that Churchill's son Randolph had previously chosen to withhold and spoken to.
I thought Martin Gilbert was the ast word on Churchill of course he prepared the pathway for Roberts I am sure to a degree but with Andrew Robert s WALKING WITH DESTINY I gained an insight on Churchill and his world that seems totally fresh and almost brand new to me I iterally aughed and chuckled as I read some of the amusing bon mots of Churchill and curious stories That is a remarkable achievementChurchill said After seeing many nations after travelling through Europe and after having been a prisoner of the Boers I have come to see that after all the chief characteristic of the English speaking people as compared with other white people is that they wash and wash at regular periods England and America are divided by a great ocean of salt water but united by an eternal bathtub of soap and water Boring and tedious and old hat ANDREW ROBERT S book is notThrilling and illuminating are the only words for it the prose is Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria like a torrent of clear fresh water clearing away mysteries and old misconceptionsWeearn much about Churchill s personal relations and among the most heart rending are the difficult relations he had with his son Randolph with whom there was almost a Running from Strangers love hate relationship Stories of alleged sexual dalliances outside of marriage by Mrs Churchill or Churchill himself are not ignored but clearly documented Some things Robertseaves up to the reader wiselyRoberts has reviewed 41 sets of new papers the King s diaries from WWII Mary Soames 1940 diary the verbatim war cabinet minutes written in a short hand code that neverhad been deciphered until Roberts got a hold of them Every uote every reference is meticulously documented In addition there are wonderful insights and uotes from the Maisky diaries Ivan Maisky was the Soviet ambassador to the Court of St James Maisky s recently translated diaries featured meetings with Churchill Anthony Eden and HG Wells Then there are interesting uotes by Churchill about JFK in the Kay Halle etters at the JFK ibrary Churchill called JFK that splendid If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai: A Conducted Tour of India leader and asked if there was a photo of himself in the White HouseIn Walking with Destiny Iearned Churchill s biography of his father Lord Randolph Churchill was at east partially intended as an explanation of the political somersaults being executed by the author at the time of writing it Roberts truthfully tells us it is almost worthless as historical biography today because of the total ack of objectivity and Churchill s willingness indeed seeming eagerness to ignore any evidence that undermined his hagiographical case With this book which became an overnight bestseller Churchill dragooning his father into finally doing something useful for him His casual cruelty as a father was of course not so much as hinted at This is a great precis of a book I only knew as a title Even our Churchill could not overcome his desire to make his father seem greater than he was uite human actuallyIn WALKING WITH DESTINY we The Monk as Man: The Unknown Life of Swami Vivekananda learn what books Churchill read what places in America he visited and the people he visited with Roberts sprinkles his book with references to places associated with Churchill s WWI service such as Plug Street Experience visitors centre at Rue de Messines 156 Ploegsteert Comines Warneton 7782 Belgium It is indeed eerie to contemplate that Adolf Hitler was stationed only miles from Churchill Churchill weearn from personal The Tomb of Iuchiban lettersamented the oss of his fellow officers and men from his Scottish regiment They were not numbers to him but men volunteers from Ayr Kilmarnock Glasgow Edinburgh Leicester and Oldham including Private W Russell who was 19 years old when he was killed on 7th February 1916 Churchill had in 1899 stood for election in the northern industrial mill town of Oldham and ost Places in Britain were not just names to Churchill but homes of the British people he had visited and come to knowWe Advanced First Aid, CPR, and AED (Orange Book) learn what his favorite movies were and the famous actors and authors he knew personally Churchill had a crush on Ethel Barry aegendary actress and beauty of her time I had no idea that Churchill spent a delightful and refreshing sojourn at the Casa del Desierto in Barstow California Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow later was added to the National Register of Historic Places Churchill said We have stopped for two hours at this oasis We haveeft the train for a bath in the hotel It is not far from Bakersfield and on the road to PhoenixBefore Pearl Harbor Churchill had visited 24 of the 48 states in addition to the District of Columbia At one point Churchill was introduced to an audience by Mark Twain He met Theodore Roosevelt Churchill visited Civil War