The Churchill Documents, Volume 8: War and Aftermath, December 1916 – June 1919

The letters and documents in this volume were written between January 1917 and June 1919, the period covered in the first part of Volume IV of the Churchill biography. This volume also includes the Introduction and Acknowledgements for the succeeding two volumes (9 and 10). For Churchill, the period was dominated first by the need to defeat Germany, then by he post-war settlement and the Allied intervention against the Bolsheviks in Russia, and by a growing personal awareness of the strong forces of disruption and chaos with which the early years of the Twentieth Century were being threatened.


Book Excerpt:

15 September 1916, Winston S. Churchill to Sir Archibald Sinclair:

“PS. Last night I dined in the middle of the Government – Asquith, McKenna, Curzon. All vy caressing.

“But you cannot make rivers run backwards.”


What the author says

“This volume opens with twenty-one letters which were not available to me during the preparation of Volume Three. These include seventeen personal letters which Churchill sent to his friend Sir Archibald Sinclair during 1915 and 1916; letters which were believed by Sinclair's family to have been destroyed during the London blitz, but which had in fact survived among Sinclair's papers. These letter show the extent to which Churchill confided in Sinclair at a time when his political prospects seem hopeless.”

What the press say

 “What Mr Gilbert has done is to widen the catchment of the documents to include casual comments and accidental accounts that illuminate both the man and his story.... The blessing is that Mr Gilbert has added a new and precious dimension to the technique of writing contemporary history.” The Economist


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  • Maps: 6
  • Formats: Hardback
  • ISBN: 978-0-916308-20-9