Winston's War (Winston Churchill #1)
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Winston's War (Winston Churchill #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  647 ratings  ·  90 reviews
WINSTON'S WAR is a masterful blending of imagination and compelling fact that places the reader at the right hand of the most momentous events in our history.

Saturday 1 October 1938. Two men meet. One is elderly, the other in his twenties. One will become the most revered man of his time, and the other known as the greatest of traitors.

Winston Churchill met Guy Burgess at...more
Paperback, 690 pages
Published 2003 by HarperCollins (first published November 4th 2002)
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Gerry Claes
Interesting account as to how Winston Churchill came to be Prime Minister of England. It is amazing how long Neville Chamberlain was duped by Hitler. Chamberlain could not accept the fact that there were evil people leading Germany and Italy that were not gentlemen of honor, is there a parallel with President Obama? To be an effective leader in difficult times you have to be willing to make the tough decisions and place the interests of your country above the interests of your political party. C...more
John Beck


A work of historical fiction with a great cast of characters. The great war leader Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, the great appeaser to Nazi demands, and the notorious Russian spy Guy Burgess all coming together in one novel. The book is fun to read but jumps around a lot making it difficult to track the action.
Martha
I had my doubts about this book but was very glad that I stuck it through to the end. There is a cast of characters that's hard to track who appear seemingly at random. While it took some time to sort them out, it was one of the pleasures of sticking with the book as their role in the story all came to light as the end neared. This writer gives flesh to the beginning of England's involvement in World War II and to the characters involved in England's slow move towards war. Chamberlain reads like...more
Jay Fromkin
"You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment..." Francis Urquhart's memorable quote from "House of Cards" was particularly useful in public relations career. Thank you, Michael Dobbs. And, thank you for "Winston's War," another look at British political infighting.

"Winston's War" has little enough to do with World War II, per se. It is all about the run-up to, and earliest days of the war, when Churchill's primary battle was with Neville Chamberlain and his Tory minions about app...more
Jess
What a surprisingly good read! I suppose I didn't expect much from this book, despite reading an interesting blurb on it, because Barnes & Noble was giving it away for free, as one of their Free Fridays offerings. Yes, I realize that such things are supposed to build interest in the author or in similar works. Still, many of the giveaways are worth what I pay for them. In this case, that view was in error.

Winston's War is an historical novel, focused on the run-up to World War II, as Neville...more
Stefan
Winston’s War was a gripping and intelligent historical novel. The well-written layers of sub-plots, the many plot twists, the numerous characters (both historical and fictional), and the historic settings (10 Downing Street, Whitehall, Parliament, Chartwell, and so on) made this an enjoyable read. The many historical and political events (the meeting between Churchill and Burgess, the Munich Conference, the invasion of Poland, the German invasion of Norway, and Chamberlain’s resignation, among...more
Jessica
I've been on a British royalty kick lately so I thought it would be cool to read about Winston Churchill since he was QEII's first Prime Minister. This was so hard to get through. I don't know if it was because I was reading it on my nook, or because I don't really understand British politics or because I wasn't familiar with the subject matter, but it was tough. I've been reading this for well over three weeks. I actually had to stop halfway through and give my mind a break because I just COULD...more
Pete Jones
I got this book expecting something different; one of those historical fiction books that developed the characters and dialogues to fill out the gaps in historical facts. This book seems to have been conceived as a “Downton Abbey” for guys. This book covers the years before Britain entered WWI while Neville Chamberlain was the PM. I’m not an historian, but this seems to be more fiction set during the period than historical fiction. The most extreme excursion from the facts involves Guy Burgess o...more
Dave
This was my first Michael Dobbs book, and I must say I am somewhat disappointed. I have watched both House of Cards series (BBC and Netflix) and enjoyed them both tremendously. In comparison, this book trudges ploddingly along showing us how Churchill came to power in the early days of WWII. After many long-winded examples of what stupid twits the upper classes are, Winston (along with all his many faults) finally takes over the leadership. My disappointment stems from the lack of excitement and...more
Melanie
I made it about half way through this book before I decided to go onto a different one. The story was not bad and the writing was good. I just wasn't interested enough in the book to keep reading. I did like the historical aspect.
Kate
I greatly enjoyed this novelization of the political climate in Britain surrounding the beginning of WWII. Obviously in school we studied WWII and the events leading up to it, however I never studied the specific events in Britain at the time, and this book has encouraged me to want to read about the politics in Britain post-WWI and pre-WWII.
This novel was not without some minor problems, sometimes I didn't feel the transitions were clean or clear enough for the reader to know that it was now...more
Scott
This was a very good historical novel that may have distracted me from my current sci-fi binge. I thoroughly enjoyed this book - the story and the characters. I learned that Chamberlain wasn't the spineless wimp he was portrayed as in high school history class, but a modern day shark-like politician. Willing to go to great lengths to maintain power, but woefully unable to lead. Churchill was also ambitious for power, but unlike Chamberlain, was seemingly born to lead.
The author expresses hope i...more
Palmyrah
Excellent work of fiction in which the principal characters and most of the supporting cast are real historical personages. The prose style is light and well-polished, making for easy and pleasant reading--perhaps a little too much so when the events covered are worthy of a touch of pomp and grandeur, for example in the House of Commons scenes. Still, it was probably wise of the author (a former advertising copywriter and PR man for the British Conservative Party) to stick to his last and not st...more
Cherie
I'm torn between needing another star between I liked it and I really liked it, but I don't know what to call it. I feel something more than I liked it, but something less than I really liked it.
I never thought much about reading a book about Winston Churchill. I never thougt much about reading a book about the beginning of the 2nd World War in Europe either. Why DID I read this book?
Someting about the book cover and and title called to me. The story sounded interesting when I read the review A...more
Liz
Apr 10, 2012 Liz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history lovers
Recommended to Liz by: bn free fridays
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘War comes in many different colours.’

