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A Biography


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If you think you know all about Winston Churchill, think again. He was powerful, brave, brilliant and nearly broke.

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Perhaps the greatest tribute to the work of author Roy Jenkins is that, at times, he seemed to know what Winston Churchill was actually thinking - and you’re pretty sure he’s right. When the mind you’re reading about belongs to perhaps the greatest Prime Minister in the history of Great Britain, Nobel-prize winner Winston Churchill, that is a pretty impressive accomplishment. Jenkins’ biography is essentially unsentimental, and reveals Churchill’s idiosyncrasies and errors in an honest manner that serves only to elevate, rather than tarnish, the legacy of the man who rallied the free world to resist the tyranny of National Socialism. Jenkins has written an extraordinary volume which getAbstract highly recommends to any student of history.


The Green Years: 1874-1908

Churchill’s early life appears to be set among England’s landed gentry, but really that is not the case. In certain ways, his blue blood heritage was attenuated, if not tainted. His family heritage was not held in very high regard, noted neither for its public service nor its affluence. The family’s founder was a swashbuckling fellow named John Churchill, who was victorious in the battles of Ramillies, Blenheim and Malplaquet in the 18th century. As a result, he received a mansion and other rewards. John Churchill had a reputation for single-minded advancement and self-promotion, however, as the mansion’s name, Blenheim Palace, and its showy architecture might suggest.

Those who followed John’s legacy did little to distinguish themselves. The most respectable was Winston’s grandfather, who served as a member of parliament for 10 years and was the "Lord Lieutenant" of Ireland for the last four years of the second Disraeli government. Winston Churchill, himself, was never actually a landowner, with the exception of the 300 acres surrounding Chartwell, the house only 24 miles from London that he purchased in 1922 and very nearly lost on several...

About the Author

Roy Jenkins was active in British politics for more than 50 years. He joined the House of Commons in 1948, and has served as Minister of Aviation, Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, as well as Chancellor of Oxford University. He assumed a seat in the House of Lords in 1987. The author of Gladstone (1997) and 17 other books, he served as president of the Royal Society of Literature, and lived with his wife in London.

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