Winston Churchill is an icon of modern history, but even though he was at the forefront of the political scene for
almost 60 years, he might be remembered only as a minor player in the drama of British government had it not been for
World War II. In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins' unparalleled command of the political history of Britain and his
own high-level government experience combine in a narrative account of Churchill's astounding career that is unmatched
in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author's nuanced
appreciation of his extraordinary subject.
From a very young age, Churchill believed he was destined to play a great role in the life of his nation, and he
determined to prepare himself. Jenkins shows in fascinating detail how Churchill educated himself for greatness, how he
worked out his livelihood (writing) as well as his professional life (politics), how he situated himself at every major
site or moment in British imperial and governmental life. His parliamentary career was like no other - with its changes
of allegiance (from the Conservative to the Liberal and back to the Conservative Party), its troughs and humiliations,
its triumphs and peaks - and for decades, especially the crisis years of the late 1930s and the terrifying 1940s, when
at last it was clear how vital Churchill was to the very survival of Britain. He evaluates Churchill's other
accomplishments, his writings, with equal authority.
Exceptional in its breadth of knowledge and distinguished by its stylish wit and penetrating intelligence, this is one
of the finest political biographies of our time.