Mark O'Neill's Reviews > Churchill: A Biography

Churchill by Roy  Jenkins
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's review
Jan 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: history, non-fiction, reference, war, churchill, uk, parliament

I've long been waiting for a proper authoritative biography of Winston Churchill. He was without doubt the best Prime Minister that Britain has ever had. If it wasn't for him, Britain would have been invaded by Nazi Germany and we would all now be wearing military uniforms and speaking German. Churchill was the man who rallied the British nation behind him and he was the first to stand up to Hitler's aggression.[return][return]Roy Jenkins has done a superb job of cataloguing Churchill's life. The book covers his entire life, including his early years in the British Army, entering the British Parliament for the first time, having to deal with the legacy of his father (which was less than perfect), his early years as a government minister and his correspondence from during this period.[return][return]But as any student of Churchill knows, his story doesn't really begin to kick in until the 1930's and the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany. Before then, Churchill was in danger of fading into obscurity and becoming an overlooked footnote in history. It wasn't until the rise of the Nazi leader that Churchill finally found his voice - and his purpose. Throughout the 1930's, despite being reviled by his own party, he constantly spoke out against Nazi policies and against Britain's policy towards Hitler. He warned from the start that the path Hitler was taking would only end in armed bloody conflict - and he was eventually proved right.[return][return]The book then moves on to his period in Downing Street and fighting the war. Then his post-war years where he was first out of government (after losing the 1945 General Election) and then his return to Downing Street for another stint as PM in the early 1950's.[return][return]The book comes complete with Churchill correspondence and photographs from the family album. My only complaint about the book would be that this is a very difficult volume to read. It would be impossible to read this from cover to cover (unless you're a hardcore Churchill fanatic capable of taking in huge amounts of biographical information) - instead this would be a book that you would keep on the bookshelf to read in small doses (or for research purposes on a particular point).[return][return]Incredibly well-researched and most definately the definitive history of Winston Churchill. Recommmended. Just don't expect an easy read. Prepare for an information overload.

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