The History Book Club discussion


Comments Showing 1-50 of 59 (59 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 25, 2009 04:36PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
This is not a non spoiler thread. On this thread, posters can discuss any aspect of Churchill's life. Would you classify his works as true histories, commentaries, memoirs, narrative histories? Why was Churchill so prolific a writer? Did he need the money, was he looking for fame, was he concerned about his legacy or did he have other more noble ambitions? Churchill won the Nobel Prize in Literature and was deemed the best of all Britons. What are your opinions?

For those of you who are just starting to read The Second World War - The Gathering Storm and who are not interested in reading spoilers; this thread may not be for you. Try to stay on the weekly non spoiler threads and do not venture here until you have completed the book.

Others of you who do not care about spoilers, please feel free to post at any time.

Bentley The Second World War, Volume 1 The Gathering Storm by Winston S. Churchill

message 2: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Bentley, this may not be the right thread but it does fit with Churchill as a Historian/writer. I loved his series "A History of the English Speaking Peoples".

A History of the English Speaking Peoples - 4 Volumes. by Winston S. Churchill by Winston S. Churchill

I have also been collecting some first editions of his majestic history/biography of Marlborough, titled; "Marlborough: His Life and Times".

Marlborough His Life and Times 4 volumes  by Winston S. Churchill by Winston S. Churchill

message 3: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 435 comments Bentley wrote: "This is not a non spoiler thread. On this thread, posters can discuss any aspect of Churchill's life. Would you classify his works as true histories, commentaries, memoirs, narrative histories? ..."

He was a prolific writer because he said "History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it".

message 4: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Can I offer this piece of Churchill's writing from chapter I of volume II of "Marlborough: His Life and Times".

The Sunshine Day

“The accession of a sovereign is rightfully an occasion for rejoicing; but seldom has a great and virtuous prince been so little mourned as King William III. The long foreign compression of his reign was over. A personality always dominating and active, but never likeable, was gone. A queer, unnatural interlude in English history had reached its end. Bishops and courtiers who watched the couch upon which William of Orange gasped and choked on his journey into silence vied with each other in sending or carrying accurate bulletins of his death-agony to his successor. In the morning of March 8 Anne had become the ruler of the three kingdoms. There was a sigh of relief throughout the capital, and then, with scarcely the pause which decorum enjoined, a very general jubilation for Her Majesty Queen Anne.”

Doesn't that just draw you into the narrative straight away? I found that opening chapter so hard to resist, what do you think of his style?

message 5: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Patricrk wrote: "Bentley wrote: "This is not a non spoiler thread. On this thread, posters can discuss any aspect of Churchill's life. Would you classify his works as true histories, commentaries, memoirs, narrat..."

Hi Patricrk, that's a great quote, I've never heard that one before, just perfect!

message 6: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 435 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Patricrk wrote: "Bentley wrote: "This is not a non spoiler thread. On this thread, posters can discuss any aspect of Churchill's life. Would you classify his works as true histories, commentaries..."

I found it on the Goodreads quotes.

message 7: by Stuart (last edited Jan 23, 2011 11:33AM) (new)

Stuart Finlay | 24 comments The Marlborough books were one of my favorite of his. I have read a great deal of his work and would class myself as bit of a Churchill Junkie. I once met a man at a book signing I did in England who had signed first editions of every one of his books.

I don't know how commonly known it is but Churchill wrote the History of the English Speaking Peoples before the War and had to wait to publish them until a while after Vol 6 of his memoirs had been finally published.

Marlborough His Life and Times, Book One by Winston S. Churchill Winston S. Churchill Marlborough: His Life and Times, Book One
History of the English Speaking Peoples Birth of Britian Vol 1 by Winston S. Churchill History of the English Speaking Peoples: Birth of Britian Vol 1
Triumph and Tragedy (Second World War) by Winston S. Churchill Triumph and Tragedy

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 23, 2011 11:39AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Very interesting Stuart and you did a great job at your attempts to get the citations right - fairly close. You have the bookcovers, the book title in words (not entirely necessary because you have the bookcovers which are a requirement) and you included the photo of the man. What was missing was the author's name in text;

Winston S. Churchill Winston S. Churchill

Can you imagine having signed first editions of every one of Churchill's books - what a collection - maybe he had something to do with the Churchill Society and Museum - he sounds like a real enthusiast.

