Churchill: The Unexpected Hero

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Oxford University Press, Jan 13, 2005 - History - 324 pages
10 Reviews
During the Second World War, Winston Churchill won two resounding victories. The first was a victory over Nazi Germany, the second a victory over the legion of sceptics who had derided his judgement, denied his claims to greatness, and excluded him from high office on the grounds that he was sure to be a danger to King and Country. In this incisive biography, Paul Addison examines both the life of the most iconic figure in twentieth-century British history, and also the battle over his reputation, which continues to this day. - ;During the Second World War, Winston Churchill won two resounding victories. The first was a victory over Nazi Germany, the second a victory over the legion of sceptics who had derided his judgement, denied his claims to greatness, and excluded him from high office on the grounds that he was sure to be a danger to King and Country. Churchill was the only British politician of the twentieth century to become an enduring national hero. The curious thing is that it happened at the age of 65, at a time when he was considered to be a spent force, with a track-record of disastrous decisions. All but the most hostile of his adversaries conceded that he possessed great abilities, remarkable eloquence, and a streak of genius. But it was almost universally agreed that he was a shameless egotist, an opportunist without principles or convictions, an unreliable colleague, an erratic policy-maker who lacked judgement, and a reckless amateur strategist with a dangerous passion for war and bloodshed. At one time or another in his career, he had offended every party and faction in the land, yet despite this he became the embodiment of national unity, an uncrowned king who threatened to eclipse the monarchy. In this incisive new biography, Paul Addison tells the story of Churchill's life in parallel with the history of his reputation. He seeks to explain why Churchill was transformed into a national hero, and why his heroic status has endured ever since in spite of the attempts of iconoclasts to debunk him. He argues that we are now in a position to reach beyond the mythology - both positive and negative - to see the real Winston Churchill, a warrior-statesman whose qualities were remarkably consistent through all the vicissitudes of his career. - ;...this volume is ideal as a very short introduction to a very big man. - David Reynolds, The English Historical Review;Addison's book could be read with profit and enjoyment by anyone interested in modern history - The Independent
  

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Review: Churchill: The Unexpected Hero

User Review  - Joe - Goodreads

Quite a good introduction to Churchill. As someone with no prior knowledge of him, I found this book an interesting read. Gives a good general account of Churchills life from a neutral viewpoint. Read full review

Review: Churchill: The Unexpected Hero

User Review  - Sam Bright - Goodreads

This was a little bit long and a little too focused on English politics. I enjoyed the glimpses into Churchill's personal life and his style as a leader. He was a very interesting public figure. It was surprising to hear how unpopular he was for most of his career. Read full review

Contents

Prologue
ONEThe Youngest Man in Europe 18741901
TWOThe Renegade 19011911
THREEThe Lilliput Napoleon 19111915
FOURThe Winstonburg Line 19151924
FIVERespectability Won and Lost 19241939
SIXThe Making of a Hero 19391945
SEVENClimbing Olympus 19451965
EIGHTChurchill Past and Present
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Copyright

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