Dennis Woodcock

October Book Club Prize Winner Dennis Woodcock

Tribute to Sir Martin from Dennis Woodcock


In 1983 I took a school party  from N. Ireland t​o London .  On 31st March we visited Windsor, where I found  a book in a sale for £1!  It was the first volume in the Churchill biography (by Randolph Churchill).  Thus began my obsession with all things Churchill.  Soon afterwards I was visiting Israel and became interested in the history and politics of the country.  The first book I read afterwards was “Shcharansky” by Martin Gilbert.  I loved his writing; no wasted sentences, no commentary, just straightforward facts.  It was this style of writing which appealed to me and I began collecting his other books (I now have them all, the final one being found in New Zealand!).

Martin Gilbert’s books will survive as  historical documents as he lets the facts tell the story, thus ensuring that the reader  can trust them.  He never puts himself in the way of the subject.  Regrettably I cannot think of another contemporary writer who is able to perform this task. 

I have always been  grateful to Sir Martin for replying to questions which I sent to him.  A busy life indeed, yet he found time to share his views on a one to one level.

Thank you, Sir Martin Gilbert.

With kind permission from Dennis Woodcock

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