What was the story about why he had to wait to publish his memoirs first?

message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 23, 2011 12:27PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
No, it is isn't proper to do that it. I know that our rules may seem to be serious; but you have no idea what we have gone through. It was actually easier when we were a small private group. Everybody seems to have their own ideas of how to run things until they try to run it themselves. We love authors; but we do not like spam. We are one of the few groups which insist that author's get their due by posting not only the bookcover but the author's name in linkable text. However, we really want to build camaraderie and if you look at the list of authors on the author's page, once the author got his book posted we never heard from 99.9% of them. So we have decided that we really want folks who are interested in contributing and not publicizing their other group, their blog, their web site, their book, whatever they are selling. We try to be a little breath of sunshine for those folks who appreciate some structure, civility, active moderation and no spam. Unfortunately, I have to repost your message.

From Stuart:


Nearly right!

After the war he was the highest paid author on the planet. He was paid millions as an advance for his memoirs and earned a huge % of the royalties. This was just as well as he was always short of money. He had to hold back on the history books as the memoirs would shift in dramatic numbers and would far outsell the history books. It was just good business.

Quick question, I don't want to fall foul of the rules of posting...

I guess you do not have the name of the specific title or if you told us it would violate our no self promotion rule - so I will leave it at that.

Thank you for the anecdote; very much appreciated.

message 10: by Stuart (last edited Jan 23, 2011 12:44PM) (new)

Stuart Finlay | 24 comments Bentley

That is absolutely fine, that is why I wanted to ask the question.

I am more of a reader than a writer (it is just a hobbie) and I really like the way Goodreads has developed since last time. I hope to make many contributions in the months to come.

message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
And we are glad to have you with us.

message 12: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here you are Bentley, another new book on Churchill; "Churchill" by Ashley Jackson.

Churchill by Ashley Jackson by Ashley Jackson
Winston Churchill attracted far more criticism alive than he has since his death. He was, according to Evelyn Waugh, 'always in the wrong, surrounded by crooks, a terrible father, a radio personality'. Whatever one's view of 'the greatest Briton', and despite the best efforts of an army of writers who have penned portraits of him, Winston Churchill remains splendidly unreduced. He also remains enormous fun.

In this new biography Ashley Jackson seeks to describe the contours of Winston Churchill's remarkable life and political career, whilst giving a sense of the man behind the dark eyes and bulldog features. From thrusting subaltern to political pup in a hurry, from Cabinet outcast to the greatest war leader ever, from electoral loser to elder statesman on the international stage in the years of Cold War and imperial decline, this is the eternally fascinating story of Winston Churchill's appointment with destiny.

message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thank you Aussie Rick.

message 14: by Stuart (new)

Stuart Finlay | 24 comments Just came across this poem about Churchill in a book called Winston Spencer Churchill - Servant of Crown and Commonwealth edited by Sir James Marchant 1954. It isn't in the database. I really liked the poem which was written by Viscount Norwich

When ears were deaf and tongues were mute,
You told of doom to come.
When others fingered on the flute,
You thundered on the drum.
When armies marched and Cities burned
And all you said came true,
Those who had mocked your warnings turned
Almost too late to you.
Then doubt gave way to firm belief,
And through five cruel years
You gave us glory in our grief,
And laughter through our tears.
When final honors are bestowed
And last accounts are done,
Then shall we know how much was owed
By all the world to one.

message 15: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) That's a pretty good poem Stuart, thanks for sharing :)

message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Excellent, excellent poem and tribute to one of my icons. Thank you very much Stuart.

message 17: by Linda (last edited Jun 09, 2011 04:51PM) (new)

Linda (flygirl23) | 19 comments I am reading a book on Winston Churchill. An inciteful book into Winston Churchill.

Warlord A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945 by Carlo D'Este Carlo D'Este

message 18: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Churchill was the master of the English language and his speeches still have the ability to thrill the reader, especially those made during WWII. He was a man for the ages and his words have resonated through the years. The following book contains his speeches, as collected by his grandson and namesake.

