Chasing Churchill: The Travels of Winston Churchill

Chasing Churchill: The Travels of Winston Churchill

by Celia Sandys
     
 

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Sir Winston Churchill was a well-traveled man. By the time he was twenty-five, his thirst for adventure had taken him to Cuba, India's North-West frontier, the Sudan, and South Africa, as well as to battle, prison, and worldwide fame. During World War II, when as prime minister he held Britain's destiny in his hands, he hazarded arduous journeys not only to confer

Overview

Sir Winston Churchill was a well-traveled man. By the time he was twenty-five, his thirst for adventure had taken him to Cuba, India's North-West frontier, the Sudan, and South Africa, as well as to battle, prison, and worldwide fame. During World War II, when as prime minister he held Britain's destiny in his hands, he hazarded arduous journeys not only to confer face-to-face with his allies Roosevelt and Stalin, but also to witness firsthand the action at the front. In later years, his enduring passion for painting prompted travels to locales like Marrakech. (He took President Roosevelt there in 1943, simply to view a splendid sunset.) Celia Sandys actually accompanied her famous grandfather on some of his later travels, most memorably on a cruise aboard Aristotle Onassis's yacht Christina, but for this always engaging book she herself has retraced his many journeys and sought the people who knew, entertained, or simply crossed paths with him. And in their long-untold stories she finds her grandfather's character illuminated in new and often surprising ways.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sandys (Churchill Wanted Dead or Alive) is the great leader's granddaughter, and her new book is an amiable history of Churchill's many travels. As a young, extremely ambitious military officer and war correspondent, Churchill traveled to Cuba in 1895 to witness a bloody guerrilla war. Later, in India and South Africa, he experienced war firsthand. He was famously captured by the Boers and made a daring escape, which, Sandys says, turned him into an international celebrity and helped launch his political career. Churchill loved the British Empire unreservedly and traveled it widely. Sandys follows in his footsteps, seeking (mostly in vain) for present-day evidence of her grandfather's journeys. She devotes much of the book to describing Churchill's diplomatic trips during WWII. Indeed, Sandys says Churchill's tireless traveling to Washington and Yalta largely created the famous "special relationship" between Britain and the United States. After the war, Churchill traveled all over Europe, especially the south of France, in order to paint and write. Through describing these journeys, Sandys gives a clear portrait of the charismatic leader: constantly smoking his famous cigars, drinking lots of whiskey and living a decidedly nocturnal existence (he liked to work into the wee hours of the night). Sandys accompanied her grandfather on several of his later trips, and she vividly recalls a 1959 cruise on Aristotle Onassis's yacht, with a rather insufferable Maria Callas. While Sandys doesn't reveal anything fresh about Churchill, she does emphasize one thing his world travels helped make him into a legendary leader. B&w photos, maps. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Granddaughter Sandys (Churchill Wanted Dead or Alive, 2000, etc.) follows in Winston's footsteps, giving impressions of his travels and those he met. Churchill was chock-a-block with restless energy, notes Sandys, who herself writes with comfortable ease; baldness notwithstanding, he lived as though his hair were on fire. Whether serving as a soldier, journalist, statesman, painter, low-level colonial administrator, or a purveyor of major historical moments on the international stage, he viewed his life as one long working holiday. Change was regenerative for Churchill, as were scenes of adventure and excitement, though the author notes that he sought by his own admission "places where I could gain experience and derive advantage." This attitude gained him position after increasingly influential position within the British government; it also meant that Churchill witnessed and/or participated in some memorable historical moments, from the last cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898 to the first summer Maria Callas spent on Aristotle Onassis's yacht in 1959. Sandys succeeds in giving Churchill's travels the full treatment: not just the where and when, but how he reacted to the events at hand (often guided by his "paternalistic Victorian" nature), the style in which he traveled (let it be said that he liked his comforts), the pleasures he found in the landscape (the sunsets over Marrakech made it "the most lovely spot in the world"), his yearning to be at the sharp edge of things. The author does not attempt to make value judgments about Churchill's policies, but she does reasonably find that his effectiveness as a politician required him "personally to influence people and makethings happen." His willingness to go almost anywhere endeared him to people who would otherwise have detested his politics; the Cubans, Sandys found, continue to esteem him "as a very great man who was and still is the best advertisement for their national product." A brimming life told with a refined touch. (24 b&w and 8 color photos)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781910065280
Publisher:
Andrews UK
Publication date:
06/18/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
12 MB
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Meet the Author

Celia Sandys is a granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill and the author of From Winston with Love and Kisses: The Young Churchill and Churchill Wanted: Dead or Alive. She lectures widely in the U.S. and Britain. She lives in Wiltshire, England.

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