NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER One of The Wall Street Journal’s Ten Best Books of 2018 One of The Economist’s Best Books of 2018 One of The New York Times’s Notable Books of 2018 “Unarguably the best single-volume biography of Churchill . . . A brilliant feat of storytelling, monumental in scope, yet put together with tenderness for a man who had always believed that he would be Britain’s savior.” —Wall Street Journal In this landmark biography of Winston Churchill based on extensive new material, the true genius of the man, statesman and leader can finally be fully seen and understood--by the bestselling, award-winning author of Napoleon and The Storm of War. When we seek an example of great leaders with unalloyed courage, the person who comes to mind is Winston Churchill: the iconic, visionary war leader immune from the consensus of the day, who stood firmly for his beliefs when everyone doubted him. But how did young Winston become Churchill? What gave him the strength to take on the superior force of Nazi Germany when bombs rained on London and so many others had caved? In Churchill, Andrew Roberts gives readers the full and definitive Winston Churchill, from birth to lasting legacy, as personally revealing as it is compulsively readable. Roberts gained exclusive access to extensive new material: transcripts of War Cabinet meetings, diaries, letters and unpublished memoirs from Churchill's contemporaries. The Royal Family permitted Roberts--in a first for a Churchill biographer--to read the detailed notes taken by King George VI in his diary after his weekly meetings with Churchill during World War II. This treasure trove of access allows Roberts to understand the man in revelatory new ways, and to identify the hidden forces fueling Churchill's legendary drive. We think of Churchill as a hero who saved civilization from the evils of Nazism and warned of the grave crimes of Soviet communism, but Roberts's masterwork reveals that he has as much to teach us about the challenges leaders face today--and the fundamental values of courage, tenacity, leadership and moral conviction.
churchill walking with destiny
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A comparison of nine leaders who led their nations through the greatest wars the world has ever seen and whose unique strengths—and weaknesses—shaped the course of human history, from the bestselling, award-winning author of Churchill and Napoleon “Has the enjoyable feel of a lively dinner table conversation with an opinionated guest.” —The New York Times Book Review Taking us from the French Revolution to the Cold War, Andrew Roberts presents a bracingly honest and deeply insightful look at nine major figures in modern history: Napoleon Bonaparte, Horatio Nelson, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, George C. Marshall, Charles de Gaulle, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Margaret Thatcher. Each of these leaders fundamentally shaped the outcome of the war in which their nation was embroiled. Is war leadership unique, or did these leaders have something in common, traits and techniques that transcend time and place and can be applied to the essential nature of conflict? Meticulously researched and compellingly written, Leadership in War presents readers with fresh, complex portraits of leaders who approached war with different tactics and weapons, but with the common goal of success in the face of battle. Both inspiring and cautionary, these portraits offer important lessons on leadership in times of struggle, unease, and discord. With his trademark verve and incisive observation, Roberts reveals the qualities that doom even the most promising leaders to failure, as well as the traits that lead to victory.
A genuinely original biography of Churchill, focusing on his contradictory and lifelong relationship with the British Empire. 'A superb history of a memorable subject' Andrew Roberts, bestselling author of CHURCHILL: WALKING WITH DESTINY One of our finest narrative historians, and journalist for the SUNDAY TIMES and LITERARY REVIEW, Lawrence James, has written a genuinely new biography of Winston Churchill, set within a fully detailed historical context, but solely focusing on his relationship with the British Empire. As a young army officer in the late 19th century, Churchill's first experience of the Empire was serving in conflicts in India, South Africa and the Sudan. His attitude towards the Empire at the time was the stereotypical Victorian paternalistic approach - a combination of feeling responsible and feeling superior. Conscious even then of his political career ahead, Churchill's natural benevolence towards the Empire was occasionally overruled for political reasons, and he found himself reluctantly supporting - or at least not publicly condemning - British atrocities. As a politician he consistently relied on the Empire for support during crises, but was angered by any demands for nationalisation. He held what many would regard today as racist views, in that he felt that some nationalities were superior to others, but he didn't regard those positions as fixed. His (some might say obsequious) relationship with America reflected that view. America was a former colony where the natives had become worthy to rule themselves, but - he felt - still had that tie to Britain. Thus he overlooked the frequently expressed American view that the Empire was a hangover from a bygone era of colonisation, and reflected poorly on Britain's ability to conduct herself as a political power in the current world order. This outmoded attitude was one of the reasons the British voters rejected him after a Second World War in which - it was universally felt - he had led the country brilliantly. His attitude remained Victorian in a world that was shaping up very differently. However, it would be a mistake to consider Churchill merely as an anachronistic soldier. He grasped the problems of the Cold War immediately, believing that immature nations prematurely given independence would be more likely to be sucked into the vortex of Communism. This view chimed with American foreign policy, and made the Americans rather more pragmatic about their demands for self-governance for Empire countries. Lawrence James has written a fascinating portrait of an endlessly interesting statesman - and one that includes tantalising vignettes about his penchants for silk underwear and champagne.
