Synopses & Reviews
When today's world leaders need inspiration and strength in times of crisis, they often turn to Winston Churchill, quoting him and citing his heroic example. The son of a member of Parliament, Churchill, a poor academic student, wanted to be a soldier early in life. But after he escaped from a South African prison camp, his national fame catapulted him into a life of politics.
In this Penguin Life, the eminent historian John Keegan charts Churchill's career, following his steadfast leadership during the catastrophic events of World War II while England was dangerously poised on the brink of collapse. With wonderful eloquence, Keegan illuminates Churchill's incredible strength during this crucial moment in history and his unshakable belief that democracy would always prevail. Keegan looks at Churchill's speeches, which are some of the greatest examples of English oratory, and identifies his ability to communicate his own idea of an English past as the source of Churchill's greatness. He also sheds light on the political climate of Churchill's time. The result is an insightful, sensitive portrait of Churchill the war leader and Churchill the man.
"An accomplished and seductive book."
-The Times Literary Supplement
"Stands out as a model of insightfulness about an immense historical personality who helped to shape the world we live in."
"Masterfully covers nearly all aspects of Churchill's illustrious career with knowledgeable insight and sympathy."
One of the greatest historians writing today gives us a defining portrait of the incomparable Winston Churchill
In his landmark biography of Winston Churchill, acclaimed historian John Keegan offers a very human portrait of one of the twentieth century's enduring symbols of heroic defiance. From Churchill's youth as a poor student to his leadership during World War II, Keegan reveals a man whose own idea of an English past—eloquently embodied in his speeches—allowed him to exhort a nation to unprecedented levels of sacrifice. The result is a uniquely discerning look at one of the most fascinating personalities in history.
“The best military historian of our generation.” –Tom Clancy
About the Author
Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan (1934–2012), was one of the most distinguished contemporary military historians and was for many years the senior lecturer at Sandhurst (the British Royal Military Academy) and the defense editor of the Daily Telegraph (London). Keegan was the author of numerous books including The Face of Battle, The Mask of Command, The Price of Admiralty, Six Armies in Normandy, and The Second World War, and was a fellow at the Royal Society of Literature.
Table of Contents
ONE: Churchill and History, 1
TWO: Family and Youth, 18
THREE: The Army, 1894-1900, 35
FOUR: Parliament, 1900-1910, 56
FIVE: The Center of Events, 1910-1915, 74
SIX: War and Peace, 1915-1932, 92
SEVEN: The Coming of War, 1933-1940, 111
EIGHT: A Prime Minister Alone, 1940-1941, 130
NINE: The Big Three, 1941-1945, 151
TEN: Apotheosis, 171