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75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Because I shall write it...", July 10, 2000
This review is from: Churchill: A Life (Paperback)
The title of this review was Sir. Winston Spencer Churchill responding when asked how he thought History would remember him. He had no concerns, because as he explained he would be his own biographer.
Mr. Churchill did author many books most of which are still readily available in print today, and as far as his ability to use a pen, The Nobel Prize he received for his writings answers that question.
As mentioned elsewhere Martin Gilbert (now Sir Martin Gilbert) finished the 8th volume of the official Churchill Biography in 1988. It is also true that he dedicated decades of his life to the work. What is not as well known is that the work is not yet complete. There are 8 volumes and there are also 15 additional volumes of correspondence, personal letters, etc., that are also equally important to this body of work. Finally, there are more volumes yet to come, so this work not only has stretched decades, its creation has spanned 2 Centuries like the great man himself. It is also important to note that Sir Winston's Son Randolph Churchill published the first volume. Sir Gilbert joined Randolph in 1962, Volume 1 was published in 1966, and Sir Gilbert officially accepted the monumental task in 1968.
This one volume work is brilliant. I have read the 8-volume version, and some of the companion volumes, and to think it could be distilled into one book, however thick, would have seemed an insurmountable task. Sir Gilbert is the authority on the man who many argue was the man of the 20th Century, and one of the great Statesman of History.
Sir Winston certainly was a brilliant leader; to stop there is to not know the man at all. He was an accomplished writer, he was a painter, he was a mason (the type that build walls), a trowel not a secret handshake was used, and he was an orator without peer, who today is still quoted on a regular basis.
If you read one book, then please make it this one. My introduction to Churchill was through the as yet uncompleted 3-volume work of Mr. William Manchester, which is also excellent. Once introduced to this giant of history, one book will not do, he was too large, larger than life, as large as the events he guided, and the Western Democracy that he saved until others came to his aid. How different the world would have been had his party not been voted from office in the midst of the final peace negotiations. The only consistent player was Stalin, and he won hands down.
A man that must be a part of any library, as our present is due in part to this individual. And remember he was 50% American. But then perhaps we can take a bit of pride and say, no surprise at all!
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