From the Publisher
"An extraordinary biography of a fascinating, larger-than-life man; Severance's first book is a carefully organized, inclusive, balanced, and affectionate portrait of a man whose public life stretched over half a century." Kirkus Reviews with Pointers
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his first book for young readers, former high school teacher Severance uses simple, eloquent prose to limn Churchill and his times, offering edifying explanations of major events of 20th-century world history as well as of such arcane subjects as Britain's electoral process. While obviously filled with admiration for his subject, whom he has been studying for some 40 years, Severance doesn't lionize Churchill; his discussion of Churchill's shortcomings and controversial actions are as evenhanded as those of Churchill's many talents and notable achievements. A multitude of crisp black-and-white photographs enhance this handsomely designed volume; besides those of Churchill and his family are such arresting images as that of British schoolchildren huddled in a trench watching an air battle during World War II. The bons mots in "Winston's Wit," the concluding chapter, make a charming endpiece to a lively, informative book. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
In this well written summary of Churchill's life, Severance hits the highs and the lows. Defeated in his initial run for Parliament, Churchill persisted and eventually succeeded, but he was in for awhile and then out for awhile. It was his drive, and his ability to use the English language both spoken and written that made him stand out. Churchill "knew how to use words as an artist uses colors." Churchill was also a man of principles. This was clearly evidenced when he switched from the Conservative to the Liberal Parties whenever they did not represent his beliefs. In addition to his political career Churchill was a writer with a great body of work including books, newspaper, and magazine articles. He was also a painter and a builder. He initially joined the Liberals because he believed in free trade that he felt was the best way to maintain peace. His own view on Capitalism and Socialism was to look for a middle ground-to take the best from both. Liberally illustrated, black and white photographs appear on nearly every spread.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-This attractively packaged biography presents an affectionate portrait of Britain's renowned Prime Minister. Although Severance focuses on Churchill's contributions during World War II, he also describes the statesman's boyhood, Boer War adventures, and political ascendancy. Churchill's acumen in military affairs, remarkable leadership ability, and indomitable spirit create a heroic figure; however, his trenchant wit, giant ego, and affinity for cigars and brandy render him human. Severance is perfectly at ease with his subject, offering cogent quotations and anecdotes to support his assessments. The well-written text introduces readers to the times as well as the man. Good-quality black-and-white photographs, many of them full page, appear throughout. Other enhancements include a section of quotations called "Winston's Wit," a well-chosen bibliography, and a detailed index. While this volume lacks the wealth of primary-source material and the meticulous documentation of William W. Lace's The Importance of Winston Churchill (Lucent, 1995), it is engaging, balanced, and visually appealing.-Pat Katka, formerly at San Diego Public Library
Susan Dove Lempke
Severance, who begins with an overview of Churchill's life and character, keeps to high ground in this biography, which sticks to facts and sidesteps gossip. That, plus Severance's relegation of Churchill's funnier comments to a separate section, "Winston's wit," makes for drier reading than necessary. Still, the information is well organized and clearly explained, a difficult task with so much world history to cover, and the author pays careful attention to Churchill's human side, showing the statesman's feelings as well as the reasoning behind some of his less popular decisions. The copious photographs also help bring Churchill to life. A bibliography of books by and about Churchill is included.
An extraordinary biography of a fascinating, larger-than-life man; Severance's first book is a carefully organized, inclusive, balanced, and affectionate portrait of a man whose public life stretched over half a century.
All the highs and lowspersonal and politicalof Churchill's life are covered, sometimes through the judicious use of his own voluminous writings and extensive correspondence. The subtitle, "Soldier, Statesman, Artist," is given credence through ample documentation, as is his enduring relationship with his wife; a section of "Winston's Wit" establishes Churchill's continuing quotability. A crisp, open design features well-chosen, effectively placed black-and-white photographs that make this very readable work even more accessible.