This history details how the House of Windsor has undergone profound changes since its inception in 1917. Their tenure has seen two world wars, an abdication and undreamed-of social change, but the monarchy has continued to reside at the centre of English life.
Amid the wealth of biographical material on Winston Churchill, little has been said about his faith. Duty and Destiny rectifies this, offering a nuanced portrait of a great historical figure considered everything from a "God-haunted man" to a "stalwart nonbeliever." Churchill was far from transparent about his religious beliefs and never regularly attended church services as an adult, even considering himself "not a pillar of the church but a buttress," in the sense that he supported it "from the outside." But Gary Scott Smith assembles pieces of Churchill's life and words to convey the profound sense of duty and destiny, partly inspired by his religious convictions, that undergirded his outlook. Reflecting on becoming prime minister in 1940, he wrote, "It felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial." In a similarly grand fashion, he described opposing the Nazis--and later the Soviets--as a struggle between light and darkness, driven by the duty to preserve "humane, enlightened, Christian society." Though Churchill harbored intellectual doubts about Christianity throughout his life, he nevertheless valued it greatly and drew on its resources, especially in the crucible of war. In Duty and Destiny, Smith unpacks Churchill's paradoxical religious views and carefully analyzes the complexities of his legacy. This thorough examination of Churchill's religious life provides a new narrative structure to make sense of arguably the most important person of the twentieth century.
What do Winston Churchill—the eloquent, eternally quotable wordsmith, pudgy politician of fifty years, wealthy aristocrat, war-time Prime Minister of England—and Donald Trump, the 6’4”, brash, Twitter happy, political neophyte, billionaire entrepreneur—have in common? In his new book, complete with never-before-told anecdotes, bestselling author Nick Adams explores how both leaders, with seemingly nothing in common, turned their day’s prevailing politics on its head. In doing so, they both endured shockingly similar battles instigated by the political establishment seeking their destruction. Trump and Churchill’s unorthodox approach to both domestic and international relations has rescued Western Civilization from the brink.
From Andrew Roberts, author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Storm of War, this is the definitive modern biography of Napoleon It has become all too common for Napoleon Bonaparte's biographers to approach him as a figure to be reviled, bent on world domination, practically a proto-Hitler. Here, after years of study extending even to visits paid to St Helena and 53 of Napoleon's 56 battlefields, Andrew Roberts has created a true portrait of the mind, the life, and the military and above all political genius of a fundamentally constructive ruler. This is the Napoleon, Roberts reminds us, whose peacetime activity produced countless indispensable civic innovations - and whose Napoleonic Code provided the blueprint for civil law systems still in use around the world today. It is one of the greatest lives in world history, which here has found its ideal biographer. The sheer enjoyment which this book will give anyone who loves history is enormous.
To maintain the pace at which he worked as a parliamentarian, cabinet minister, war leader, writer and painter, Churchill required a vast female staff of secretaries, typists and others. For these women Churchill was an intimidating boss; he was a man of prodigious energy, who imposed unusual and demanding schedules on those around him, and who combined a callous-seeming disregard with sincere solicitude for their well-being. Churchill was no ordinary employer: he did not live by the clock on the office wall. He expected those who worked with and for him to live by that timetable. Despite these often unreasonable demands, Churchill inspired an enduring loyalty and affection amongst the women who worked for him. Drawing on the wealth of oral testimonies of Churchill's many secretaries held in the Churchill Archive in Cambridge, Cita Stelzer – author of Dinner with Churchill – brings to life the experiences of a legion of women whose stories have hitherto remained unpublished in journals and letters. In recapturing their memories of working for and with Churchill – of famous people met, of travels abroad, of taking dictation in non-air-conditioned aeroplanes, of working though whisky-fuelled nights – she paints an original and memorable biographical portrait of one of the twentieth century's iconic statesmen.
This is not a book about Winston Churchill. It is not principally about his politics, nor his rhetorical imagination, nor even about the man himself. Instead, it addresses the varied afterlives of the man and the persistent, deeply located compulsion to bring him back from the dead, capturing and explaining the significance of the various Churchill myths to Britain's history and current politics. The authors look at Churchill's portrayal in social memory. They demonstrate the ways in which politicians have often used the idea of Churchill as a means of self-validation - using him to show themselves as tough and honest players. They show the man dramatized in film and television - an onscreen persona that is often the product of a gratuitous mixing of fact and fantasy, one deliberately shaped to meet the preferences of the presumed audience. They discuss his legacy in light of the Brexit debate - showing how public figures on both sides of the Leave/Remain debate were able to use elements of Churchill's words and character to argue for their own point-of-view.