Churchill: A Life

( 11 )

Overview

About the Author

Martin Gilbert is a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. He is well known as the official biographer of Churchill, and as a chronicler of the Holocaust and of Jewish history. He was knighted in 1995.

After publishing the eighth and final volume of Churchill's official biography in 1988, Martin Gilbert was finally free to devote himself to his own one-volume account of this compelling life. The result is a brilliant ...

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Churchill: A Life

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Overview

About the Author

Martin Gilbert is a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. He is well known as the official biographer of Churchill, and as a chronicler of the Holocaust and of Jewish history. He was knighted in 1995.

After publishing the eighth and final volume of Churchill's official biography in 1988, Martin Gilbert was finally free to devote himself to his own one-volume account of this compelling life. The result is a brilliant marriage of the hard facts of the public life and intimate details of the private man--a vital portrait of one of the most remarkable men of any age. Photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Author of an eight-volume official biography of Winston Churchill, Gilbert here distills his vast knowledge into a lucid, comprehensive and authoritative life of the man considered by many to have been the outstanding public figure of the 20th century. Photos. (Oct.)
Booknews
In 1988, British historian Gilbert completed the eighth and final volume of the official biography of Churchill (1874-1965). Now, drawing on his 25 years of research and his privileged access to Churchill's personal, political, and secret archives, he presents a single-volume biography of the great statesman that melds the hard facts of the public life and the intimate details of the private man. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"One of the greatest histories of our time." - Margaret Thatcher

"A stupendous book. He has told the truth." - A.J.P. Taylor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805023961
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/15/1992
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 1088
  • Sales rank: 244,189
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 2.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Gilbert is well-known as the official biographer of Churchill and as a chronicler of the Holocaust and of Jewish history. He was knighted in 1995.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations ix
List of Maps xv
Preface xvii
Acknowledgements xxi
1 Childhood 1
2 Harrow 19
3 Towards the Army 35
4 Second Lieutenant 51
5 In Action 75
6 To Omdurman and beyond 85
7 South Africa: Adventure, Capture, Escape 107
8 Into Parliament 133
9 Revolt and Responsibilities 167
10 The Social Field 193
11 Home Secretary 211
12 At the Admiralty 239
13 The Coming of War in 1914 263
14 War 277
15 Isolation and Escape 309
16 In the Trenches 331
17 'Deep and Ceaseless Torments' 361
18 Minister of Munitions 375
19 At the War Office 403
20 Colonial Secretary 431
21 Return to the Wilderness 455
22 At the Exchequer 467
23 Out of Office 491
24 The Moment of Truth 535
25 No Place for Churchill 571
26 From Munich to War 603
27 Return to the Admiralty 623
28 Prime Minister 645
29 Britain at Bay 679
30 The Widening War 701
31 Planning for Victory 735
32 Illness and Recovery 763
33 Normandy and Beyond 777
34 War and Diplomacy 803
35 'Advance, Britannia!' 829
36 'An Iron Curtain' 843
37 Mapping the Past, Guiding the Future 871
38 Prime Minister in Peacetime 899
39 Recovery, Last Ambition, Resignation 915
40 Last Years 943
Maps 961
Index 983
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2003

    Excellent

    True to form, Sir Martin Gilbert has done an outstanding job in this one volume biography of Sir Winston Churchill. I learned a great deal about one of the dynamic personalities of the 20th century.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2003