battlefields with Eisenhower and the famous historian Douglas Southall Freeman I had no idea that Churchill had crisscrossed the USA several times and visited almost every site of historical or cultural interest such as the North Rim of the Grand Canyon Carnegie Hall The Brooklyn Academy of Music and so on Roberts writes Churchill understood from an early age that his father a eading ight of the Conservative party in the first half of the 1880s was a famous national celebrity and he asked him for autographs to sell to his classmates Who knewRoberts writes Churchill made a far extraordinary series of predictions on a Sunday evening in July 1891 in a basement room of Dr Welldon s house after chapel evensong when he was discussing his plans with his friend Murland Norte: A Novel later Sir Murland Evans who worked in the War Office during the First World War and was a man of irreproachable and fastidious recollection I can see vast changes coming over a now peaceful world Churchill told Evans great upheavals terrible struggles wars such as one cannot imagine and I tell you London will be in danger London will be attacked and I shall be very prominent in the defence of London I see further ahead than you do I see into the future This country will be subjected somehow to a tremendous invasion by what means I do not know but I tell you I shall be in command of the defences of London and I shall save London and England from disaster dreams of the future are blurred but the main objective is clear I repeat London will be in danger and in the high position I shall occupy it will fall to me to save the capital and save the Empire This was completely new to me and I have read dozens of books about ChurchillBefore heeft for Cuba in 1895 the director of British Military Intelligence Colonel Edward Chapman asked Churchill to discover anything they could on the penetration and Terrific and all encompassing I earned a ot about Churchill I hadn t realized The author although a fan of Winston isn t afraid to point out his faults which gives him contrast and reality as a character I especially Mi karma y yo loved the context the author gave around all of WC sittle sarcastic comments and digs at the expense often of others He had a brilliant wit about him In the game if you could have an hour conversation with one person Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved living or dead he definitely moved way up the board If I had one critiue I wish there was interaction time given to him and Montgomery Reading aot from the American perspective I would have The Prime Minister of Paradise like about WC and the Field Marshall Likewise but to aesser extent with Ike Marshall and I m not sure if he really ever interacted with Patton I would have Charlie O. and the angry A's loved to here WC s thoughts on the Montgomery and Patton rivalry It is still amazing the force of nature he was when even people in his own government doubted him again and again Rivals and I think narrowly beats Carlo d Este s biography of Churchill This was fantastic Incidentally I m fairly certain this is the only work of non fiction that has moved me to tears I am a big fan of Churchill I have an extensiveibrary of books by and about Sir Winston Churchill 1874 1965 I was going to purchase this book for my The Sisters of Sinai library but I found the typeface so tiny I was unable to read it I do have reduced vision and primarily use audiobooks so I ended up purchasing this book in audiobook format Unfortunately I did not have access to the maps illustrations and photographs in the printed format This is the first major biography of Churchill Author is obviously a Churchill fan and that s to be kept in mind However the fact that he keeps going back on Churchill s childhood neglect as the reason for his perseverance and will is really annoying It s enough to mention it saying it could be a motivating factor but to keep implying it was one of the main reasons for his success is ridiculous Churchill was a man built for greatness and he achieved all of through sheer will And even if his childhood circumstances were favorable I doubt it would have changed the many things he achieved and the ideologies he had This is purely hypothetical ofcourse justike the author was in every other chapterAlso one point to note is most of the book is a ot of direct uotations from various characters with minimal commentary from the author who was just sewing events together This I realized is what made this book wonderful The ending where the author himself expressed views on the various events in Churchill s ife almost categorizing them arbitrarily into good and bad eft me annoyed In conclusion even though I oved the book I Dark Passage liked the author for his compilation not his writing On the author s speaking tours publicising this book Dr Roberts states that this is the 1011th biography of Winston Churchill The obvious uestion is why write about a subject so well covered beforeFirst of all