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In this Christian Encounter Series biography , author John Perry explores the life of Sir. Winston Churchill, the man who changed World War II. Winston Churchill captivated the world with his voice and his writings. His books and speeches ooze with patriotism and faith in a just God. But he wasn’t always known for his oratory skills, his faith, or his ability to captivate. In fact, as a child, he was small for his age, accident-prone, and frequently sick. To make matters worse, he was stubborn and self-centered, had a lisp, and did poorly in school. Born to an aristocratic family, young Winston was whisked off to boarding school at an early age, ignored by his parents, and left in the care of a nanny, Elizabeth Everest. But Everest excelled where Winston’s own parents had failed him. She nurtured and encouraged him, and shared with him her own steadfast faith in God, shaping the views and vision of the persistent little English boy who would become one of the most influen­tial men in history.

192 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2010

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About the author

John Perry

20 books21 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

John Perry has coauthored books with John MacArthur, Richard Land, Mike Huckabee, among others and written historical books about Charles Colson, the Scopes Monkey Trials, and more. He is a two-time Gold Medallion Award finalist and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for PJ Wenzel.
292 reviews4 followers
November 26, 2022
Fair and balanced and not drooling. Neither is it too caustic. An interesting take on the man which basically aims to see how God influenced his thinking and what he said about God and supernatural things.

Particularly good is the way he was able to condense such a packed life into such a short volume. Better than P. Johnson does or Boris Johnson even. And I would get five stars if it had not been for. Some errors and suspected errors and a few moments where contextually it would have been helpful to have one more sentence or so. In fact one of the errors IS a contextual one - the way the book reads naturally, one would think that it was the King who made the final and decisive political call on Churchill becoming PM and that simply isn’t the case. There is also a sort of playful kindness espoused between WSC and Halifax, which was overly generous.

In the end though, I thought it insightful and incisive.
Profile Image for Josh.
407 reviews20 followers
February 8, 2017
Really good, actually. Short, but at this point, was a great little introduction and summary of Churchill's life, which has taken other writers several volumes to cover. I'm a little perplexed by the "Christian Encounters Series," and what it's trying to be...kind of like I'm perplexed by certain Chris Tomlin songs... but anyway..
Profile Image for Abhay.
14 reviews
May 4, 2020
Below Avg Biography of Churchil . Just tries to portray him as a hero without even giving any heeds to atrocities caused by him in other parts of the world
Profile Image for Ginger.
435 reviews296 followers
June 18, 2018
I've read several in this CES series of mini-biographies. They're worth reading, but there are better on Churchill than this. Skip this one and read Gretchen Rubin's 40 Ways to Look at Winston.
Profile Image for Lois.
323 reviews9 followers
May 21, 2018
Based largely on Winston Churchill’s own writings, Winston Churchill describes Churchill’s life and times from a Christian perspective. Ranging from what appeared, to all intents and purposes, to have been his premature birth, though many doubts have been raised in that regard, to the posthumous summation of her father’s outlook on life by Churchill’s younger daughter, Mary, Lady Soames, the biography relates the most significant moments of his political career, as well as of his home life and religious convictions (despite his overt lack thereof).

Though born into an aristocratic setting, emotionally Churchill was neglected by his parents as a child. Asserting himself against such odds, he came to lead Britain through the most devastating onslaught that that nation has had to experience in modern times. Overcoming a speech impediment and a scholastically faltering career, his oratory was responsible for buoying the spirit of a people who refused to give in, even when all the odds seemed to be against them. Although Churchill often insisted that he did not believe in God, he often called upon Him in times of crisis. His persistence and deep-seated sense of moral rectitude, even when he was at odds with his own people, the British nation, won him widely given respect. Churchill’s devotion to his nation even limited the time that he spent on publicly grieving the death of his own daughter, Marigold. Despite being ill towards the latter end of his life, he persisted in his role as prime minister until he was voted out of office at the end of the Second World War.

