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Churchill's Bodyguard Hardcover – November 7, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
While we are regaled with many colourful and interesting anecdotes concerning Churchill and his relationship with Thompson, we are given very few details of Thompson's own life. The reason isn't that the biography is authorized because Hickman does describe the failure of Thompson's marriage and two affairs he had; so key events of his private life are laid open to public scrutiny.
What's missing then? Facts and themes that are basic to the modern craft of the biographer. For example, Thompson's date of birth is never even mentioned. Apart from one episode, his school days aren't described. His courtship and the early years of his marriage aren't fleshed out. If there are no letters or family documents available, then some sort of general picture of life in late Victorian and early Edwardian England should have been drawn.
At the very least, Hickman should have given us an account of how Scotland Yard recruited and formed its policemen. This theme, even if it could not be presented with the facts of Thompson's own training, really should have been developed since it was by joining the Yard that Thompson came to guard Churchill.
Still, the stories are fun. Churchill's well-known disregard for his personal safety is illustrated through dozens of little stories about his walks through London despite air raids and his rushing to rooftops to see V1 flying bombs.
The saddest thing about this book is that it prevents a better biography from being written because this one is just interesting enough to grab the market. It's a missed opportunity.
Vincent Poirier, Tokyo
It is specialty book that probably interests a few...but I'd recommend it to many.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You cannot get enough of Churchill. The man was the brightest light of the 20th century. USA could use a few like him.Published on May 29, 2013 by Jim Abate
I fear that I must agree with Mr. Poirier's review of this book. It is fun to read and has many agreeable anecdotes but it does not seem to be much about Mr. Thompson. Read morePublished on October 24, 2010 by dkt56
It was worth buying, but the paper it is printed on is - I don't know how to describe it - not white, but darker colored (cheap quality paper? Read morePublished on July 23, 2009 by Don
An excellent, well-researched and highly readable account. I did not want this book to end and treated myself to chunks at the time.Published on March 2, 2009 by E. H. Davis