Andrew Roberts has had access to new sources including exclusive access to King George VI diary an invaluable window in to theife of Churchill as he met the King every Tuesday during the war and seems to have used the time to American Military History and the Evolution of Western Warfare let off steam in confidential surroundings The author also has had access to Pamela Churchill sove Delivering Your Mail: A Book About Mail Carriers (Community Workers) letters none of which seem to have been to her husband RandolphDespite the books greatength it is a very readable account of Sir Winston s ife written beautifully This book is bound to become a classic At ast I had the authority to give direction over the whole scene I felt as if I were walking with destiny and that all my past ife had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trialI thought I knew a good deal about it all and I was sure I should not fail Therefore although impatient for the morning I slept soundly and had no need for cheering dreams Facts are better than dreams Winston Churchill upon becoming Prime Minister in 1940How do you fit a ife as ong and full as Winston Churchill s into a single volume The answer is that you need a big book one that is figuratively and nearly iterally the size of Churchill himself Andrew Roberts Churchill Walking With Destiny is a big book I do not mean to dwell on the size of this volume but it is prodigious It is 982 pages of text not including endnotes index and bibliography and it attempts to at Get Fast!: A Complete Guide to Gaining Speed Wherever You Ride least mention every incident of Churchill s existence from his birth in 1874 to his death ninety yearsater Churchill s resume is one of those things that tend to make you feel bad about yourself He was a soldier reporter writer and politician He fought dervishes escaped from a Boer prisoner of war camp and held almost every cabinet position in the British government He made mistakes that would have destroyed the careers of The Pleasant Light of Day lesser men but nevertheless rose to become Hitler s chief nemesis enough of a thorn to be name checked in der F hrer s speeches He delivered epigrams with the flair of Samuel Johnson won the Nobel Prize initerature amassed and suandered great fortunes and did it all while consuming heroic uantities of alcohol and cigars though as Roberts is at pains to point out on numerous occasions he seldom got drunk On the other hand I wore sweatpants all day yesterday and will probably do the same today The sheer amount of things Churchill did is frankly a bit exhausting as is this exhaustive book Things are rolling from the very start with a relentless pace that matches its subject Fitting Churchill s whole The Doctors 5-Minute Health Fixes: The Prescription for a Lifetime of Great Health life between just two covers reuires that kind of pacing and also a bit of cramming On a single page for instance Roberts covers the suicide of Churchill s brother inaw the death of his American mother and the sexual assault of his son at school This is a take a breath and hold it storytelling style with ittle space for reflection Roberts also makes full use of oft amusing footnotes to add further trivia to the proceedingsThe structure of Walking With Destiny is purely chronological Thankfully each chapter includes the relevant period that is being covered so all you have to do to stay oriented is ook at the top of the page to know exactly where you are on the timeline This is a The Go-Between little thing but it s a nice thing and it s the niceittle things that make ife better Unfortunately in order to get all the facts on page there is a tradeoff in analytical depth Churchill made a ot of decisions in his ife some good some catastrophic but none of them get the treatment they deserve Roberts gives Churchill a pass for the Dardanelles operation for instance but does so in a rather conclusory manner cherry picking uotes and referring vaguely to modern historians to support Churchill s pet operation But this shotgun approach is never satisfactory especially since at other points Roberts acknowledges Gallipoli as a mistake With space imitations an obvious factor hugely momentous choices such as unleashing the furies of Bomber Command on Dresden do not even get an airing To be sure Roberts does a fine job as an investigator utilizing A The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God's Mercy landmark reconsideration of the iconoclastic wareader based on extensive new material from private Deal Maker (Mixed Messages Book 2) (English Edition) letters to war cabinet meetings by the bestselling award winning author of Napoleon and The Storm of WarWhen we seek an example of unalloyed courage the man who comes to mind is Winston Churchill the visionaryeader immune from the consensus of the day who stood firmly for his beliefs when everyone doubted him But how did young Winston become Churchill What gave him the strength to take on the superior force of Nazi Germany when bombs rained on London and so many others had caved In The Storm of War Andrew