Never Give In! The Best of Winston Churchill's Speeches by Winston S. Churchill Winston S. Churchill by Winston S. Churchill

message 19: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Linda wrote: "I am reading a book on Winston Churchill. An inciteful book into Winston Churchill.

Warlord A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945 by Carlo D'EsteCarlo D'Este"

I hear good things about this book, too, Linda, thanks.

message 20: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here are two new books concerning different aspects of Winston Churchill:

Dinner with Churchill The Prime Minister's Tabletop Diplomacy by Cita Stelzer by Cita Stelzer
A friend once said of Churchill He is a man of simple tastes; he is quite easily satisfied with the best of everything. But dinners for Churchill were about more than good food, excellent champagnes and Havana cigars. Everything included the opportunity to use the dinner table both as a stage on which to display his brilliant conversational talents, and an intimate setting in which to glean gossip and diplomatic insights, and to argue for the many policies he espoused over a long life.

In this riveting, informative and entertaining book Cita Stelzer draws on previously untapped archival material, diaries of guests, and a wide variety of other sources to tell of some of the key dinners at which Churchill presided before, during and after World War II including the important conferences at which he used his considerable skills to attempt to persuade his allies, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, to fight the war according to his strategic vision.

With fascinating new insights into the food he ate, the champagnes he loved, as well as original menus, seating plans and unpublished photographs, Dinner with Churchill is a sumptuous treat. The next best thing to being there yourself.

"Cita Stelzer's delightful book... makes for hugely enjoyable reading, but there is a serious thesis lurking not too far behind the stories... The Churchill industry has been so productive in the decades since his death, and such libraries of books have been published, that an original take on his exceptionally well-documented life might seem impossible. However, with this readable "gastrobiography", Stelzer has succeeded brilliantly in producing one." - Sunday Times

"A must-read for Churchill connoisseurs, but general readers will find it vastly entertaining too." - Standpoint

"Amusing and unpretentious... [an] entertaining assortment of Churchill anecdotes." - Evening Standard

Daughter's Tale by Mary Soames by Mary Soames
Now in her eighty-ninth year, Mary Soames is the only surviving child of Winston and Clementine Churchill. Younger than her siblings by several years, she went to day school and enjoyed an idyllic childhood played out in her very own ‘Garden of Eden’ – Chartwell. Here she roamed house and grounds, tended diligently to her collection of pets, and had her first glimpses of the glittering social world in which her parents moved. Then, in 1939, Chamberlain’s declaration of war dramatically ended this world as she and her family had known it.

Hereafter we follow Mary’s life through her fascinating personal diary, published here for the first time. Through the immediacy of her private observations we are drawn into a world where the ordinary minutiae of a packed family, social and romantic life proceed against a background of cataclysmic events. Joining the ATS and serving in mixed anti-aircraft batteries, Mary takes on her own set of professional demands while sharing the many anxieties and stresses brought to bear upon her family through her father’s position.

The mutual love and affection between Mary and her parents is evident on every page, from her earliest years at Chartwell to Winston’s defeat at the 1945 general election, when Mary recounts her own pain and devastation on her father’s behalf. At this point she meets her future husband, Christopher Soames. We are left in no doubt at the end of this charming and revealing memoir that, at twenty-four, Mary has lived a full life and is well prepared for her future as young wife and mother.

message 21: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

Franklin and Winston An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship by Jon Meacham Jon Meacham Jon Meacham


The most complete portrait ever drawn of the complex emotional connection between two of history’s towering leaders

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were the greatest leaders of “the Greatest Generation.” In Franklin and Winston, Jon Meacham explores the fascinating relationship between the two men who piloted the free world to victory in World War II. It was a crucial friendship, and a unique one—a president and a prime minister spending enormous amounts of time together (113 days during the war) and exchanging nearly two thousand messages. Amid cocktails, cigarettes, and cigars, they met, often secretly, in places as far-flung as Washington, Hyde Park, Casablanca, and Teheran, talking to each other of war, politics, the burden of command, their health, their wives, and their children.

