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Churchill and America


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this stirring book, Martin Gilbert tells the intensely human story of Winston Churchill's profound connection to America, a relationship that resulted in an Anglo-American alliance that has stood at the center of international relations for more than a century.

Winston Churchill, whose mother, Jennie Jerome, the daughter of a leading American entrepreneur, was born in Brooklyn in 1854, spent much of his seventy adult years in close contact with the United States. In two world wars, his was the main British voice urging the closest possible cooperation with the United States. From before the First World War, he understood the power of the United States, the "gigantic boiler," which, once lit, would drive the great engine forward.

Sir Martin Gilbert was appointed Churchill's official biographer in 1968 and has ever since been collecting archival and personal documentation that explores every twist and turn of Churchill's relationship with the United States, revealing the golden thread running through it of friendship and understanding despite many setbacks and disappointments. Drawing on this extensive store of Churchill's own words — in his private letters, his articles and speeches, and press conferences and interviews given to American journalists on his numerous journeys throughout the United States — Gilbert paints a rich portrait of the Anglo-American relationship that began at the turn of the last century.

Churchill first visited the United States in 1895, when he was twenty-one. During that first visit, he was invited to West Point and was fascinated by New York City. "What an extraordinary people the Americans are!" he wrote to his mother. "This is a very great country, my dear Jack," he told his brother. During three subsequent visits before the Second World War, he traveled widely and formed a clear understanding of both the physical and moral strength of Americans.

During the First World War, Churchill was Britain's Minister of Munitions, working closely with his American counterpart Bernard Baruch to secure the material needed for the joint war effort, and argued with his colleagues that it would be a grave mistake to launch a renewed assault before the Americans arrived.

Churchill's historic alliance with Franklin Roosevelt during the Second World War is brilliantly portrayed here with much new material, as are his subsequent ties with President Truman, which contributed to the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan.

In his final words to his Cabinet in 1955, on the eve of his retirement as Prime Minister, Churchill gave his colleagues this advice: "Never be separated from the Americans."

In "Churchill and America," Gilbert explores how Churchill's intense rapport with this country resulted in no less than the liberation of Europe and the preservation of European democracy and freedom. It also set the stage for the ongoing alliance that has survived into the twenty-first century.


"A few weeks after Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill was invited to address a joint session of Congress. Thanking the assembled company, he said: 'I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way round, I might have got here on my own.' Although it's fun to imagine Churchill as the junior senator from New York, perhaps even running for governor... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Table of Contents


List of Maps

List of Photographs



Chapter One: From Blenheim Palace to Buffalo Bill

Chapter Two: The "Tall Yankee" and "A Great Lusty Youth"

Chapter Three: Cuba and Beyond

Chapter Four: "How Little Time Remains!"

Chapter Five: Lecturer in the United States:"The Stormy Ocean of American Thought and Discussion"

Chapter Six: "Dark Would Be the Day"

Chapter Seven: Churchill at War, and a Neutral America

Chapter Eight: "The Future Destiny of the English-speaking Peoples"

Chapter Nine: 1918: "Come Over as Quickly as Possible"

Chapter Ten: "America Did Not Make Good"

Chapter Eleven: "We Do Not Wish to Put Ourselves in the Power of the United States"

Chapter Twelve: "United to Us by the Crimson Thread of Friendship"

Chapter Thirteen: Between Two Visits

Chapter Fourteen: "There's No Baloney About Him at All"

Chapter Fifteen: "Why Do Our Two Countries Not Take Counsel Together?"

Chapter Sixteen: "A Union of Spirit"

Chapter Seventeen: Road to War

Chapter Eighteen: "Hope Burden Will Not Be Made Too Heavy for Us to Bear"

Chapter Nineteen: "I Shall Drag the United States In"

Chapter Twenty: "Until the Old World — and the New — Can Join Hands"

Chapter Twenty-One: "We Are No Longer Alone"

Chapter Twenty-Two: Five Months of Anguish

Chapter Twenty-Three: "A Means of Waging More Effective War"

Chapter Twenty-Four: "American Blood Flowed in My Veins"

Chapter Twenty-Five: The Washington War Conference: "All in It Together"

Chapter Twenty-Six: "Okay Full Blast"

Chapter Twenty-Seven: "The Tact and Consideration Which the Harmony of the Common Cause Requires"

Chapter Twenty-Eight: "If We Are Together Nothing Is Impossible"

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Toward Overlord: "Our Band of Brothers"

Chapter Thirty: From Normandy to Quebec

Chapter Thirty-One: "It Grieves Me Very Much to See Signs of Our Drifting Apart"

Chapter Thirty-Two: Malta, Yalta and Beyond

Chapter Thirty-Three: "We Must Make Sure That the United States Are with Us"

Chapter Thirty-Four: "Britain, Though a Smaller Power Than the United States, Had Much to Give"

Chapter Thirty-Five: Fulton and Its Aftermath

Chapter Thirty-Six: "I Have Always Worked for Friendship with the United States"

Chapter Thirty-Seven: The Indefatigable Traveler

Chapter Thirty-Eight: "I Marvel at America's Altruism, Her Sublime Disinterestedness"

Chapter Thirty-Nine: "We Must Not Cast Away a Single Hope, However Slender"

Chapter Forty: "Never Be Separated from the Americans"

Chapter Forty-One: Final Decade: "I Delight in My American Ancestry"

Churchill's American Visits



Illustration Credits


Product Details

Gilbert, Martin
Free Press
Gilbert Martin
Great britain
Historical - British
Prime ministers
Presidents & Heads of State
International Relations - General
General History
Biography & Autobiography-Historical - British
Biography & Autobiography-Historical - General
Family & Relationships-Life Stages - School Age
Publication Date:
October 2005
Grade Level:
9.40x6.32x1.53 in. 2.02 lbs.
Age Level:
Family & Relationships : Life Stages - School Age

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Political
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » Winston Churchill
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » Churchill, Winston
History and Social Science » World History » General

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