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Churchill: A Study in Greatness Paperback – May 15, 2003
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"Reminds us that is still possible, at a time when irony and cynicism are so much the fashion, to pay tribute to greatness without being hagiographical."--New Republic
"Splendid.... A marvel of densely researched scholarship expertly sifted and presented with misleading ease in an elegant prose style."--The Washington Times
"An astonishingly fresh and original study that renders all previous short biographies out of date."--Times Literary Supplement
"We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm."--Winston Churchill
"Excellent."--New York Review of Books
Winston Churchill's inspiring leadership in the Second World War once made him above criticism. In recent years his record has come under attack from revisionists. In Churchill: A Study in Greatness one of Britain's most distinguished historians rebuts these charges and makes sense of this extraordinary man and his long controversial, colourful, contradictory and heroic career. Geoffrey Best brings out both his strengths and his weaknesses, looking past the many received versions of Churchill in a biography that balances the private and the public man and offers a clear insight into Churchill's greatness.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're looking for a comprehensive study on Churchill, this isn't it. You won't find page after page of stilted verbiage here, but you will find a well written presentation of this fascinating man, perhaps the savior of England. If it is possible to write a detailed account of such a varied figure within the brevity of such a small volume, the author has done so admirably.
Though the author clearly admires the subject, this isn't just another "I love Churchill" book. Best gives a fair and balanced account of many areas where Churchill may have erred, such as Gallipolli. The book is fair, and it is no-nonsense, to the point, without a lot of ambivalent inflection.
I have a number of volumes on the life and times of Churchill. I may go to other volumes for research purposes, but this is probably the most enjoyable read I have encountered on the man.
While it is obviously impossible to list all of Churchill's great stories and accomplishments in just over 300 pages, Best is entertaining in his approach. While this chronological tale may be a bit dry to the average reader, those who enjoy history will embrace this book. Best documents Churchill's attitude that he was destined for greatness early in life, discusses many of his war strategies, and is thorough enough to look into Churchill's family and personal life. Many people are unaware of the tragic lives of his three children, all of which are alluded to in this book. There truly is more to this man than is demontrated in the common pictures history books record of him.
Churchill worked toward bettering England and world almost unitl his death. This man who was largely self taught played a large role in shaping contemporary Europe even when he was no longer the Prime Miister. Even when his idea of the United States of Europe failed, he continued to be an early proponent of arms control and ending communism. The chapters which discuss his later years are among the most fascinating parts of this book.
Books on the life of Churchill can go into much greater detail than this. This book is an excellent starter for learning about the life of Churchill.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent subject; one of the best books about Churchill I've seen.Published 8 months ago by Robert T Crews
This is one of the best short books available on Winston Churchill. It is highly readable, interesting, flows quickly and effortlessly, and is packed with great information. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Silvester Percival
This book is easy to understand yet detailed which is perfect for someone who is looking for an introduction to Churchill. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kelly Wintsch
Geoffrey Best's excellent 336-page bio of Britain's greatest 20th century statesman is a fine whole-life portrait of admirable brevity. Read morePublished 24 months ago by The Guardian
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1- "Churchill did not see himself as an 'enemy of the people'. Read more
This book was excellent. It is however better suited for someone with an advanced understanding of 20th century European history. Read morePublished on July 3, 2013 by Kody22
Those of us fascinated by Winston Churchill seek to understand him from all perspectives. He was after all, from the time of his imprisonment in theBoer War, until his retirement... Read morePublished on June 26, 2013 by crafty lefthander
Go elsewhere for nuanced revisionism. As promised in the title, this is the straight forward case for Churchill as a Great Man of history. Gets it directionally right, I think. Read morePublished on April 10, 2013 by B McC
Another book about Churchill...This one is wordy and dry and tedious. i couldn't finish it. Not a Study in Greatness. Enough said.Published on April 7, 2013 by George Aubrey