His Father's Son: The Life of Randolph Churchill

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9780297816409: His Father's Son: The Life of Randolph Churchill

Randolph Churchill, only son of Winston Churchill, was born in 1911 as Europe was preparing to tear itself apart in the First World War. Suckled on a diet of politics at his father's table and nurtured by close contact with all the great political figures of his day, he harboured high political ambition from an early age. But, although endowed with many of the same talents, he lacked the self-discipline of his father to succeed in politics.
Randolph established himself as the most respected political journalist of his generation, the first to warn the world, in 1932, that the rise of Hitler to power in Germany would mean war with England. He was also the only journalist to predict the election of Harold Macmillan in the 1954 leadership contest. Although possessed of an atrocious temper, he had a generous nature and was fiercely loyal to his friends: for example, when the Profumos were being deserted by many others, Randolph granted them sanctuary from the world's press at his Suffolk home. He was the author of the first two volumes of his father's biography, and the Kennedy family, who were close friends, invited him to write the official biography of President Kennedy, an endeavour prevented only by his premature death on D-Day, 6 June 1968.
In this filial yet objective biography Winston S. Churchill explains what it was like for Randolph to live his life as the son of the greatest political figure of the twentieth century.

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About the Author:

Sir Winston Churchill led Britain through the Second World War as Prime Minister. He was the author of 42 books, including the four-volume History of the

From Kirkus Reviews:

A ``filial and objective'' biography of Winston S. Churchill's only son, Randolph, by Randolph's son. Randolph Churchill, named for a grandfather who was an important parliamentary leader in the 1880s, was born to Winston Churchill and his wife, Clementine, in London in 1911. Winston Churchill, who had been a soldier and a successful journalist, was already immersed in his brilliant political career at the time of Randolph's birth, and the early pages of this biography are a narrative of Winston Churchill's career as home secretary and first lord of the admiralty, including the catastrophic failure of the Gallipoli campaign, with which Winston, became identified, a tragedy that became indelibly imprinted on the small boy's memory. Randolph grew up in an atmosphere dominated by the powerful intellect and forceful personality of his father. Winston, for his part, tried his best to be the loving parent to Randolph that his own father had never been to him. Educated at Eton and Oxford, Randolph was, like his father, an indifferent student with evident gifts, but unlike Winston he developed habits of indolence and a quarrelsome, arrogant streak that marked his adult personality. Eventually he followed his father into politics and journalism; he had great success with the latter in the 1930s, but less with the former, failing three times as a Conservative candidate to achieve election to Parliament, but finally becoming MP from Preston as WW II neared. Having married Pamela Digby (later to be Mrs. Averell Harriman), he served in the war with the Desert Army and in the Balkans. After the war, he wrote numerous books, including two volumes of a well-regarded biography of his father. He died in 1968. Randolph's career is a historical footnote, but the author's close examination of his father's complex relationship with Winston Churchill, augmented with excerpts from their voluminous correspondence, make this a valuable contribution to Churchill scholarship. (30 b&w photos) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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