Born in the nineteenth century and molders of the twentieth and twenty-first, Roosevelt and Churchill had much in common. Sons of the elite, students of history, politicians of the first rank, they savored power. In their own time both men were underestimated, dismissed as arrogant, and faced skeptics and haters in their own nations—yet both magnificently rose to the central challenges of the twentieth century. Theirs was a kind of love story, with an emotional Churchill courting an elusive Roosevelt. The British prime minister, who rallied his nation in its darkest hour, standing alone against Adolf Hitler, was always somewhat insecure about his place in FDR’s affections—which was the way Roosevelt wanted it. A man of secrets, FDR liked to keep people off balance, including his wife, Eleanor, his White House aides—and Winston Churchill.

Confronting tyranny and terror, Roosevelt and Churchill built a victorious alliance amid cataclysmic events and occasionally conflicting interests. Franklin and Winston is also the story of their marriages and their families, two clans caught up in the most sweeping global conflict in history.

Meacham’s new sources—including unpublished letters of FDR’s great secret love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the papers of Pamela Churchill Harriman, and interviews with the few surviving people who were in FDR and Churchill’s joint company—shed fresh light on the characters of both men as he engagingly chronicles the hours in which they decided the course of the struggle.

Hitler brought them together; later in the war, they drifted apart, but even in the autumn of their alliance, the pull of affection was always there. Charting the personal drama behind the discussions of strategy and statecraft, Meacham has written the definitive account of the most remarkable friendship of the modern age.

message 22: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Finally, the last installment:

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

The Last Lion Winston Spencer Churchill Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 by William Raymond Manchester William Raymond Manchester William Raymond Manchester


Spanning the years of 1940-1965, THE LAST LION picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister-when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill conjured up by William Manchester and Paul Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action. THE LAST LION brilliantly recounts how Churchill organized his nation's military response and defense; compelled FDR into supporting America's beleaguered cousins, and personified the "never surrender" ethos that helped the Allies win the war, while at the same time adapting himself and his country to the inevitable shift of world power from the British Empire to the United States.

More than twenty years in the making, THE LAST LION presents a revelatory and unparalleled portrait of this brilliant, flawed, and dynamic leader. This is popular history at its most stirring.

message 23: by Bryan (last edited Nov 09, 2012 08:36AM) (new)

Bryan Craig Here are the first two books in the trilogy:

The Last Lion: Visions of Glory

The Last Lion Visions of Glory 1874-1932 by William Raymond Manchester William Raymond Manchester William Raymond Manchester


William Manchester met Winston Churchill on January 24, 1953. Their encounter on the Queen Mary sparked an intense curiosity in Manchester that would eventually result in his classic three-volume magnum opus The Last Lion.

In this, the first volume, we follow Churchill from his birth to 1932, when he began to warn against the remilitarization of Germany. Born of a lovely, wanton American mother and a gifted but unstable son of a duke, his childhood was one of wretched neglect. He sought glory on the battlefields of Cuba, Sudan, India, South Africa and the trenches of France. In Parliament he was the prime force behind the creation of Iraq and Jordan, laid the groundwork for the birth of Israel, and negotiated the independence of the Irish Free State. Yet, as Chancellor of the Exchequer he plunged England into economic crisis, and his fruitless attempt to suppress Gandhi's quest for Indian independence brought political chaos to Britain.

Throughout, Churchill learned the lessons that would prepare him for the storm to come, and as the 1930's began, he readied himself for the coming battle against Nazism--an evil the world had never before seen.

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill Alone

The Last Lion 2 Winston Spencer Churchill Alone 1932-40 by William Raymond Manchester William Raymond Manchester William Raymond Manchester


The long-awaited second volume of the best Churchill biography reveals the true portrait of this ambitious world leader. Discussion centers on the alarm he sounded about the terrible plot being hatched inside Hitler's deranged mind.

message 24: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown What do people think of Churchill as myth maker? There seems to be a tendancy in the UK to gloss over his darker side, and some of the controversies of his career, such as: The General Strike, WW1 debacles, resistance to Indian independance etc

message 25: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Great question, RMF. I think that the memory of England standing alone against the Nazis with Churchill at the helm trumps anything that went before. His messages to the people and the world are considered as some of the greatest ever spoken and his bull dog visage exemplified the defiance of Britain during those dark times. People have tended to forget (and forgive) his earlier controversial career and concentrated on his leadership during WWII which shaped his image in history. All that went before seemed was he a myth maker? Maybe so but his great accomplishments are the well earned legacy that he left.

