Winston Churchill: A Life

Winston Churchill: A Life

by John Keegan
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Winston Churchill: A Life by John Keegan

When today's world leaders need inspiration and strength in times of crisis, they often turn to Winston Churchill, quoting him and citing his heroic example. The son of a member of Parliament, Churchill, a poor academic student, wanted to be a soldier early in life. But after he escaped from a South African prison camp, his national fame catapulted him into a life of politics.

In this Penguin Life, the eminent historian John Keegan charts Churchill's career, following his steadfast leadership during the catastrophic events of World War II while England was dangerously poised on the brink of collapse. With wonderful eloquence, Keegan illuminates Churchill's incredible strength during this crucial moment in history and his unshakable belief that democracy would always prevail. Keegan looks at Churchill's speeches, which are some of the greatest examples of English oratory, and identifies his ability to communicate his own idea of an English past as the source of Churchill's greatness. He also sheds light on the political climate of Churchill's time. The result is an insightful, sensitive portrait of Churchill the war leader and Churchill the man.

Author Biography: John Keegan is one of the most distinguished contemporary military historians and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He is the author of twenty books, including his bestselling The First World War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786239986
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 12/04/2002
Series: Biography Series
Edition description: LARGEPRINT
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.52(w) x 8.92(h) x 0.95(d)

About the Author

Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan (1934–2012), was one of the most distinguished contemporary military historians and was for many years the senior lecturer at Sandhurst (the British Royal Military Academy) and the defense editor of the Daily Telegraph (London). Keegan was the author of numerous books including The Face of Battle, The Mask of Command, The Price of Admiralty, Six Armies in Normandy, and The Second World War, and was a fellow at the Royal Society of Literature.

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Winston Churchill 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I had to read this for a research paper. This book was good for a short overview of Churchill's life. It  was concise, to the point, making it an easy read. Most books that I could find at first on Churchill would have been much longer, at nearly 500+ pages and this book is just helpful as those books would have been to me. Keegan definitely holds a high view of Churchill and it is  very visible in the way he describes Churchill and his accomplishments. There were times in the book where I couldn't necessarily follow  along easily because Keegan would talk about British history, figures, and military status, subjects I am not familiar with, without giving  much of a background. It could be difficult to focus on the book itself because Keegan would go into details on subjects that were not  important enough to be explained for the benefit of the reader. The book was condensed down to the point where I'll have to turn to secon- dary sources to get a better idea of Churchill's life. The book also touched a lot more on Churchill's military life than it did his personal life,  seeing that Keegan is a military historian, so he would have been much more invested in writing about the wars the prime minister was in- volved in. Someone who is interested in reading this book should touch up on British military history and practically any war Churchill  was involved in.
grim97 More than 1 year ago
If you're unfamiliar with Churchill, this is a good place to start. John Keegean is a great writer and military historian and this book on Churchill (at just over 200 pgs) makes for a quick and enlightening read. Not a lot of new information here and Keegan is decidedly pro-Churchill but, again, worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I read this book for my research project.  Winston Churchill: A Life by John Keegan gave me all of the facts and information that I needed to complete my project.  Keegan did a great job in fitting all of Churchill’s history and accomplishments in a short book however he lacked bringing the book to life or making it an exciting read.  All of the necessary facts were in the book but I felt as if it was a chore reading this book rather than a pleasurable experience learning about a new topic.  One of the main reasons on why I was not enthusiastic about reading this book was because I found parts of the information provided unnecessary.  The author often went on stating facts that had little, if any, impact on the main point he was attempting to bring across.   Keegan, who is a British military historian, often mentioned parts of British history and military that I was not familiar with.  While reading this book I often found myself googling words pertaining to British history and military for a better grasp of what Keegan was trying to express.  Despite my experience, this book would be a great fit for someone who is looking to learn more about Sir Winston Churchill or British Parliament and military during World War II. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I had to read this book for a research project. This book provided me with a majority of the information that I needed to complete my project. There were, at times, things that I did not completely understand; for example, the mentions of British history and when Keegan referred to Churchill’s life at war. These things where crucial to get a better sense of his life so I had to resort to secondary sources.  I appreciated that this book was short and sweet because of the fact that other books about Churchill tend to be very lengthy. I think that if you do not know anything about Winston Churchill and just want a quick overview of his life, then this is the book for you. I really enjoyed learning about the life of Winston Churchill and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about him too. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My freshman son is reading this for a report. I read a little of it also and find the book tedious. The author is very flat and the book is boring. The vocabulary is daunting. I can understand that the British military terms are unfamiliar but the basic text requires my son to stop, sometimes several times within a few pages, to ask me what a word is. He is an honors student. I don't know if the typography is off too but I read some pages aloud to my husband, to show him what the text was like, and I was tripping over my tongue just to get the words out. I have never reviewed a book prior to this but felt I needed to warn others. I would NOT recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophmore and I chose to read this book for a research project. I found Winston Churchill: A Life to be an alright, but reading the first chapter, which was mostly describing Churchill’s greatness, was difficult. I did not know very much about Churchill in the beginning, so hearing about the author’s opinion was odd. I wanted to know more about Winston Churchill before deciding on an opinion about him, so I would have preferred to hear about an opinion at the end of the book. Other than that, though, the book is very informative, and also well written. I enjoyed hearing about his personal life, especially his wife, Clementine. I also related to Churchill was it was written that he had a hard time in school, so his story began to feel as though it was less fiction, and more that he was a real, living human being with hardships and difficulties like anyone else. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone doing their research project on Winston Churchill in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I had to read this book for a research paper. This book was very short and sweet compared to other books about Churchill that I found, but still provided me all the information I needed. Some parts of the book however, became a little confusing and hard to follow because Keegon wrote about military statuses, British history and British people I was not very familiar with. I had to go to secondary sources to better understand what Keegon was writing about. The book was more about Churchill’s military life than his personal life, going into detail of unnecessary information such as him using a pistol instead of a sword. But it makes sense that Keegon would devote most of the book to Churchill’s military life because he was a military historian. I suggest that if you are thinking of reading this book, you should have a little knowledge of British history and war history.
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