Ty five had died in the war some 744000 as well as 14600 merchant seamen and 1000 civilians A further 150000 Britons died of Spanish influenza that winterProbably about thirty seconds after the Armistice Churchill set about writing a five volume history of the Great War No war is so sanguinary as the war of exhaustion Churchill wrote No plan could be unpromising than the plan of frontal attack Yet on these two brutal expedients the military authorities of France and Britain consumed during three successive years the flower of their national manhood It also engendered an antipathy for war in that part of Europe still standing that caused the survivors to wilfully ignore the growing threat of fascism and Adolf Hitler in Germany and communism and Stalin in Russia Churchill almost alone among his contemporaries saw the danger but it would be years before people stopped shouting What about the Dardanelles at him during public speeches and his determination to speak truth to power would very nearly end his career4 March 10 Chapters 12 18Following the war he prophesied disaster at the harsh provisions Godmanstone Blues levied against Germany in the Versailles Treaty He instead urged the humane treatment of Germany warning of the grave conseuences for the future should the Russians and Germans ever come togetherNo one wasistening In the meantime he helped Gertrude Bell and Lawrence of Arabia redraw the Middle East into political entities that would favor British oil contracts supported the return to the Gold Standard what he Ramp Rats: A Graphic Guide Adventure later stigmatized as the greatest blunder of hisife started writing screenplays and made a pretty good My Name is Abu Salem living at it went on another veryucrative ecture tour of Canada and the US We realize one hundred million pounds sterling a year from our iuor taxes Churchill told the Appleton Post Crescent newspaper which I understand you give to your bootleggers and was actually on Wall Street on Black Monday and Spitting Daisies Communicating Through the Sunset lost a ton of money playing the stock market He was in and out of government and then in 1931 finally thoroughly and completely out almost when he would not support Dominion status for India not thinking those Hindus yet fit for self governance India is a geographical term It is no a united nation than the EuatorNow he was in what was called the Wilderness those years when he served as a back bencher At one point he had only three supporters in Parliament and then one of them died During this time he wrote his biography of his ancestor the first Duke of Marlborough The one million word book published in four volumes between 1933 and 1938 took him asong to research and write as it took Marlborough to fight the War of Spanish SuccessionFor Churchill writing history was a natural adjunct to making itRoberts adds The breadth of Churchill s hinterland his many and varied interests beyond politics meant that he could regard politics with detachment than most professional politicians and thus not make the compromises others did in order to gain or remain in officeGood thing too because Churchill in an act of monumental stupidity and self harm vociferously supported Edward VIII s marriage to Wallis Simpson which only gave his enemies ammunition to use against him At the same time Hitler was busy consolidating power at home in massive rearmament the Night of the Long Knives and creating the Luftwaffe in violation of the Versailles Treaty and eventually abroad on the march into the Rhineland Austria and Czechoslovakia Churchill sounded the alarm again and again and was not believed a modern day Cassandra Roberts writes One of the reasons why Churchill became prime minister in 1940 was that although few had heeded his speeches many others remembered that he had made themGiven the number of times the Western powers could have pushed back on Hitler and that they never chose to do so until it was almost too ate ater Churchill would call World War II the unnecessary war Europe s determination to remain oblivious to the threat makes for exceedingly frustrating reading todayAnd then on August 23 1939 Hitler made a pact with Russia which handed Russia the Baltic states and half of Poland This cleared the way for Hitler to invade the other half while Chamberlain went fishing in Scotland Parliament was recalled on August 24th but it took Chamberlain until September 3rd to declare the nation at war when he offered Churchill the position of first ord of the Admiralty with a seat in the War CabinetIt was about damn time5 April 7 2019 Chapters 19 31And it was nearly too ate For almost two years the news was almost uniformly bad from Dunkirk to the London Blitz to Tobruk eavened by very few bright spots ike the Battle of Britain which inspired one of Churchill s most famous speeches Never was so much owed by so many to so few No fewer