message 26: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I think Jill makes an interesting point. I think it is important not to gloss over the darker sides, but build a balanced person in history. He record is not clean and we need to examine the warts and all. However, his legacy is huge and it is hard to get that balance.

message 27: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I think that is why he is such an interesting man......he had many faults and made many bad decisions in his long career but history considers him one of the greatest men of the 20th century. Learning about his early career helps one understand the WWII leader.

message 28: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Churchill: A Life

Churchill A Life by Martin Gilbert by Martin Gilbert (no photo)


Distilled from years of meticulous research and documentation, filled with material unavailable when the earliest books of the official biography's eight volumes went to press, Churchill is a brilliant marriage of the hard facts of the public life and the intimate details of the private man. The result is a vital portrait of one of the most remarkable men of any age as well as a revealing depiction of a man of extraordinary courage and imagination.

message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Yes, he did and was mighty good at it - thankfully for him because he lived big.

message 30: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) A book that looks honestly at Churchill's faults as well as his never-to-be forgotten leadership in WWII. A man for the ages.

Churchill as War Leader

Churchill as War Leader by Richard Lamb by Richard Lamb (no photo)


In a brilliant work of historical investigation, British journalist Richard Lamb reveals secrets about Winston Churchill never before published. Lamb's original research replaces the newsreel image of Churchill without denigrating him and still pays tribute to the statesman's extraordinary qualities as a towering leader, whose World War II decisions changed the course of history.

message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Interesting addition

message 32: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Going back to a point that Mike made in post #29, Churchill did live "high on the hog" and was always short of funds. If I remember correctly, after his death, it was determined that his wife Clementine was practically living in poverty and the government awarded her some type of stipend to keep the wolves from the door. Very sad.

message 33: by José Luís (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Churchill was a human being (like everybody else) who was brilliant, but made some serious mistakes in his career. Regarding WWI and his position as the First Lord of the Admiralty, I think we often forget about his support for the creation of tanks, the development of airplanes on the battlefield and criptography, besides the switch of coal by oil in most ships of the Royal Navy. He just comitted the mistake of too many delusions of Gallipoli (even if the Allies would have won over the Turks if the Allied fleet had attacked again) and that caused him huge political problems, but that ended up paradoxically to be good because that would enable a better logistical and tactic planning on the D Day.

message 34: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Good points, Jose. He was the right man at the right time during WWII. Gallipoli was a blunder that he more than made up for in the Second World War.

message 35: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Churchill's influence changed history and this book explains how and why.

The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History

The Churchill Factor How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson by Boris Johnson Boris Johnson


On the fiftieth anniversary of Churchill’s death, Boris Johnson celebrates the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays—with characteristic wit and passion—a man of contagious bravery, breathtaking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity.

Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the king to stay out of action on D-Day; he pioneered aerial bombing and few could match his experience in organizing violence on a colossal scale, yet he hated war and scorned politicians who had not experienced its horrors. He was the most famous journalist of his time and perhaps the greatest orator of all time, despite a lisp and chronic depression he kept at bay by painting. His maneuvering positioned America for entry into World War II, even as it ushered in England’s post-war decline. His openmindedness made him a trailblazer in health care, education, and social welfare, though he remained incorrigibly politically incorrect. Most of all, he was a rebuttal to the idea that history is the story of vast and impersonal forces; he is proof that one person—intrepid, ingenious, determined—can make all the difference.

message 36: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Boris as a historian just doesn't seem to give me confidence but I plan to give this a whirl because Churchill is a real interest of mine - Jill as if you did not know (lol).

Boris Johnson Boris Johnson

Winston S. Churchill Winston S. Churchill

message 37: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) We share that interest!!!!

message 38: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This is on my tbr list but haven't gotten to it yet. Looks interesting.

Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England

Troublesome Young Men The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England by Lynne Olson by Lynne Olson Lynne Olson


On May 7, 1940, the House of Commons began perhaps the most crucial debate in British parliamentary history. On its outcome hung the future of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's government and also of Britain--indeed, perhaps, the world. Troublesome Young Men is Lynne Olson's fascinating account of how a small group of rebellious Tory MPs defied the Chamberlain government's defeatist policies that aimed to appease Europe's tyrants and eventually forced the prime minister's resignation.

