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My Early Life: 1874-1904 Paperback – June 6, 1996
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If you've seen the film "Young Winston", based on this book, you will be familiar with some of the events. Other programmes and books have adequately explained his war leadership and his contribution to many serious political issues. However, the films and documentaries I have seen fail to capture the mischievous spirit communicated through this book.
This a fascinating study of a bygone age, when Britain maintained a great empire, when most politicians took the title Lord, and when politics and army officership were sports for those of independent means. Interestingly despite his aristocratic bloodline Churchill's family was not particularly wealthy and some of the most poignant lessons stem from this.
Sometimes the sentiments in the book appear bloodthirsty or imperialistic, but you have to realise that at least part of the time Churchill is writing satirically, reflecting common values which you suspect he did not always share himself. When he is sincerely expressing his own serious ideals it is usually easy to detect.
These beliefs link both his skilful analysis of historical events, and Churchill's account of his own development. For example he explains the British government's failure to be magnanimous after the early victories of the Boer war as the reason that a relatively fast-moving and honourable conflict descended into "shocking evils" on both sides.Read more ›
This book was written by Churchill when he was short of cash - it had to be successful. Also it was written well before he became a world-weary statesman. By so royaly entertaining his readers he betrays himself to us as a pretty down to earth and likeable character - perhaps very different to the complex man he really was, or the very great man he was eventually to become.
One thing strikes me from the book is that Churchill was probably as unforgiving with himself as he was with other people - he comes across as someone with tremendous moral integrity and character. Yet, by the standards of many others he was seen as outspoken, bumptious, obdurate and opinionated, a war monger etc etc.
Progress was never made by reasonable people and this book is a superb way to get to know this mercurial, unorthodox, unlikely hero. It is a story of his coming of age at the turn of the 18th century and is one of those books that all bold adventurous men should perhaps read at some time during their lives.
A fantastic eye witness account of the British empire and the 'larger than life' people behind it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is my first experience with the writing of Winston Churchill. Most all I was impressed with his wit. The last part of the book got a little tedious regarding the Boer WarPublished 21 days ago by C. Christensen
Churchill has always been a most incredible character. This autobiography of the early years of his life is so well written, humorous and insightful that I could not put it... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Richard P. Hoye
Being fascinated by the personalities of great people, this was very interesting until we bogged down into the Boer War, and British politics is a mystery, so it ended quite... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ms. Olivia Negron
I bought this for my mother. She absolutely LOVED it. Read passages out loud to me and we both laughed! It's really enjoyable.Published 5 months ago by Bella
This book answered a lot of questions for me, and I found it very interesting. Also, it's a good read - not stodgy at all, and had a human touch.Published 5 months ago by L. J. Valentine
In Churchill's own words. A cocky young man's life told through the wisdom of his slightly older self.Published 6 months ago by Donna Ford