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Mr. Churchill's Profession: The Statesman as Author and the Book That Defined the "Special Relationship" Hardcover – May 22, 2012
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“[A] delightful, informative, and worthy addition to the groaning shelf of Churchill biography” ―Globe and Mail (Canada)
“In Mr. Churchill's Profession, an account of his career as an author, Peter Clarke argues that writing was not merely Churchill's vocation but the very center of his working life…” ―Maya Jasonoff, Wall Street Journal
“Detailing Churchill's writing aids of whiskey and stenographers as well as his income, Clarke will interest many in Churchill's authorial career.” ―Gilbert Taylor, Booklist
“Original, gap-filling, engagingly presented scholarship.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Clarke enhances his distinguished reputation as a scholar of modern Britain … with this original perspective on Winston Churchill.” ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I bought this volume as an ebook from amazon.com and read it in the Kindle app on my iPad.
Of all the many books already written on every aspect of this man, any potential reader would ask why another? There are several good reasons, several very strong points of the book, and yet, for me, a flawed premise.
The author begins with one of the finest summaries of WSC growing up the son of Lord Randolph Churchill and his American wife, Jenny Jerome. Lord Randoloph was a brilliant politician in most respects, and became Chancellor of the Exchequer under Salisbury but it was short lived in that he submitted his resignation prior to submitting even his first budget and Salisbury took it and went on. WSC was neglected by both parents and yet idolized both. His father, quite simply, was an ass. Randolph died at an early age and what little there was in pensions or annuities was constantly devoured by his mother as quickly as it came due, so while WSC may have been of the upper crust, he, like many, were not endowed with cash, which may have been on his father's mind when he married Jenny Jerome, a daughter of a successful investment broker from New York.
Early on, in spite of the lack of a formal education (his father had no intention of spending the money required for a first rate education), WSC went to Sandhurst, was a calvary officer at a young age and devoured books while on duty in India. It was early in life that he started with magazine and newspaper articles and learned quickly that good writing would make good money.Read more ›
The book's greatest strength is the effort that Clarke puts into understanding Churchill's finances. It probably would not be an understatement to say that Clarke probably pays more attention to Churchill's bank balance than Churchill or his mother or his children ever did. This is an important consideration since Churchill was not aiming to change the world with his writing as to keep himself in brandy, cigars, painting supplies and groceries from Fortnum and Mason's. Clarke is really good in calculating relative value in previous times and I think I may continue to consult him when trying to make sense historical economic issues of the period. I would concur with Clarke that perhaps the two best books are Great Contemporaries and My Early Life (a book I enjoyed when I read it as a teenager). Both are really the most accessible and interesting things he ever wrote and they stand up remarkably well.
That said, I would take issue with some of the characterizations in this book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A look at the his writing life. Churchill apparently paid the bills - when he paid them - mostly through his writing and his writing comprises many volumes. Read morePublished 3 months ago by MizLoo
Churchill was the greatest statesman of the 20th Century. A man who saw his world change so much, from riding into battle as a cavalry officer before WWI, to witnessing the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Eclecticommentary
The book shows the author side of Mr. Churchill and how he used his author skills to support his personal finances throughout his life. We almost always see Mr. Read morePublished on September 21, 2014 by S. Cremona
This biography is one which shows how talented Churchill was. His writing and his mastery of the English language is one of his gifts to the world. Read morePublished on April 9, 2014 by Virginia E. Selanik
Yes, I still admire Mr. Churchill but thanks to Peter Clarke, I now see him as lifesize. Soldier, writer, statesman, Churchil played all those positions and played them well. Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by Jane Pall
Mr. Churchill's book gives a fascinating account of one man's lengthy struggle to live beyond his means. Read morePublished on January 19, 2013 by Innovator
Presented here is a side of Winston Churchill that not many readers are aware of - that of a politician and member of a certain strata of English society supporting himself as an... Read morePublished on January 3, 2013 by david l. poremba
Most of us know of Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) as the wartime leader of Britain during World War II. Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by Chris Sterling