Some historians dismiss the "phony war" that preceded this turning point--from September 1939, when Britain and France declared war on Germany, to May 1940, when Winston Churchill became prime minister--as a time of waiting and inaction, but Olson makes no such mistake, and describes in dramatic detail the public unrest that spread through Britain then, as people realized how poorly prepared the nation was to confront Hitler, how their basic civil liberties were being jeopardized, and also that there were intrepid politicians willing to risk political suicide to spearhead the opposition to Chamberlain--Harold Macmillan, Robert Boothby, Leo Amery, Ronald Cartland, and Lord Robert Cranborne among them. The political and personal dramas that played out in Parliament and in the nation as Britain faced the threat of fascism virtually on its own are extraordinary--and, in Olson's hands, downright inspiring.

message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Good add Jill

message 40: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The two leaders of Britain during WWII and the inside look at their friendship.

Churchill and the King: The Wartime Alliance of Winston Chruchill and George VI

Churchill and the King The Wartime Alliance of Winston Churchill and George VI by Kenneth Weisbrode by Kenneth Weisbrode(no photo)


The political and personal relationship between King George VI and Winston Churchill during World War II is one that has been largely overlooked throughout history, yet the trust and loyalty these men shared helped Britain navigate its perhaps most trying time.

Despite their vast differences, the two men met weekly and found that their divergent virtues made them a powerful duo. The king’s shy nature was offset by Churchill’s willingness to cast himself as the nation’s savior. Meanwhile, Churchill’s complicated political past was given credibility by the king’s embrace and counsel. Together as foils, confidants, conspirators, and comrades, the duo guided Britain through war while reinspiring hope in the monarchy, Parliament, and the nation itself.

Books about these men as individuals could fill a library, but Kenneth Weisbrode’s study of the unique bond between them is the first of its kind.

message 41: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys

When Lions Roar The Churchills and the Kennedys by Thomas Maier by Thomas Maier Thomas Maier


When Lions Roar begins in the mid-1930s at Chartwell, Winston Churchill's country estate, with new revelations surrounding a secret business deal orchestrated by Joseph P. Kennedy, the soon-to-be American ambassador to Great Britain and the father of future American president John F. Kennedy. From London to America, these two powerful families shared an ever-widening circle of friends, lovers, and political associates – soon shattered by World War II, spying, sexual infidelity, and the tragic deaths of JFK's sister Kathleen and his older brother Joe Jr. By the 1960s and JFK's presidency, the Churchills and the Kennedys had overcome their bitter differences and helped to define the “greatness” in each other.

Acclaimed biographer Thomas Maier tells this dynastic saga through fathers and their sons – and the remarkable women in their lives – providing keen insight into the Churchill and Kennedy families and the profound forces of duty, loyalty, courage and ambition that shaped them. He explores the seismic impact of Winston Churchill on JFK and American policy, wrestling anew with the legacy of two titans of the twentieth century. Maier also delves deeply into the conflicted bond between Winston and his son, Randolph, and the contrasting example of patriarch Joe Kennedy, a failed politician who successfully channeled his personal ambitions to his children. By approaching these iconic figures from a new perspective, Maier not only illuminates the intricacies of this all-important cross-Atlantic allegiance but also enriches our understanding of the tumultuous time in which they lived and the world events they so greatly influenced.

With deeply human portraits of these flawed but larger-than-life figures, When Lions Roar explores the “special relationship” between the Churchills and Kennedys, and between Great Britain and the United States, highlighting all of its emotional complexity and historic significance.

message 42: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and His War Cabinet

Ministers at War Winston Churchill and His War Cabinet by Jonathan Schneer by Jonathan Schneer (no photo0


In May 1940, with France on the verge of defeat, Britain alone stood in the path of the Nazi military juggernaut. Survival seemed to hinge on the leadership of Winston Churchill, whom the King reluctantly appointed Prime Minister as Germany invaded France. Churchill’s reputation as one of the great twentieth-century leaders would be forged during the coming months and years, as he worked tirelessly first to rally his country and then to defeat Hitler. But Churchill—regarded as the savior of his nation, and of the entire continent—could not have done it alone.

