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Mr. Churchill's Profession: The Statesman as Author and the Book That Defined the "Special Relationship" Hardcover – May 22, 2012
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“[A] delightful, informative, and worthy addition to the groaning shelf of Churchill biography” ―Globe and Mail (Canada)
“In Mr. Churchill's Profession, an account of his career as an author, Peter Clarke argues that writing was not merely Churchill's vocation but the very center of his working life…” ―Maya Jasonoff, Wall Street Journal
“Detailing Churchill's writing aids of whiskey and stenographers as well as his income, Clarke will interest many in Churchill's authorial career.” ―Gilbert Taylor, Booklist
“Original, gap-filling, engagingly presented scholarship.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Clarke enhances his distinguished reputation as a scholar of modern Britain … with this original perspective on Winston Churchill.” ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Peter Clarke's many books include Keynes: The Rise, Fall, and Return of the 20th Century's Most Influential Economist; The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire; The Keynesian Revolution in the Making, 1924-1936; and the acclaimed final volume of the Penguin History of Britain, Hope and Glory, Britain 1900-2000.
Top Customer Reviews
I bought this volume as an ebook from amazon.com and read it in the Kindle app on my iPad.
Of all the many books already written on every aspect of this man, any potential reader would ask why another? There are several good reasons, several very strong points of the book, and yet, for me, a flawed premise.
The author begins with one of the finest summaries of WSC growing up the son of Lord Randolph Churchill and his American wife, Jenny Jerome. Lord Randoloph was a brilliant politician in most respects, and became Chancellor of the Exchequer under Salisbury but it was short lived in that he submitted his resignation prior to submitting even his first budget and Salisbury took it and went on. WSC was neglected by both parents and yet idolized both. His father, quite simply, was an ass. Randolph died at an early age and what little there was in pensions or annuities was constantly devoured by his mother as quickly as it came due, so while WSC may have been of the upper crust, he, like many, were not endowed with cash, which may have been on his father's mind when he married Jenny Jerome, a daughter of a successful investment broker from New York.
Early on, in spite of the lack of a formal education (his father had no intention of spending the money required for a first rate education), WSC went to Sandhurst, was a calvary officer at a young age and devoured books while on duty in India. It was early in life that he started with magazine and newspaper articles and learned quickly that good writing would make good money.Read more ›
Winston Churchill became a published author in 1898 and, for the rest of his life, the bulk of his income would be provided by his writing - not by the political offices to which he was elected. Even as a young army officer, Churchill considered himself as much writer as soldier, and used family influence to attach himself to several military campaigns as a war correspondent. The money he earned from newspapers and from repackaging the articles into books allowed Churchill and his widowed mother to maintain a lifestyle that would otherwise have been impossible after his father's death.
Churchill's parents enjoyed a lifestyle that always seemed just barely - if never completely - within their means of paying for it. Randolph Churchill placed his own personal pleasure above any obligation another father might feel for educating his sons for the future. So, in lieu of spending money on a better education, Randolph steered his son toward a military career and left it up to Winston to educate himself as best he could. Unfortunately, although Winston did do a remarkable job of educating himself, he also inherited the spendthrift ways of his parents.Read more ›
The story begins with a fair summation of Churchill's childhood, which was not all that rosy. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a politician who married a New York heiress, Jennie Jerome, both of whom promptly neglected their son, who in turn idolized them both. His father died young and his mother, never good with money, continuously went through anything that remained. She did, however, have many contacts in society (as any beautiful widow would), and she provided her son with introductions and acted as his literary agent many times in getting his was dispatches published in the newspapers. These dispatches were written out into books, very popular ones at that, and by 1900, Churchill had practically written himself into elected office. With a royalty income of over $500,000 in today's money, he could afford to stay in office but went through money pretty much as quickly as his mother did. He continued to write, albeit now with a staff to research and dictate to, ultimately winning the Nobel Prize in 1953 for his four-volume History of the English-Speaking Peoples.
This is an entertaining and informative "take" on one of the twentieth century's foremost citizens.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Churchill was the greatest statesman of the 20th Century. A man who saw his world change so much, from riding into battle as a cavalry officer before WWI, to witnessing the... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Eclecticommentary
The book shows the author side of Mr. Churchill and how he used his author skills to support his personal finances throughout his life. We almost always see Mr. Read morePublished 16 months ago by S. Cremona
This biography is one which shows how talented Churchill was. His writing and his mastery of the English language is one of his gifts to the world. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Virginia E. Selanik
The son of a USAAF bomber pilot and an Irish lass who spent the early 40s dodging German bombs and V-rockets, not always without injury, I heard conflicting opinions about... Read morePublished on November 14, 2013 by Paul Cool
This is an interesting book that evaluates Churchill's career as a writer and a historian. It probably will be no surprise that Churchill was pleased in his early 20s to discover... Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by M. A Newman
Yes, I still admire Mr. Churchill but thanks to Peter Clarke, I now see him as lifesize. Soldier, writer, statesman, Churchil played all those positions and played them well. Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by Jane Pall
Mr. Churchill's book gives a fascinating account of one man's lengthy struggle to live beyond his means. Read morePublished on January 19, 2013 by Innovator