In Churchill Ashley Jackson paints an unvarnished portrait of Winston Churchill that removes the hagiography that has surrounded the myth of one of the greatest politicians of the last hundred years.
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." To others, he was the savior of the nation, even of Western civilization, "the greatest Briton" who ever lived. Whatever one's view, Winston Churchill remains splendidly unreduced. He also remains enormous fun--a cartoonist's and caricaturist's dream on the one hand, one of the most powerful and successful statesmen in modern history on the other.
Globally famed for his role as a leader during the Second World War, this study resists the temptation to conflate Churchill's post-war career with Britain's demise on the international stage. Nor does it endorse the notion that Churchill became an anachronism as he lived and continued to work, at a prodigious rate, through his seventies and eighties. As well as being Britain's most celebrated politician and war leader, Winston Churchill was a Nobel Prize-winning author. He was one of the most prolific writers of his age and his accounts of the momentous events through which he lived have indelibly marked the way in which modern British history has been conceptualized. Uniquely endowed with talent, energy and determination, Winston Churchill was, as a close wartime colleague put it, "unlike anyone you have ever met before."
Ashley Jackson describes the contours and contradictions of Churchill's remarkable life and career as a solider, politician, historian, journalist, painter, amateur farmer and homemaker. From thrusting subaltern to high-flying politician, Cabinet outcast to elder statesman, this is the eternally fascinating story of Winston Churchill's appointment with destiny.
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Ashley Jackson is Professor of Imperial and Military History at King's College London, and a Visiting Fellow of Kellogg College, University of Oxford. He is the author of numerous books including The British Empire and the Second World War, The British Empire: A Very Short Introduction, and Buildings of Empire. He completed his doctorate at New College, University of Oxford in 1996. He teaches at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, where the King's College Defence Studies Department is based.Review:
"A pleasure to read."―Christopher Silvester, Daily Express
"Succinct and even-handed."―D.J. Taylor, Times Literary Supplement
"A beautifully written account that runs efficiently and with confidence over the full course of Churchill's career . . . warmly recommended."―Evan Mawdsley, BBC History Magazine
"Packs a terrific punch and succeeds in keeping its mercurial subject sharply in focus."―Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday
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