As prize-winning historian Jonathan Schneer reveals in Ministers at War, Churchill depended on a team of powerful ministers to manage the war effort as he rallied a beleaguered nation. Selecting men from across the political spectrum—from fellow Conservative Anthony Eden to leader of the opposing socialist Labor Party Clement Attlee—Churchill assembled a War Cabinet that balanced competing interests and bolstered support for his national coalition government. The group possessed a potent blend of talent, ambition, and egotism. Led and encouraged by Churchill, the ministers largely set aside their differences, at least at first. As the war progressed, discord began to grow. It reached a peak in 1945: with victory seemingly assured, Churchill was forced by his Minsters at War to dissolve the Government and call a General Election, which, in a shocking upset, he lost to his rival Attlee.

Authoritatively recasting our understanding of British high politics during World War II, Schneer shows that Churchill managed the war effort by managing his team of supremely able yet contentious cabinet members. The outcome of the war lay not only in Churchill’s individual brilliance but also in his skill as an executive, and in the collective ability of men who muted their personal interests to save the world from barbarism.

message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thank you for the adds Jill

message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Jill wrote: "Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and His War Cabinet

Ministers at War Winston Churchill and His War Cabinet by Jonathan Schneer by Jonathan Schneer (no photo0


In Ma..."

While the British fought bravely, must I say that France was also there, and without France in the way, I am not sure if the UK would have had enough buffer between them and Germany. Also, the UK was relieved off the pressure by an approaching Russian force on the other side.

There are too many myths regarding how vast the German army actually was and how many parties were actually fighting. All in all, Germany's "War Machine" was not that much more advanced in technology or in numbers than the Allied forces. Certainly the Brithish Navy was in balance if not superior to that of the Germans.

The UK was not a victim, they were a formidable contender. They deserve that respect.

message 45: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) I came across this meme of Churchill today. I love it:

(Source: Humoropedia)

message 46: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Never Surrender: Winston Churchill and Britain's Decision to Fight Nazi Germany in the Fateful Summer of 1940

Never Surrender Winston Churchill and Britain’s Decision to Fight Nazi Germany in the Fateful Summer of 1940 by John Kelly by John Kelly John Kelly


A remarkably vivid account of a key moment in Western history: The critical six months in 1940 when Winston Churchill debated whether the British would fight Hitler.

London in April, 1940, was a place of great fear and conflict. Everyone was on edge; civilization itself seemed imperiled. The Germans are marching. They have taken Poland, France, Holland, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia. They now menace Britain. Should Britain negotiate with Germany? The members of the War Cabinet bicker, yell, lose their control, and are divided. Churchill, leading the faction to fight, and Lord Halifax, cautioning that prudence is the way to survive, attempt to usurp one another by any means possible. Their country is on the line. And, in Never Surrender, we feel we are alongside these complex and imperfect men, determining the fate of the British Empire.

Drawing on the War Cabinet papers, other government documents, private diaries, newspaper accounts, and memoirs, historian John Kelly tells the story of the summer of 1940—the months of the “Supreme Question” of whether or not the British were to surrender. Impressive in scope and attentive to detail, Kelly takes readers from the battlefield to Parliament, to the government ministries, to the British high command, to the desperate Anglo-French conference in Paris and London, to the American embassy in London, and to life with the ordinary Britons. He brings to life one of the most heroic moments of the twentieth century and intimately portrays some of its largest players—Churchill, Lord Halifax, FDR, Joe Kennedy, Hitler, Stalin, and others. Never Surrender is a fabulous, grand narrative of a crucial period in World War II history and the men and women who shaped it.

message 47: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Churchill's Wizards: The British Genius for Deception

Churchill's Wizards The British Genius For Deception 1914–1945 by Nicholas Rankin by Nicholas Rankin (no photo)


