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Dinner with Churchill: Policy-Making at the Dinner Table Hardcover – January 9, 2013
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"Hitler's Forgotten Children" by Ingrid von Oelhafen
The Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. Hitler's Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program. Learn more | See related books
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“A delightful and delicious tribute to Churchill’s heroic appetite for wining, dining and politicking.” (Ben Macintyre, author of Operation Mincemeat)
“A feast for foodies and history buffs alike, Dinner With Churchill offers a delicious and easily digestible portrait of the culinary tactics that helped its subject win the cooperation of others and, in so doing, the global conflict that threatened to destroy everything he held dear.” (Jay Stafford - The Richmond TImes Dispatch)
“The Churchill industry has been so productive in the decades since his death, and such libraries of books have been published, that an original take on his exceptionally well-documented life might seem impossible. However, with this readable "gastrobiography," Stelzer has succeeded brilliantly in producing one.” (The Sunday Times)
“Acutely revealing.” (Times Literary Supplement)
“What a wonderful repast Cita Stelzer has served us. History as it was consumed: Roosevelt sipping, Churchill quaffing – the best (and not so good) cuts and the great vintages are all on the table. Another bottle, please!” (William Shawcross, author of Justice and the Enemy)
About the Author
More About the Author
By Cita Stelzer
In the course of many years spent reading biographies of and books about Winston Churchill I realized that I had learned little about how this man planned the meals at which he had accomplished so much. After all, most of the deals that were struck at the famous international conferences held during WWII were made at or facilitated by dinners at which the leaders were more relaxed than at formal sessions.
So I began digging into the Churchill Archives at Churchill College, Cambridge. Not only did I find menus for the more famous dinners with Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, and Stalin. But there were details of Churchill careful setting of the stages for dinners with his generals, political friends and foes, leading academics and a host of other interesting people. In addition, I found bills for dinners at Claridges, the Ritz and The Savoy, with guests lists, amended wine selections, letters from Churchill and his staff complaining about over-billing, letters from Churchill thanking friends for the gifts of foods and wines, all in the Archives as set out in my book.
Top Customer Reviews
Dr Andrew Roberts, author of 'The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War'
When Pearl Harbor was attacked four months later, the US public was in a rage against Japan. Contrary to the American mood, Churchill wanted a "Germany first" policy. So he got himself invited to the White House and stayed for three weeks. The President and the Prime Minister dined most nights, with brandy, tobacco, and talk until 2 or 3 am. The policy that emerged was "Germany first."
Author Cita Stelzer whirls us though the great conferences, Casablanca, Adana, Teheran, Yalta, Potsdam, describing the structures, the décor, the place settings, the hors d'oeuvres, entrees, and desserts, the spirits, the wines, and the music, illustrating with photos and reproduced menus. She has found a little-examined corner of the copious historical record, and researched it diligently.
All this is fairly interesting, sort of like a museum tour, but has the nourishment content of a soufflé rather than a roast. There are repeated quotes about Churchill's wit, charm, and persuasiveness, but scarcely a word out of his mouth. We are given the stage settings, but none of the performance.
This is a "fill out the details" book. Seasoned Churchillians will be fascinated; novices will be lost.
Stelzer devotes a chapter to the much-discussed issue of Churchill's drinking.Read more ›
It also holds lessons for us today. At the end of 2012, America was saved from going off the fiscal cliff by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Vice President Joe Biden, who had spent decades together in the Senate--on opposite sides of the aisle. They negotiated a last-minute tax bill on December 30 and 31.
Stelzer tells the story of what former Prime Minister Winston Churchill accomplished through personal interaction over meals all over the world.
Complete with descriptions of menus, guests, Champagne, wine, whiskey (Churchill was not an alcoholic, Stelzer tells us), and cigars, the book is a window into a vital historical period where Britain and America triumphed over Germany and together won World War II.
Using examples from the 1900s to the 1950s, Stelzer explains that Churchill made it his business to get to know friends and opponents alike by inviting them to dinner.
She writes, "No matter the circumstances--whether in the dining room at Chartwell or on a picnic chair in the desert--Churchill's profound belief in the importance of face-to-face meetings, and his unshakeable confidence in his ability to get his own way in such intimate encounters, never wavered."
For example, at dinners in 1941 aboard American and British ships in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, Churchill persuaded President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that Britain would not collapse as had France, and convinced him to gear up war production, which kept Britain afloat until America entered the war in December 1941.
Not all dinners showed such success, as Stelzer admits.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A little monotonous talking about food, sherry and champagne but a great insider view of how Churchill weaved his magic at dinner parties to get his form of 'diplomacy' done. Read morePublished 1 day ago by janeready
Cita Stelzer has a wonderful ability to get to Churchills tummy!Published 4 months ago by Per Halberg
I found much to admire in Stelzer's book, particularly her overview of Churchill's importance to ensuring that the British public accepted rationing, and how he himself worked to... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Andrea Broomfield
This was a wonderful combination of history and food, interesting from start to finish, concerning one of our greatest heroes ever.Published 7 months ago by Bizzy Lizzy
Good read. I didn't know Churchill put such a premium on good food and drink.Published 8 months ago by Ed Bragg
Fascinating look at the greatest statesmean of the 20th century. Wish I'd been there!Published 8 months ago by Marc A. Mallon
Extremely great insight into Churchill. Excellent reading/education.Published 8 months ago by marimee