The Literary Churchill

“An interesting and at times surprising account of Churchill's tastes as a reader…many of [these] nuggets will be new even to Churchill junkies.”—TheWall Street Journal This strikingly original book introduces a Winston Churchill we haven’t known before. Award-winning author Jonathan Rose explores Churchill’s careers as statesman and author, revealing the profound influence of literature and theater on Churchill’s personal, carefully composed grand story and the decisions he made throughout his political life. In this expansive literary biography, Rose provides an analysis of Churchill’s writings and their reception (he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 and was a best-selling author), and a chronicle of his dealings with publishers, editors, literary agents, and censors. The book also identifies an array of authors who shaped Churchill’s own writings and politics: George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Margaret Mitchell, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, and many more. Rose investigates the effect of Churchill’s passion for theater on his approach to reportage, memoirs, and historical works. Perhaps most remarkably, Rose reveals the unmistakable influence of Churchill’s reading on every important episode of his public life, including his championship of social reform, plans for the Gallipoli invasion, command during the Blitz, crusade for Zionism, and efforts to prevent a nuclear arms race. Finally, Rose traces the significance of Churchill’s writings to later generations of politicians—among them President John F. Kennedy as he struggled to extricate the U.S. from the Cuban Missile Crisis. “Immensely enjoyable…This gracefully written book is an original and textured study of Churchill’s imagination.”—The Washington Post

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Publisher Yale University Press
Release Date
ISBN 0300206232
Pages 529 pages
Rating 4/5 (34 users)

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