Our Supreme Task and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.99
  • Save: $5.95 (22%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it tomorrow, April 18? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Our Supreme Task: How Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech Defined the Cold War Alliance Hardcover – March 6, 2012


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, March 6, 2012
$21.04
$0.48 $0.01 $20.00

Frequently Bought Together

Our Supreme Task: How Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech Defined the Cold War Alliance + Mr. Churchill's Profession: The Statesman as Author and the Book That Defined the "Special Relationship" + The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965
Price for all three: $83.52

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781610390590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610390590
  • ASIN: 1610390598
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,022,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I read Our Supreme Task with considerable care and I recommend it emphatically. There is now an enormous literature about the Cold War but very little about how it actually came about and almost nothing about this address. This book fills the gap."

- John Lukacs, author of Churchill: Visionary. Statesman. Historian.

"Philip White has recreated the eight months between the Potsdam Conference at the end of World War II and the world-changing events in Fulton, Missouri, with impressive scholarship, a sure narrative skill and a fine eye for telling detail."

- Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War

"Philip White has lovingly produced a detailed yet eminently readable account of Churchill's speech in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946."

Nile Gardiner, Director, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom

"By reporting this event from every angle, Philip White builds the story of an unemployed world leader giving a talk at an obscure Missouri college into high drama. Churchill would have loved this book."

- Jesse Kornbluth, Headbutler.com


Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War

“Winston Churchill thought his Iron Curtain speech the most important of a long and stormy career that was studded with vital speeches; it was certainly one of his bravest.  Philip White has recreated the eight months between the Potsdam Conference at the end of World War II and the world-changing events in Fulton, Missouri, with impressive scholarship, a sure narrative skill and a fine eye for telling detail.”


John Lukacs, author of A New Republic: A History Of The United States In The Twentieth Century

“I read Our Supreme Task with considerable care and I recommend it emphatically. There is now an enormous literature about the Cold War but very little about how it actually came about and almost nothing about this address. This book fills the gap.”


Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Director, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom

“Philip White has lovingly produced a detailed yet eminently readable account of Churchill’s speech in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946. White shows not only how the great British statesman crystallized in word and image the perilous divide between democratic west and communist east, but also how one speech defined an era, and how it continues to inspire today.”



 


Kirkus Reviews
“The genesis, occasion and aftermath of what Winston Churchill unhesitatingly called ‘the most important speech of my career’…. White fully reproduces the address and reminds us that Churchill’s call for increased Anglo-American solidarity in the face of Soviet aggression was not particularly well received… Today, we remember it as ‘one of the defining statements of the twentieth century.’ White’s at his best painting the small scenes in the background of the event: Churchill’s construction of the speech as he sunbathed and painted, the whiskey and poker-fueled train ride with Truman to Missouri and especially the frantic preparations for the big day by Westminster and Fulton officials, including the charismatic college president who conceived of the long-shot invitation to a world figure who unexpectedly said yes. A small slice of history charmingly retold.”
 

Newark Star-Ledger
“[An] absorbing reconstruction of events leading up to Fulton’s fifteen minutes of fame…. White shines a warm and winning spotlight on rural postwar America as he describes the hamlet’s feverish preparation to host the leader.”
 
Commentary
“The background and analysis White offers are valuable.”
 
Washington Times
“In Cold War history, the Westminster speech is cited frequently as a seminal moment in the skein of events that dominated the world for the next half-century. From time to time, I wondered, ‘Why Westminster? Was it simply because President Truman hailed from Missouri?’ The story is far more complex, and it is related entertainingly by Philip White in a first book that marks him as a historian to be watched.”  

 


About the Author

Philip White is a writer and a lecturer at MidAmerica Nazarene University, and a regular contributor to The Historical Society publications. Philip’s business writing has been recognized with awards from the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators. He lives in Olathe, KS, with his wife and two sons.

