Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Churchill: A Life

Churchill: A Life

4.2 13
by Martin Gilbert

See All Formats & Editions

Distilled from years of meticulous research and documentation, filled with material unavailable when the earliest books of the official biography's eight volumes went to press, Churchill is a brilliant marriage of the hard facts of the public life and the intimate details of the private man. The result is a vital portrait of one of the most remarkable men of


Distilled from years of meticulous research and documentation, filled with material unavailable when the earliest books of the official biography's eight volumes went to press, Churchill is a brilliant marriage of the hard facts of the public life and the intimate details of the private man. The result is a vital portrait of one of the most remarkable men of any age as well as a revealing depiction of a man of extraordinary courage and imagination.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Mr. Gilbert's job was to bring alive before his readers a man of extraordinary genius and scarcely less extraordinary destiny. He has done so triumphantly.” —Hugh Brogan, The New York Times Book Review

“A richly textured and deeply moving portrait of greatness.” —The Los Angeles Times

“By far the most lucid, comprehensive, and authoritative account of Churchill that has been offered in a single volume. It furnishes a crown to Gilbert's already prodigious labors.” —Philip Ziegler, The Telegraph (London)

“It would seem impossible to distill the eight volumes of Churchill's authorized biography into a single volume, even one of a thousand pages. But that is what Martin Gilbert has done, and the result does not seem pinched at all. It is of course a grand story.” —The Washington Post Book World

“The most scholarly study of Churchill in war and peace ever written . . . essential diplomatic history and enlightening personal history.” —Herbert Mitgang, The New York Times

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.)

Product Details

Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 9.20(h) x 2.07(d)

Meet the Author

One of Britain's most distinguished historians, Martin Gilbert was knighted in 1995. A fellow of Merton College, Oxford, he is also the official biographer of Winston Churchill. Among his books are The Holocaust, The Second World War, Churchill: A Life, Auschwitz and the Allies, The First World War, and Never Again.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Churchill 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Steve-L More than 1 year ago
Mr. Gilbert wrote a comprehensive book which seems to cover every month of Mr. Churchill's life. Some of his narrative goes into excruciating detail. This book is excellent for the researcher, but may not be for the casual reader who simply wishes an overview of Churchill's life and importance .
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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)
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
PhiloSophia1 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating book, well-written, about one of the great statesmen of the late 19th and 20th centuries. I recommend it highly. Those of us who remember the 2nd world war will, nevertheless, find new insight into that sad time in world history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a sophomore in high school who had to read this book for a research project, I can wholeheartedly say that this book was very useful. Although long, and at times gave an overabundance of information, it did help me in finding fun facts for my presentation which I am to give in my class. I enjoyed how the book gave detailed facts about what Mr. Churchill did throughout his life, however, I would have like it better if it had gotten to the core of his life and the major events that Mr. Churchill had taken part in, in fewer chapters.  Do not be mistaken when I say that I enjoyed this book, but, the overall length was hard to get through in the time limit given to me for the assignment. I would further more say that the author did an impressive amount of research on the subject of Mr. Churchill's life and at the same time told the story of his life without provoking boredom of create disinterest. I found that by the end of my difficult and time consuming project, that if I were to use any other book for my project, I would not have had enough of the information required to be fully descriptive and create the proper image intended of Mr. Churchill and the fascinating life that he did so lead. If I were to give this book a proper intended audience I would have to say that this book was meant for people who enjoys facts and extra insight.     
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago