The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor

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Yale University Press, May 28, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 516 pages
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This strikingly original book introduces a Winston Churchill we have not known before. Award-winning author Jonathan Rose explores in tandem Churchill’s careers as statesman and author, revealing the profound influence of literature and theater on Churchill’s personal, carefully composed grand story and on the decisions he made throughout his political life.
 
Rose provides in this expansive literary biography 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. In a fascinating conclusion, 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.
 

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THE LITERARY CHURCHILL: Author, Reader, Actor

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A study of the statesman that demonstrates how "literature can illuminate political behavior in ways that more conventional methodologies cannot."From his early career as an intrepid journalist ... Read full review

Contents

The Theatre Rage
1
An Uneducated
19
A Pushing
34
War of the Worlds
48
A Portrait of the Artist
65
Publicity Capital
73
Things to Come
82
Comédie Anglaise
95
Blackout
249
The Loaded Pause
273
The Hour of Fate and the Crack of Doom
290
This Different England
326
The War Poet
351
Victory?
369
The Summit
395
The Last Whig
411

On the Stage of History
117
What Actually Happened
144
Revolutionaries
160
The Chancellors Star Turn
181
That Special Relationship
199
The Apple Cart
215
The Producer
234
The Terrible
425
Notes
451
Index
495
326
502
369
511
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About the author (2014)

Jonathan Rose is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History, Drew University. He was founding president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing and is co-editor of the journal Book History. He lives in Morristown, NJ.

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