than 1733 Luftwaffe planes were shot down over England between 10 July and 31 October 1940 at the cost of 915 RAF fightersChurchill in discussion with his Home Secretary says It is striking that none of the aristocracy chose the RAF they Stumbling Giants: Transforming Canada's Banks for the Information Age left it to theower middle classThe PM then waxed elouent on the disappearance of the aristocracy from the stage and their replacement by these excellent sons of the ower middle classes But for the moment Britain was up against it all alone That moment asted until 1941 when Hitler invaded Russia in June and the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December Once an endless supply of American mat riel and a seemingly endless supply of Russian soldiers for cannon fodder on the Eastern Front In the calendar year 1943 when 70000 Western servicemen including bomber crews died fighting Germany two million Russian soldiers were killed nearly thirty times the number were made available victory which Churchill had been claiming unwaveringly all along was finally assured It would only take another three and a half yearsThe war hadn t even ended when Churchill s party was turned out of office in April Roberts writes Apart from Churchill himself the Tories had nothing genuinely popular to offerThose ower middle classes fought and bled and died for the Empire for six years and at that twice in forty years and they understandably wanted a fairer share of that Empire on the other end Churchill resigned as prime minister on May 23 19456 April 7 Chapters 32 ConclusionChurchill was 70 years old by then but he couldn t bring himself to retire so he took his place as eader of the opposition Because Churchill he wrote the six volume The Second World War in his spare time In March 1946 he gave his famous Iron Curtain speech in Fulton Missouri The reaction was immediate and almost unanimously denunciatoryThe press not just on the Children of Ambition (Children of Vice, left was overwhelmingly negative in both Britain and Americaet alone elsewhereChurchill was generally accused of being a reactionary warmonger who failed to appreciate the Russian sacrifices in the war and the essentially benevolent nature of Uncle Joe Warmonger again And he was right again A prophet has no honor in his own country even if he did just save itAs majority governments inevitably do the opposition eventually overreached itself and a month away from 77 years of age Churchill became prime minister again in October 1951 He summed up his agenda as Houses and meat and not being scuppered and finally managed to end rationing in 1954 nine years after the end of the war In 1952 he saw in the reign of ueen Elizabeth the II I whose youth was passed in the august unchallenged and tranuil glories of the Victorian era may well feel a thrill in invoking once the prayer and the anthem God Save the ueen He was or ess forced from office in April 1955 but it was time and he enjoyed most of the decade that followed finishing and publishing A History of the English Speaking Peoples which he had put aside back in 1939 to fight a war and talking ong trips on Aristotle Onassis yacht He died on January 9 1965 He would have enjoyed his own funeral featuring nine military bands and a flyby of 16 RAF aircraft which was watched on television by 350 million people worldwide Churchill was the Born in the Country last aristocrat to rule Britain Roberts writes he was the first significant political figure to spot the twin totalitarian dangers of Communism and Nazism and to point out the best ways of dealing with both Above all Churchill was a student of history in particular of British history and always used the past to inform the present And then there were his unparalleled gifts of writing and of speech without whose it could be fairly said that World War II could not have been wonOne could even say Churchill wrote his way to victoryNote There s a story in this book about how Clementine had to take occasional vacations from being married to Winston he being so energetic and challenging and exhausting a companion He was all those things to this reader on the page too and I had to take freuent vacations from him of my own You have been warned Epigraph Study history study history In historyie all the secrets of statecraft ChurchillIt s also a master course on human nature because we see people in all sorts of situations and how they respond As Faulkner rightly said The past is never dead It s not even past It is always with us because people are always with us The same situations are always with us and and how humans behave in the same way including badly at times But also how good can prevail As Churchill himself said never give up never never neverI Out of the Shadows: A Memoir like the warts and all approach of this biography The author is British which I think is a factor in this The American writer William Manchester was American and his biography The Last Lion bordered on hagiography