Winston Churchill reveals the emotions and thoughts of one of the greatest heroes of all time. Perry’s biography is informative and accessible, providing much food for thought. His text contains many quotations and excerpts from writings both on, and by, Winston Churchill. Perry’s insight into Churchill’s approach to Christianity is striking, ranging from his perception that his reading and analyzing of the works of such great historians as Edward Gibbon, Thomas Macaulay, Blaise Pascal and Charles Darwin must have prompted him to ask himself probing questions about religion, to Perry’s consideration of the assertion made by Winston’s younger daughter that he considered himself to be a Christian.

In addition to extensive notes on all the chapters, the biography ends in a two-page bibliography, including references to the works of many other of Churchill’s biographers, including Martin Gilbert and John Lukacs. A Reading Group Guide to Christian Encounters: Winston Churchill is also available at http://www.thomasnelson.com/rgg.

John Perry has also published biographies of Charles Colson, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, and Sgt. York.
Profile Image for CM.
676 reviews
June 15, 2017
I'm not sure how this effectively fits into the series: Christian Encounter. The author tries to trace Churchill's "faith" through the telling of his lifestory, but even in quoting his own words, it is clear that though he was a man who believed in the existence of the Almighty and was familiar with the Bible, there is absolutely nothing in his life to suggest he had any relationship whatsoever with the person of Jesus Christ. Hence, no "Christian" encounter. I think that is stretching the limit of the meaning, don't you?

The writing is, for the most part, well done. I enjoyed learning some interesting bits about Churchill that I had either not remembered or not known before.
Profile Image for Zachary McIntire.
Author 1 book56 followers
October 6, 2018
Short, but well-written biography, from a series apparently targeted toward younger readers, but good for busy adults as well. I especially appreciated the way the author handled Churchill's religious beliefs (or the lack thereof): although he is obviously writing from a Christian perspective (with Thomas Nelson as his publisher), Perry doesn't try to present Churchill as a Biblical Christian. His treatment of his subject is balanced and objective, and as thorough as one could expect from a work of this length and style.
Profile Image for MC.
614 reviews56 followers
February 3, 2014
Winston Churchill was one of the greatest men of the twentieth century. Perhaps of all of human history. What made him tick, and what was his view on the weightier matters of the soul, and the spirit? Author of several political biographies, John Perry, explores these questions with refreshing candor and honesty in the book *Christian Encounters: Winston Churchill*, part of Thomas Nelson’s *Christian Encounters* series of biographies of prominent men and women in Western history and culture.

What makes this book so interesting is the candidness of the author in discussing numerous facets to Churchill’s life. Too often, an author will make a character completely dovetail to their or their audience’s, beliefs and worldview. Examples of this are the attempt to make Thomas Jefferson a Christian. He may or may not have been one, we just don’t know for sure either way. On the “other side” if you will, there are attempts to portray Catherine Beecher as someone who hated her father’s faith. This is decidedly not true, and easily enough disproven, yet try they do.

Perry toes the line of history in this book, which is a good thing, because the picture we are given of Churchill is so much more compelling for the honesty and truth that Perry conveys. Churchill was a conceited, arrogant blusterer who thought that the Lord had a special place for him in the world. Half of the time, he did not seem to know for sure just Who that Lord is. He gravitated between different views of the physical and metaphysical. Of course, he would just characterize it as a desire to understand them both, since he mocked metaphysics, and did not think that, as he put it, “Reason and faith”, needed to be reconciled to each other at all.

He rarely attended church, whilst his wife ensured the children’s religious upbringing, yet he clung to the belief that any setback or triumph was equally the amorphous “God’s” will. Yet his view of Heaven and of the Divine was that he believed it to be true. Whether he believed enough to submit, we will never know, at least until those of us called by the Lord enter the Pearly Gates.

The inspiring part about the life of Churchill is how one can truly agree with Churchill that he was preserved by the Lord for an eventual moment of helping to save the world from the Nazis, and pave the way for a successful strategy against the Soviets. The other part of the book that is inspiring is how the most ordinary of people, people that history forgets or ignores, have a truly momentous impact on the world in which we live. Nobody really remembers Edward Kimball, a 19th century Sunday School teacher in Chicago, but almost everyone has heard of his convert, a young ruffian named D. L. Moody. So no one really pays much attention to Elizabeth Everest, but we all know her charge she watched over for her employers, Winston Churchill. She was a mother to him where his own parents he idolized were not. If he is in Heaven, if he did accept Christ as Savior, it has a lot to do with her.

