Gefoffrey Wheatcroft’s critical but fair political biography of Churchill doesn’t just tell the story of his life but the equally fascinating one of his legacy, focusing on how the great statesman was viewed by contemporaries and those who came after.
While in A.J.P. Taylor’s words, Churchill was “the saviour of his country,” he was also a deeply flawed character, whose personal ambition would cloud his political judgement – and as a result he was often plain wrong. But the book’s central argument goes beyond biography: argues that Churchill has cast a dark shadow over post-war British history and contemporary politics – from the “Churchillian stance” of Tony Blair taking the country to war in Iraq to the delusion of a special relationship with the United States to the fateful belief in British exceptionalism: that the nation can once again stand alone in Europe.
“Stimulating, erudite and above all entertaining, for any reader tired of the seemingly endless round of Churchill worship of the last few years, Geoffrey Wheatcroft provides a lively corrective,” Robert Harris.
“Provocative, clear-sighted, richly textured and wonderfully readable, this is the indispensable biography of Churchill for the post-Brexit 2020s: of unmissable and sometimes uncomfortable relevance to both British exceptionalists and those who fail to understand the seductive allure of that exceptionalism,” David Kynaston.
“A clear-eyed, incisive and superbly balanced account of Churchill, the man and the myth.” Robert Gildea.