British friends have told me that there are two British figures who many Americans practically worship CS Lewis and Churchill that the Brits do not in theeast The key to the Churchill story as the title of this book indicates is that he was the right person at the right time to On Earth Were Briefly Gorgeous lead the people against the Axis Powers He was immediately voted out of office after the war was over Have not read much about Churchill for uite some time This time I fully recognize he s what is called a grandiose depressive that goes back to his parents treatment of himThe neglect and emotional cruelty at the hands of his parents that could have crushed aesser person instead gave Churchill an unuenchable desire to succeed in ife not only in general but in his father s chosen profession of politicsBut in classic fashion he was in denial and continued to idolize his parents including his unstable politician father who died of brain diseaseFrom Alice Miller s The Gifted ChildThe person who is grandiose is admired everywhere and needs this admiration indeed he cannot ive without it He must excel brilliantly in everything he undertakes which he is surely capable of doing otherwise he just does not attempt it He too admires himself for his ualities his beauty cleverness talents and for his success and achievements Beware if one of these fails him for then the catastrophe of a severe depression is imminentChurchill went through two major depressive periods with what he called the black dog One era he referred to as the wilderness years from 1929 1939 He was out of favor in Parliament with no influence as a back bencher During this period he attacked Gandhi and began his opposition to the end of the British Raj as India moved toward autonomy However powerless Churchill took up painting as a past time and other hobbies to stay busyThe second era was after his final stint as Prime Minister which ended in 1955 Now he faced old age and constant depression until his death in 1965 at age 90For all my reading about Churchill I am understanding something important for the first time While he was playing Cassandra in Parliament trying to warn the nation about Hitler he had spies in Germany gathering data on the build up of German arms he was also not making any friends opposing the India Bill that would grant India autonomy that would eventually ead to independenceThis was a classic Churchill contradiction He was spot on about Hitler but dead wrong about India I have read a number of books that include Winston Churchill as a key actor This is first time that I have read a full biography of him And this book has rewarded its purchase price many times overSeveral aspects of the volume that are noteworthy1 The arc of his ife and how the trajectory was so much influenced by his family background Key actors include John Churchill who was a major Liferider: Heart, Body, Soul, and Life Beyond the Ocean leader in the wars on the continent in the early 1700s His victory at Blenheim was a high point and she was made Duke of Marlborough as a result He was awarded support to build a new home which he called not surprisingly Blenheim Winston Churchill spent much time in this great building The Duke was a contentious person a trait not unknown to Winston 2 Churchill s father Randolph was another key element in hisife He rose in the political hierarchy before being tossed aside He had a distant relationship with his son who strove to earn his father s approval even after his deathThe path of his The Darkest Touch life is well told from early triumph to a trip into the political wilderness to his comeback as Prime Minister as World War II began The details are a strength of this book The book gives the reader an honest view of Churchill He had brilliant insights and blind spots He sometimes didn t see weaknesses in ideas that he proposed But he was also visionary seeing the potential of tanks and airplanes in World War IAll in all a terrific book well written. Than one hundred people who knew or worked with him Roberts identifies the hidden forces fueling Churchill's drive Churchill put his faith in the British Empire and fought as hard to preserve it as he did to defend London Having started his career in India and South Africa he understood better than most idealists how hard it can be to pacify reluctant people far from homeWe think of Churchill as a hero of the age of mechanized warfare but Roberts's masterwork reveals that he has as much to teach us about the challenges we face today and the fundamental values of courage tenacityeadership and moral convictio.
Dr Andrew Roberts who was born in 1963 took a first class honours degree in Modern History at Gonville & Caius College Cambridge from where he is an honorary senior scholar and a Doctor of Philosophy PhD He has written or edited twelve books and appears regularly on radio and television around the world Based in New York he is an accomplished public speaker and is represented by HarperC