There were some very annoying things about this work, part of which was that the author did not do a good job of portraying the progression of time to his audience. He marks off years, and events, but passes over huge gulfs of time in Churchill’s life, and before you know it, World War II is dawning and Churchill is sixty-four. The natural response is to wonder where the time went.

The author also switches constantly between an examination of Churchill’s moral and religious beliefs, such as they were and the political and other facets of his life much too abruptly. At the very end, he switches back to the moral or religious for a short time, but not enough for this reader. I appreciate that Perry did not want to falsely say that Churchill did one thing or another in regards to his eternal home, because we cannot know for sure, though he likely did hold to a belief in Christ. I simply would have appreciated more of an attempt to deal with the issue.

Despite these issues, this book was a fascinating read. It is a slim volume that holds such a broad overview of the life of Winston Churchill and illumination into just what sort of a man he really was. Heaven and Hell, redemption, Salvation, and the truth are sure, but how we each are lead by God to acceptance of His Son is not so easy to identify. Sometimes we accept but resist, and other times we do not accept at all. Nonetheless, we all answer to a higher authority, and the mark of the child of God is those whom God pre-ordained to accept His Son Jesus Christ. Sometimes such people stray. Some of those we see in Heaven will be those who strayed for quite some time. Maybe even a Churchill or two.

I received this biography of Winston Churchill for free from Thomas Nelson publishers via their BookSneeze program. I am obligated to read it and give a review on my blog and on a commercial web site such as Amazon.com. I wanted to review it more fully here, as the reviews elsewhere are somewhat shorter to properly fit into those formats. Thomas Nelson emphasizes their desire for honest reviews, whether positive or negative, in order to help them create a better product. The opinions above are my honest viewpoint. I want to thank Thomas Nelson for allowing me to review this book, and thank you all for reading this.
Profile Image for Karina Heng.
83 reviews
September 22, 2018
The secret? His God-fearing nanny. Just read the first few chapters. No one bothers with that fact. The other biographers have exhaustively covered the other aspects.
253 reviews1 follower
March 10, 2020
Filling in the Gaps

So hard for any author to present fresh material on the great man about whom so much commentary has been made. Perry's done it, though and I'm grateful.
Profile Image for Lisa.
Author 33 books115 followers
April 22, 2010
Book Description
Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience.

Britain’s master statesman and orator Winston Churchill was in no small way responsible for the WWII Allied victory over the Axis powers.
Perry takes the reader back to the nineteenth century to make the case that Churchill’s upbringing factored into the development of his character. Drawing strongly upon Churchill’s autobiography, Perry draws conclusions about how Churchill’s society parents, particularly his father who died at a young age, took a back seat to the nanny who essentially raised Winston and his brother. Elizabeth Everest taught the boys about matters of faith and behavior, strongly influencing in particular Churchill’s decisions regarding church attendance and behavior both in and out of the classroom. Because she spent more time with Churchill than his parents, her lifestyle choice was more of a role model.

Perry’s style in this biography is somewhat dry in repetition and the use of many paragraphs quoting from Churchill and other biographies. Some questionable conclusions are drawn, such as (young Winston) “must have been devastated by his father’s last letters,” and “many readers agreed that he built up his own story…” when he was away from power between the wars.

Churchill served the world during one of the more insidious periods of history. He did what he felt had to be done to preserve the best of the civilized world and his influence no doubt changed the course of history. Perry does a nice job of condensing a huge life into an easily understood and less daunting read than a several-hundred page biography for those readers who like a nice little bite of history to help us understand better how certain events unfolded.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes.
Profile Image for Kristine Coumbe.
64 reviews5 followers
March 21, 2010
I will admit that before reading this book, I knew only a few things about Winston Churchill from History classes in high school and college classes. What I was taught was reporting and boring. After reading this book about a famous leader during WWII who made a difference, I found that this short but consise biography is an excellent introduction to a fascinating person in history.