By June 1940, most of Europe had fallen to the Nazis and Britain stood alone. To protect itself, the nation fell back on cunning and camouflage. With Winston Churchill in charge, the British bluffed their way out of trouble—lying, pretending and dressing up in order to survive. The British had developed this uncommon talent during the trench and desert fighting of the First World War, when writers and artists created elaborate camouflages and fiendish propaganda. So successful were these deceptions they gave rise to the German belief that they hadn't been beaten fairly - in which case why not 'have a second go'? By the Second World War, the British were masters of the art. Churchill adored stratagems, ingenious devices and special forces: pretend German radio stations broadcast outrageous British propaganda in German. British geniuses broke German secret codes and eavesdropped on their messages. Every German spy in Britain was captured and many were used to send back false information to their controllers. Forged documents misled their Intelligence. Bogus wireless traffic from entire phantom armies, dummy airfields with model planes, disguised ships and inflatable rubber tanks created a vital illusion of strength. Culminating in the spectacular misdirection that was so essential to the success of D-Day in 1944, Churchill's Wizards is a thrilling work of popular military history. Above all, Nicholas Rankin reveals the true stories of those brave and creative mavericks who helped win what Churchill called 'the war of the Unknown Warriors'.

message 48: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The young Winston goes to war.

Churchill's First War: Young Winston at War with the Afghans

Churchill's First War Young Winston at War with the Afghans by Con Coughlin by Con Coughlin (no photo)


A fascinating account of Winston Churchill's early military career fighting in the 1890 Afghan campaign, offering fresh and revealing parallels into today's war in Afghanistan

Just over a century ago British troops were fighting a vicious frontier war against Pashtun tribeman on the North West Frontier—the great-great-grandfathers of the Taliban and tribal insurgents in modern-day Afghanistan. Winston Churchill, then a young cavalry lieutenant, wrote a vivid account of what he saw during his first major campaign. The Story of the Malakand Field Force, published in 1898, was Churchill’s first book and, a hundred years later, is required reading for military commanders on the ground, both British and American.

In Churchill's First War, acclaimed author and foreign correspondent, Con Coughlin tells the story of that campaign, a story of high adventure and imperial success, which contains many lessons and warnings for today. Combining historical narrative, interviews with contemporary key players, and the journalist’s eye for great color and analysis, Churchill's First War affords us a rare insight into both the nineteenth-century "Great Game" and the twenty-first-century conflict that has raged longer than World War II.

message 49: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Churchill was noted for his quotes. Visit the BBC link below to find what they consider Churchill's 50 quotes to live by......some humorous and some very serious and thought provoking.

(Source: BBCamerica)

message 50: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 23, 2018 10:28PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

Churchill and Orwell The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks by Thomas E. Ricks Thomas E. Ricks


A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017

A dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike.

Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930's—Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War, and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they'd died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time, Churchill was a politician on the outs, his loyalty to his class and party suspect. Orwell was a mildly successful novelist, to put it generously. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly, in words and in deeds, against the totalitarian threat from both the left and the right. In a crucial moment, they responded first by seeking the facts of the matter, seeing through the lies and obfuscations, and then they acted on their beliefs. Together, to an extent not sufficiently appreciated, they kept the West's compass set toward freedom as its due north.

It's not easy to recall now how lonely a position both men once occupied. By the late 1930's, democracy was discredited in many circles, and authoritarian rulers were everywhere in the ascent. There were some who decried the scourge of communism, but saw in Hitler and Mussolini "men we could do business with," if not in fact saviors. And there were others who saw the Nazi and fascist threat as malign, but tended to view communism as the path to salvation. Churchill and Orwell, on the other hand, had the foresight to see clearly that the issue was human freedom—that whatever its coloration, a government that denied its people basic freedoms was a totalitarian menace and had to be resisted.

In the end, Churchill and Orwell proved their age's necessary men. The glorious climax of Churchill and Orwell is the work they both did in the decade of the 1940's to triumph over freedom's enemies. And though Churchill played the larger role in the defeat of Hitler and the Axis, Orwell's reckoning with the menace of authoritarian rule in Animal Farm and 1984 would define the stakes of the Cold War for its 50-year course, and continues to give inspiration to fighters for freedom to this day. Taken together, in Thomas E. Ricks's masterful hands, their lives are a beautiful testament to the power of moral conviction, and to the courage it can take to stay true to it, through thick and thin.

« previous 1
back to top