On 1 October 1938, Winston Churchill met Guy Burgess. Churchill had already made a mark on the political landscape, Burgess was certainly going to. But what brought these men together? And what political intrigues and other machinations were part of the political landscape in this period immediately before Europe erupted into war?

Winston Churchill himself could well be described as ‘.. a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma ..’. At times, while readi...more
Scott
I always find stories about the war interesting, so much happened in reality that fiction is almost not necessary. This is a story more of the political side than the battle side, of how Churchill came to lead (and almost doesn't) the country in its time of greatest need. For i you learn about the war or see in tv or film, the political part leading up to 1940 i have to admit i knew nothing about, i didn't remember Chamberlain was even the Prime Minister when war began, or how much he clung onto...more
Brenda
I thought this book would be more about WWII, so was surprised that it was solely about the political struggles prior to Churchill's assumption of the Prime Minister position.

This book was brutal in it's assessment of every character in the book - no one was spared the caustic review of their flaws and foibles. Not a like able character in the bunch except for maybe Mac and Carol's kids. I thought the book was a bit too broad in terms of the number of story lines and certainly in the number of c...more
Cynjok
I think anyone interested in the lead up to Great Britain reluctantly going to war with Germany at the beginning of WWII, specifically regarding Chamberlain's initial policy of appeasement, will definitely appreciate in this novel.
Sean Mcdonald
Interesting piece of historical fiction about the multiple level of intrigues that mixed leading up to Churchill's election as Prime Minister. Lots of familiar names run through the story.
David  Sam
An interesting and entertaining re-imagining of events leading up to Churchill's becoming Prime Minister, this novel leans towards the cynical except in its portrayal of Churchill himself.
Jule
Loved this book. A perfect blend of accurate, and well researched history with just enough offstage fiction to lend interest and diversity. This is a 700 page book I was sorry to finish and look forward to the other 3 in this series.
Dennis Golombek
This was an enjoyable mix of.accurate history.with some mildly tittalating fiction. I've held Winston in high regard since my childhood. My memory of him uttering his "Iron Curtain" speech in glorious B&W television news footage here in tje USA was probably the start of my Anglophillia. Dobbs makes the story interesting by tossing in US Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, a somewhT overbearinng Neville Chamberlin and others to bring the story of Winston's ascension back into his role as prime ministe...more
Tom
Oh what a description of political maneuverings. Based on facts and events leading up to the early stages of England's involvement in World War II, I wish were not true. On the oher hand, fro the story, it is hard to decipher what parts were true - - people already familiar with the English history of the period would already have such insights.

Although a very good historical story, it was both fast and slow moving. The events leading to the political agreements, or changes in government, were a...more
Jan Higinbotham
Superb

cuts close to the truth, which is always fascinating. great read for students of world war two and it's causes.
Dee Renee  Chesnut
When I downloaded Winston's War, it was free from Nook. I shelved it in non-fiction; but it states it is a work of fiction.

I found too many parts of it to be boring for it to rank more than 2 stars as a work of fiction. Uneven pacing and too many characters who were not doing enough interesting things contributed to my boredom. I easily tire of drunken, boorish behavior as exhibited by the politicians, their assistants, and those for whom they rely on information and to spread their point of vi...more
Peter Thornton
A good political thriller which I enjoyed. A new angle on a familiar story. The book seems long considering the relatively simple plot. MD takes a long time building up the cast of minor characters whose contribution to the plot is, with one exception, slight. Apart from Mac I don't feel I really get to know them.
Vern
An interesting look into the intrigue of pre-war politics in Britain and the ambitions and character flaws of Churchill and Chamberlain.
Pirate
Not a bad read at all. However, it glosses over the more unpalatable facts of Churchill's life, not least his anti Irish bias
Nancy
Subtitled A Novel of Conspiracy there is plenty of historical non-fiction interwoven to make this a fascinating read. The treachery of politics seems not to be a recent occurrence nor any less despicable than in the months leading to Britain's entry into WWII. The depictions of Churchill, Chamberlin and those who surround them are frequently unflattering:certainly no one is flattered in fluff. I liked how the author wove in the lives of "ordinary" citizens as well as those in power.
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Michael Dobbs was born on the same day, in the same hour as Prince Charles in 1948.

He is the son of nurseryman Eric and his wife Eileen Dobbs and was educated at Hertford Grammar School and Christ Church, Oxford University. After graduating in 1971 he moved to the United States.

In the USA he attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, which he...more
More about Michael Dobbs...
House of Cards (Francis Urquhart, #1) Never Surrender (Winston Churchill, #2) Churchill's Triumph (Winston Churchill #4) To Play the King (Francis Urquhart #2) Churchill's Hour (Winston Churchill #3)

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