Winston Churchill was brought up in a priviledged background. Sadly his parents were more interested in their place in society and the political structure of the time to be bothered with raising two boys. Thankfully the boys were raised by a nanny, lovingly called Woom. Woom or Elizabeth Everest encouraged Winston and helped shape his religious and spiritual beliefs. Winston was stubborn and accident prone but highly intelligent. Winston could be extremely successful in school subjects that interested him. He was excellent in English,Sports including swimming and horsebackriding which will come in handy later. Ironically his parents thought he would make a terrible politican and encouraged him to go into the armyofficers unit. Winston was an action oriented person who loved adventure so military life suited him well. During downtime of the army Winston was a ferocious reader. He read volumes on history,philosophy and religion. I found all of Winston's life experiences had all contributed to the thinking and strategy used during WWII. I always want to know what motivates a person in their life. Perry captured the essence of Churchill.

Because Winston is of another age (time) and background it could be hard to relate to him. Suprisingly I could relate to him. I found that this biography was carefully researched and writing exceptional. There are two goals of writing a biography, one is to represent the subject well and as realistically as possible. The other is to educate and inspire others. I feel that Perry accomplished both.
Profile Image for Christy Trever.
613 reviews19 followers
November 2, 2010
Christian Encounters Winston Churchill by John Perry is a insightful look at one of the most fascinating and important personages of the twentieth century. Winston Churchill came from a titled family dating back centuries in English history, but he was always determined to make his own mark on the world. Perry's book focuses much on Churchill's faith, but he also gives a brief but interesting biography of his life as well. Churchill's faith changed throughout his life from a passing belief in God with no actions to demonstrate it, to a deeper feeling late in life when he looked forward to his time in Heaven. Many of the two-times Prime Minister of England's speeches are here, including some of his prescient words about the build-up of Nazi Germany in the days before WWII, as well as his inspirational talks that motivated a nation to stark rations (while he continued to live in unabated luxury) and to fight to the end. Perry really does capture the man in his egotistical belief that God had created him for great things, his refusal to live within his means, and his occasional rewriting history in his many books, but he also portrays a man who had a great influence in history. If you're looking for a indepth biography of Churchill, this is not the book for you, but if you are looking for an interesting look at the important points of his life, an insightful look at his personality, and an studied look at his faith, this is an excellent read.
Profile Image for Fergie.
395 reviews34 followers
November 14, 2012
This is a relatively short biography on one of the 20th century's greatest historical figures. My only complaint was this -- it seems to book wraps-up just at the point when it gets most interesting. By the time WWII begins, you are nearing the end of the book. I would have liked to have read more about how Churchill united the British people during the dark days of Hitler's attempts to make a conquest of the island.
Born to an American mother and a British father, you get a sense from his childhood that Churchill was deemed for greatness. He seemed to sense this as a part of his fate as well. While there was certainly evidence of Churchill's egotism, any student of history will forgive this "flaw" in his character, seeing instead that his confidence was what led him to lead the English through one of the darkest periods in their history.
Profile Image for Cami.
79 reviews
August 22, 2011
This was the first book I have ever read about Winston Churchill. I felt like it was a pretty honest look at his life, especially considering that the book is a part of "The Christian Encounter Series". The book is short and an easy read. The life of Winston Churchill is an amazing one; one worth reading about.
Profile Image for Ronald.
Author 2 books5 followers
October 31, 2015
I really enjoyed the book. First and foremost Churchill had lot of flaws but he was also destined to play a great in world affairs, and there is no doubt about it. Churchill's oratory was brilliant, and that made him a great man. He is a little like Lincoln, perhaps oratorically. But he sought his own glory and fame most of the time. But that doesn't matter, all are vain glorious.
Profile Image for Adele Gibbes.
Author 2 books8 followers
April 3, 2010
I really enjoyed this work of nonfiction. It's a short introduction which highlights and summarizes key events in the life of one of the world's greatest leaders, Sir Winston Churchill.
Profile Image for Cody.
94 reviews1 follower
September 13, 2017
Very good story of the life of Winston Churchill. I found that it was very easy to read as well as being full of important information.
Profile Image for Bill Welte.
109 reviews1 follower
November 4, 2015
I am a huge Churchill fan. If you are looking for a shorter read on his life. This is a great synopsis.
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