    Prescience and Science of a Renaissance Man

    Martin Gilbert has realized an impressive tour de force in introducing us to an exceptional, unusual phenomenon of nature, Winston Spencer Churchill (WSC) in a single volume. WSC himself was conscious of his extraordinary destiny early. As he famously mentioned at the age of thirty-two, "we are all worms, but I do believe I am a glow-worm (pg. 185 and 285)." Many of his contemporaries shared that insight quite quickly (e.g., pg. 172, 212, 285, 320, 329, 334, 533, 547, 556, 613, 616, 637, 685, 773, 774 and 841). Describing WSC, however, is tricky. As one of his early conquests, Pamela Plowden, noted in 1905, "The first time you meet Winston, you see all his faults, and the rest of your life you spend in discovering his virtues (pg. 174)." In his final comments, Gilbert makes a short, penetrating portrait of WSC: Vision and foresight, humanity and sense of fair play, democracy and patriotism, formidable powers of work and thought ... and controversy, disappointment and abuse (pg. 959). Vision and Foresight: e.g. Nature of the future Great War, its development and devastating consequences (pg. 143, 235 and 281), perils of curbing Free Trade (pg. 147), distinction between criminal and political prisoners (pg. 212), anticipation of "Blitzkrieg" (pg. 383 and 562), warning about the dangers of Communism and prediction of its ultimate downfall (pg. 403 and 884), comeback of a humiliated Germany with a vengeance (pg. 403 and 464), unwavering support for the cause of Zionism that will ultimately lead to the creation of Israel (pg. 429, 902, 903 and 947), collective security mechanism to preserve peace in Europe, precursor of article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty (pg. 556), bankruptcy of appeasement policy conducted with Nazi Germany from weakness (pg. 480, 564, 596-599 and 632), unfolding of WWII and its destructions (pg. 593, 611, 658, 694, 697, and 701), construction of a post-war European Union around the French-German axis (pg. 731 and 872), use of nuclear arm to conduct a new strategic policy and call for a balanced and phased system of disarmament down the road (pg. 857, 884, 935 and 936), special relationship with the United States of America (pg. 869) Humanity and Sense of Fair Play: e.g. "No political freedom without a measure at least of social and economic independence" (pg. 191, 206 and 231), perfectly conscious of the strain of his political life on his relationship with his wife, Clementine (pg. 207), scrupulous fairness to any man before WSC on a charge under his command in the Belgian trenches (pg. 343), fairness of his demobilization plan (pg. 406), his funeral oration in praise of Neville Chamberlain (pg. 683), his concern with the plight of German civilians at the end of WWII (pg. 816), "(His eyes) can be hard as he looks at you - or as tender as a woman's - they can weep easily" (pg. 858 and 859), his lack of pretentiousness and real charm to everyone (pg. 863), his acts of generosity towards his friends and family (pg. 887), his faith in the ultimate wisdom of humanity (pg. 945) Democracy and Patriotism: e.g. Successful withdrawal of anti-Semitic Aliens Bill (pg. 165 and 167), resolute opposition against both Communism and Fascism (pg. 403, 426, 506, 575, 658, 866-869 and 884), servant of the Nation at war (pg. 724), establishment of a post-war 'United States of Europe' excluding Russia (pg. 731), essence of Churchill's political philosophy reduced to seven questions (pg. 790 and 791), importance of the right to vote in a democracy (pg. 802) Formidable Powers of Work and Thought: e.g. "You inspire us all by your courage & resolution" (pg. 279), "Supreme quality which I venture to say very few of your present or future Cabinet possess, the power, the imagination, the deadliness to fight Germany" (pg. 320), "He has lion-hearted courage. No number of enemies can fight down his ability and force. His hour of triumph will come" (pg. 320), "Anything he undertakes he puts his heart and soul into" (pg. 547)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2001

    Awesome

    This book was the best book I have ever read. I looked forward to reading this book every day and it was a sad day when the last page was read. Winston Churchill was an amazing person and Mr. Gilbert did an outstanding job of giving an absolute incredible historic account of his life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2001

    A complete and thorough examination of one of the 20th centuries most remakable personalities.

    This condensation of Martin Gilbert's imposing 8 volume tome is an outstanding resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the man who, by sheer force of will, guided Britain through perhaps the darkest period in her history. Sir Winston Churchill was a giant among men, revered and reviled, who almost single-handedly braced the backbone of his country against the onslaught of Hitler and his Nazi War Machine. From his beginnings as a schoolboy of only moderate educational talents, to his heroic (some would say foolhardy) exploits in the Boer War, to Parliment, then out, then back again, and finally as Prime Minister and elder statesman, Gilbert presents a clear picture of this great man, neither ignoring nor belaboring his manifest faults. You will see Churchill the visionary, predicting to importance of tanks and airplanes in modern warfare at a time when tanks didn't even exist, and the airplane was little more than a dangerous curiosity. You'll see the political maverick, never afraid to disagree with the establishment, but unwaveringly loyal to his monarch and Britain's mode of governance. You'll see a humanitarian who championed causes we now take for granted: health insurance, retirement benefits, and employee stock-ownership, at a time when these were almost unprecedented, even in the industrially modern United States. An enjoyable read, even at nearly 1000 pp. By the end you will have come to appreciate, and perhaps love, the man and his unmistakable and irreplacable contribution to freedom and democracy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2013

    Martin Gilbert, an incredible author, contains an incredible abi

    Martin Gilbert, an incredible author, contains an incredible ability to draw the reader into the spectrum of existence that is the life of Winston Churchill. I am extremely satisfied with my decision to go with Gilbert. The reader is drawn into the incredibly heroic life that is Winston Churchill often times finding it difficult to stop reading. By the end of the book the reader will walk away feeling as if they were encapsulated by the life of Churchill. From his early days at Harrow to his heroic accomplishments and enlightening abilities to bring about a wonderful victoryin World War II, the reader will feel a sense of being right beside an incredibly talented and intellectually inclined indiviudal that is the life of Winston Churchill. Churchill, the one who overcame adversity at all costs, from the trenches of war to Prime Minister, Martin Gilbert encapsulates both the ups and downs of a true heroic figure in the history of our planet.

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    Posted May 10, 2010

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    Posted April 11, 2011

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    Posted November 26, 2008

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    Posted April 12, 2009

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted January 2, 2009

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