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Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill: A Brief Account of a Long Life Paperback – May 11, 2004
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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A WALL STREET JOURNAL SUMMER PICK
A WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER
Warrior and writer, genius and crank, rider in the British cavalryâs last great charge and inventor of the tank, Winston Churchill led Britain to fight alone against Nazi Germany in the fateful year of 1940 and set the standard for leading a democracy at war. With penetrating insight and vivid anecdotes, Gretchen Rubin makes Churchill accessible and meaningful to twenty-first-century readers by analyzing the many contrasting views of the man: he was an alcoholic, he was not; he was an anachronism, he was a visionary; he was a racist, he was a humanitarian; he was the most quotable man in the history of the English language, he was a bore.
Like no other portrait of its famous subject, Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill is a dazzling display of facts more improbable than fiction. It brings to full realization the depiction of a man too fabulous for any novelist to construct, too complex for even the longest narrative to describe, and too significant ever to be forgotten.
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For ever, the greatest biographers have been slaves to their thesis and the dramatic arc of their story. Released from the traditional constraints, though, Rubin is able to explore certain interesting aspects of Churchill's life and their meanings more objectively and from many more angles than any other biography could do.
For better and for worse, her new format is of our time. It allows the reader to skip around and focus on only the topic of special interest. Read the chapter on Churchill as father, and it is complete in a way that an excerpt from Manchester cannot be. Even the tone and writing style of each section varies widely, in accordance to the feature she is exploring.
Rubin's "40 Ways" structure will no doubt be mimicked, perhaps by her, certainly by others, for many years to come.