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“At last! A book to put all the other books on Churchill into perspective. The Great Man was in danger of becoming hidden by the forest of verbiage in his memory. Gretchen Rubin cuts a clear path to her subject, and along the way takes the reader on a fascinating and hilarious journey.”
—AMANDA FOREMAN, bestselling author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
“Was there ever a better subject for biography? Heroic, petty, noble, selfish, courageous, devious, grandiloquent, plain-speaking, generous, tyrannical, Churchill was all these and more. Rubin strives to capture the essence of her larger-than-life subject not through a head-on assault, but by circling him and taking snapshots from a multiplicity of angles. Her Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill is a feat of intelligent compression, a stereoscopic portrait for the space age, a biography in miniature, and not least, a rattling good read.”
—MICHAEL SCAMMELL, author of Solzhenitsyn: A Biography
|1||Churchill as Liberty's Champion: Heroic View||11|
|2||Churchill as Failed Statesman: Critical View||20|
|3||Churchill's Contemporaries: Whom He Knew||33|
|4||Churchill's Finest Hour - May 28, 1940: The Decisive Moment||35|
|5||Churchill as Leader: Suited to High Office?||42|
|6||Churchill's Genius with Words: His Greatest Strength||46|
|7||Churchill's Eloquence: His Exact Words||55|
|8||Churchill in Symbols: Metonymy||69|
|9||Churchill, True: In a Single Word||74|
|10||Churchill's Desire for Fame: His Motive||77|
|11||Churchill as Depressive: The "Black Dog"?||82|
|12||Churchill's Disdain: His Dominant Quality||86|
|13||Churchill's Belligerence: His Defining Characteristic||92|
|14||Churchill's Time Line: Key Events||98|
|15||Churchill as Son: His Most Formative Role||103|
|16||Churchill as Father: A Good Parent?||109|
|17||Churchill the Painter: His Favorite Pastime||113|
|18||Churchill the Spendthrift: A Weakness||119|
|19||Conflicting Views of Churchill: How Others Saw Him||124|
|20||Churchill in Tears: Telling Detail||131|
|21||Churchill the Drinker: An Alcoholic?||136|
|22||Churchill in Context: Facts at a Glance||139|
|23||Churchill and Sex: Too Interesting to Ignore||147|
|24||Churchill as Husband: A Happy Marriage?||152|
|25||Churchill's Island Story: His Myth||156|
|26||Churchill in Photographs: How He Changed Through Time||161|
|27||Churchill as the Hero of a Novel: The Imagined and the Real||171|
|28||Churchill's Destiny: How He Saw Himself||178|
|29||Churchill the Imperialist: His Cause||186|
|30||Churchill's Empire: How He Saw the World||195|
|31||Churchill and Roosevelt: Friends as Well as Allies?||198|
|32||Churchill's Imagination: How He Saw History||202|
|33||Churchill and Hitler: Nemesis||211|
|34||Churchill Exposed: Missing Information Supplied||221|
|35||Churchill True or False: Challenged Assumptions||226|
|36||The Tragedy of Winston Churchill, Englishman: The Meaning of His Life||234|
|37||Churchill in Portrait: A Likeness||242|
|38||Churchill's Last Days: How He Died||246|
|39||My Churchill: Judgment||250|
|40||Remember Winston Churchill: Epitaph||253|
Posted February 2, 2006
Gretchen Rubin has the merit to make the complex personality of Winston Churchill accessible to a wide audience. Rubin is very good at reducing a mass of information and data about her tragic hero to the key talking points about a wide range of topics relevant to the life of Churchill. Some biographies about Churchill can intimidate many readers because of their size and/or complexity. Rubin, a lawyer by training, plays the devil¿s advocate in some chapters by arguing both sides of an issue without taking side. Some readers, understandably, would have preferred that Rubin took a clear stance in these chapters. Although Rubin deeply admires Churchill, she ultimately passes the test of impartiality by acknowledging his most egregious shortcomings.
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Posted May 27, 2014
An absorbing account of Winston Churchill through 40 anecdotes ranging from memorable quotations, to his sex life (or relative lack thereof) and love for England. A quick read with many overlapping ideas and observations, Rubin at times repeats herself, but not with any emphasis, suggesting she recycled material from earlier chapters with no new spin. However, this repetition does not weigh down the book any more than the few fluff chapters do. For example, the one paragraph “How He Saw The World” chapter included a map of the Britain at the height of it’s empire in 1930, in attempt to show us what has already been established – Churchill was an imperialist and always hoped to preserve the British Empire. Also, an unenthusiastic true/false questionnaire chapter drags us down a puerile path heading towards an obvious conclusion: Churchill’s life is the stuff of legend.
This book continually claims an unbiased account of Churchill, especially through many chapters posing two opposite views. This initially pushes the reader to choose one or the other, but these dichotomies condition the reader to a more meaningful conclusion - toward the end of the book it becomes easier to accept both claims and infer, for example, that Churchill was both depressed and cheerful during periods of his life. Rubin may have intended this effect, which enforces the underlying purpose of this book and allows the reader to synthesize his or her own view of Churchill. Like a decent tomato-basil soup at the beginning of a delicious five-course meal, this book both pleases and invites us to keep reading about a legendary and polarizing figure.
Final book rating:
Posted April 30, 2014
40 Ways to look at Winston Churchill is a great summary of Winston Churchill. This biography offers everything there is to know about Winston Churchill. Gretchen Rubin, the author, does a fantastic job in always providing both sides of the argument. Additionally, her writing is differentiable from all the other authors, who have written memoirs and biographies of Churchill. She does not simply retell what everyone already knows about Churchill but she describes “her” Winston Churchill. The quotes and speeches she includes are so purposeful that they always enhance her argument. Quotes, letters and speeches of Churchill and others are always including with a purpose and elevate the overall arguments. I really think Gretchen Rubin did a good job at cutting these pieces and including only the most important things. Her biography is different form any biography or memoir I have ever read. In my opinion, this well written biography gives a new insight to Churchill from a more modern day perspective. Yet, even though the content is great an academic scholar did not write this book. This means that the book does not have the best imagery in it; as well as, it is often lacking the eloquent writing style that one would expect out of a Winston Churchill biography. For all these reasons I would give this book a 3.5.
Posted September 23, 2012
Chapter 3: Karatepaw awoke to nothing. He walked outside and noticed no scent markers. "They must have moved camps." He said. Then saw a marking in a tree stump that read. 'Wind and fire.' He walked there and saw the new camp. It was so much bigger than the last one. This one had sunningstones and many other things. He trained with blacktail then after that. Something happened. He heard an explosion and then saw at the med cat den. The med cat was dead. The den was destroyed. "What happened!" Mistystar asked. Murmering came from the wariors and he picked up a snicker from out in the woods. The warriors and me went to go see. He sniffed the air and picked up a killer scent. Twoleg with dynamite and a dog. The warriors went looking for it. "Oh my god. Im not risking my life." He said going back to where the apprentices were. He was talking and ravenpaw (srry i forgot to mention the ceremony. :P) said. "No. This is absoloutly horrible. We must never go to where the warriors are unless we are one of them. Im not taking ANY chances here." She said. We all agreed and then a voice spoke from out in the woods. "Weve killed him! The twoleg has fallen!"||||| end of chapter. Chapter four will be in the 5th result. I will make it as soon as i can. Plz rate this chapter!
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Posted January 24, 2009
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Posted December 31, 2009
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Posted July 31, 2010
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