About the book
Throughout his six decades in the public eye, Winston Churchill understood and wielded the power of words. In his speeches, books and newspaper and magazine articles, he expressed his feelings and laid out his vision for the future. His wartime writings and speeches in particular have fascinated generation after generation with their powerful narrative style and thoughtful reflection.
In this book Martin Gilbert has skilfully selected 200 extracts from Churchill’s entire oeuvre of books, articles and speeches that reflect his life story, career and philosophy. They range from intimate memories of his childhood and schooldays to his contributions to more than 50 years of debates on social policy and on war and his efforts after 1945 to see the world a better place. In them we see how he used words for different purposes: to argue for moral and political causes, to advocate courses of action in the social, national and international spheres, and to tell the story of his own life, struggles, setbacks and achievements.
As Churchill’s official biographer, Martin Gilbert is uniquely qualified to select from Churchill’s own inimitable words not only those that describe the main adventures of his life and the crises of his career, but also those passages that express the essence of Churchill’s thoughts and personality. Gilbert’s informed and subtle choice of extracts, together with his illuminating introductory and explanatory text linking them together, create a fascinating and compelling biographical narrative of Churchill’s life as recounted in the great man’s own words. They provide an invaluable insight into Churchill’s character and how he made his mark on Britain and the world stage.