Throughout his six decades in the public eye, Winston Churchill understood and wielded the power of words. In his speeches, books, newspaper and magazine articles, he expressed his feelings and laid out his vision for the future. His wartime writings and speeches in particular have fascinated generation after generation with their powerful narrative style and thoughtful reflection. These 200 extracts from Churchill’s entire oeuvre of books, articles and speeches reflect the essence of Churchill’s thoughts and personality, his life story, career and philosophy. They range from intimate memories of his childhood and schooldays to his contributions to more than 50 years of debates on social policy and on war, and his efforts after 1945 to see the world a better place. The choice of extracts, together with introductory and explanatory text linking them together, create a fascinating and compelling biographical narrative of Churchill’s life as recounted in the great man’s own words.
“On the evening of 26 January 1916, Churchill called all the officers of his battalion together and spoke to them for an hour. On the following day he wrote to his wife (using his regular abbreviations), setting down the advice he had given them:
'Don’t be careless about yourselves – on the other hand not too careful.
'Keep a special pair of boots to sleep in & only get them muddy in a real emergency.
'Use alcohol in moderation but don’t have a great parade of bottles in yr dugouts.
'Live well but do not flaunt it.
'Laugh a little, & teach your men to laugh – gt good humour under fire – war is a game that is played with a smile.
'If you can’t smile grin.
'If you can’t grin keep out of the way till you can.' ”
What the author says
“As one of the highest-paid journalists of his generation, and as a candidate – five times unsuccessfully – at twenty-one parliamentary electoral contests between 1899 and 1955, Churchill could write amid the storm of the battlefield and in the calm of his study, and speak in the cut and thrust of vigourous public and parliamentary debate. Words were his most persuasive weapon. Each of the extracts in these pages adds to our understanding of Churchill's life and thought, and provides an insight into how he made his mark on the British and the world stage.”
What the press say
“Churchill's speeches … sing in a way English language statesmen and politicians have tried unsuccessfully to match ever since …. Kudos to Sir Martin for the service he has peformed in packing the best of Churchill into one comprehensible volume.” Buffalo News
“Great insight … Highly recommended, especially in this age of politics over character.” San Francisco Book Review, Best Books of 2012
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- Translations: Chinese, Japanese
- Maps: 20
- Formats: Hardback, Paperback, Ebook, Audio, MP3 CD
- ISBN: 978-0593070086