More About the Author

Philip White writes about history, culture and technology. He is a regular contributor to the publications of the Historical Society at Boston University and guest lectures at MidAmerica Nazarene University. His business writing has won awards from the Public Relations Society of America and International Association of Business Communicators. Philip lives in Olathe, KS, with his wife and two sons.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
16
4 star
2
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 20 customer reviews
Phil White has given us a book that is carefully researched with copious notes in the conclusion of the book.
B. Smith
I just finished Mr. White's book, "Our Supreme Task," about 5 minutes ago and I must say it was a rather fascinating, inspiring and informative read.
Mark I. Sutherland
Franc McCluer the president of the College had the temerity to seek Winston S. Churchill to fulfill that task!
Richard C. Geschke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Justin Vaughan on March 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've read several Churchill-related books, but most have been about his years as war leader in WW2, his 'wilderness years' in the 1930s when he warned the nation about the dangers of Nazism, or about earlier periods of his life. Until I became familiar with this story, I had no idea that one of his most important speeches was given during a second `wilderness time' right after the war and marked the unfortunately fast transition from world war to cold war. This book really filled that missing piece for me.
The broad subject, how the free world confronts totalitarian regimes, seems as relevant today as ever before. But what I found most compelling is the way the author moves effortlessly between the global stage on which Churchill and Truman played and the nostalgic details that transported me into the world of small-town America in the 1940s. This is a special book - highly recommended!
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Berwick24 on March 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always been a big fan of history books, but I prefer ones that take a closer look at events and provide information you can't get in other places. This book does a great job of that. It sets the scene well, provides a lot of details, and brings out the personalities that were involved in pulling off one of the most important speeches ever delivered. Churchill is a fascinating subject, and so is the book's focus on a small, midwestern town hosting this larger-than-life political figure. I really enjoyed the book. The research in it is extensive. I highly recommend it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J.S. on March 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Our Supreme Task is a narrative non-fiction about Winston Churchill's unlikely journey to the small town of Fulton, MO. The author does an excellent job of describing the true events leading up to Churchill's famous Iron Curtain Speech, which took place in the small gymnasium of Westminster College. I don't typically read history books, but Our Supreme Task really surprised me and held my interest with its funny anecdotes about Churchill, Truman, and McCluer (the man who invited Churchill to come speak). The author's vivid descriptions take you back to that momentous occasion in a way that makes you feel as if you were there experiencing it for yourself.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Middleton on March 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
To anyone alive during the Cold War, the phrase "Iron Curtain" had a clear and precise meaning: the Soviet sphere of influence in Central and Eastern Europe. This book is the story of how that term was born, and propelled into the popular imagination.

It begins at the end of WWII, at Potsdam, as Churchill met Truman for the first time and lost the 1945 election. In that bitter conference Churchill seems to have finally realised the duplicity of the Soviets, and that Europe has simply traded one dictator for another. This sets the scene nicely for what is to come, both in showing Churchill's thoughts, and also how he came to be a private citizen (although the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, but to be fair this was probably as close to being a private citizen as Churchill ever was).

We then segue to Fulton, Missouri, and focus on Bullet McClure and Westminster College - and his incredible idea to invite Churchill to give the annual 1946 Green Foundation lecture. Introduced by Truman (itself a feat of some doing), the letter finds Churchill receptive, and the focus is then on Churchill in America, writing and giving the speech.

Its clear that for all Churchill spoke as a "private citizen" that he took care to clear his words with his Government and (deniably) with Truman himself. The text of the speech is reproduced in full.

In addition to all the above, it's the story of how a small college in a small town found itself hosting a great man to give a historic speech. It's both a scholarly work, well researched and footnoted, and also very readable: the practical difficulties involved are made clear, and the personal side of these great events is never overlooked. As a study of rhetoric of the Cold War - and how it was perceived and framed, at least in the West - its unique. If you have an interest in the Cold War or Churchill, this is great book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By discusj on March 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I find most history books very dry, but Our Supreme Task reads more like a novel - good character development, suspenseful, and a quick read. Highly Recommended!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Chris Sterling on December 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
And not just any speech, but one that gave the term "iron curtain" to the age and language. The speaker was Winston Churchill, who had lost the mid-1945 election to continue as Britain's prime minister. The speech was part of his (eventually successful) attempt to regain a role and power in British foreign affairs.

The place is more puzzling. Fulton, Missouri, is not exactly on the beaten tourist path (though it's just off I-70), nor is the small liberal arts college there on any ranking lists. So why did Churchill travel there in early March 1946, along with President Harry Truman, to make his major foreign policy address? Because (1) he sought a venue and (2) the timing was right. Truman knew the college president, and promised to come and introduce Churchill. That combination sealed the deal.

White does a solid job discussing not only the speech (a full text is included), but all the arrangements behind the scenes to make it happen. Travel was harder and slower (the president and former/future prime minister traveled by train and then car), and how to serve the expected hordes of press and other visitors were major headaches. But it all came off--and the rest, so goes the old phrase, is history.

Today there is a fine Churchill museum on campus, very much worth visiting. It is housed beneath a reconstructed Christopher Wren church that stood in London until becoming a victim of the German bombing blitz in the 1940s. Its pieces were carefully shipped out to Missouri, reassembled, and opened as a museum several decades ago.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa3d29894)