Roy Jenkins Churchill

ISBN 13: 9780786192076

Churchill

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9780786192076: Churchill

Winston Churchill is an icon of modern history. From a very young age, Churchill believed he was destined to play a great role in the life of his nation, and he determined to prepare himself for the task. Roy Jenkins shows in fascinating detail how Churchill educated himself for greatness, how he worked out his livelihood through writing as well as his professional life in politics, and how he situated himself at every major site or moment in British imperial and governmental life. His parliamentary career was like no other, with its changes of party allegiance, its troughs and humiliations, its triumphs and peaks. In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins' unparalleled command of Britain's political history and his own high-level government experience provide a nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject. Exceptional in its breadth of knowledge and distinguished by a penetrating intelligence, this is one of the finest political biographies of our time.

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Review:

Winston Churchill was querulous, childish, self-indulgent, and difficult, writes English historian Roy Jenkins. But he was also brilliant, tenacious, and capable--in short, "the greatest human being ever to occupy 10 Downing Street." Jenkins's book stands as the best single-volume biography of Churchill in recent years.

Marked by the author's wide experience writing on British leaders such as Balfour and Gladstone and his tenure as a member of Parliament, his book adds much to the vast library of works on Churchill. While acknowledging his subject's prickly nature, Jenkins credits Churchill for, among other things, recognizing far earlier than his peers the dangers of Hitler's regime. He praises Churchill for his leadership during the war years, especially at the outset, when England stood alone and in imminent danger of defeat. He also examines Churchill's struggle to forge political consensus to meet that desperate crisis, and he sheds new light on Churchill's postwar decline. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Roy Jenkins (1920-2003), active in British politics for half a century, was also an accomplished biographer. He entered the House of Commons as a Labour member in 1948 and subsequently served as Minister of Aviation, Home Secretary, and Chancellor of the Exchequer. From 1977-81 he was President of the European Commission. In 1987 he became Chancellor of Oxford University and took his seat in the House of Lords as Baron Jenkins of Hillhead.

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