Winston Churchill, the great wartime leader and peacetime Prime Minister, is one of the dominating figures of the 20th century. In this stimulating and original book, David Dilks - the eminent historian of modern Britain and a leading Churchill scholar - provides a fascinating source of new discoveries and insights. He shows Churchill, not only as a war leader and international statesman, but also as a private person - with a rich variety of interests, enthusiasms, friendships and rivalries. Churchill's relations with other leading politicians and statesmen of the age - both within Britain and internationally - illuminate his handling of friends and enemies. Sometimes these categories were not easily separated; for a long while, Churchill thought of Stalin as a friend or at least a comrade in arms, and only with extreme reluctance did he come to look upon him ultimately as an enemy. He regarded Roosevelt with admiration and gratitude, yet the balance of evidence suggests that the President felt less warmly towards him, especially after 1943.
Dilks casts new and penetrating light on Churchill during World War II, including his dramatic and troubled relationship with Charles de Gaulle - where political problems were softened by Churchill's love of France. The aftermath of World War II, relations with Stalin, the Soviet Union and the Cold War all dominated Churchill's subsequent career. The last chapter draws attention to the influence of 'history' on statesmen and others, not least because no public man of the last century - with the possible exception of de Gaulle - has influenced on Churchill's scale, or with his effectiveness, the writing and the making of history. Whether in or out of office, Churchill's influence has been felt in all areas of British politics and national life. David Dilks brings Churchill to life for all those interested modern British and international history whether student, specialist or general reader.
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David Dilks was for more than 20 years Professor of International History at the University of Leeds, and then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull. He previously worked as research assistant to Sir Anthony Eden, Mr Harold Macmillan, Lord Tedder and others closely associated with Churchill, and served as President of the International Committee for the History of the Second World War from 1992 to 2000. He is the author of Curzon in India, Neville Chamberlain and "The Great Dominion": Winston Churchill in Canada 1900- 1954, and editor of The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan.
List of Abbreviations
1. Churchill Up and Churchill Down: Politics and the Art of the Impossible
2. Great Britain, the Commonwealth and the Wider World 1939-1945
3. An Affair of the Heart: Churchill and France
4. Rights, Wrongs and Rivalries: Britain and France in 1945
5. Churchill, Eden and Stalin
6. Epic and Tragedy: Britain and Poland 1941-1945
7. The Bitter Fruit of Victory: Churchill and an Unthinkable Operation, 1945
8. The Solitary Pilgrimage: Churchill and the Russians 1951-1955
9. 'Historians are Dangerous': Churchill, Chamberlain and Some Others
'Excellent' - Andrew Roberts, BBC History Magazine 'David Dilks is more than a pre-eminent historian of Churchill. For decades he has known friends and colleagues of Churchill and has a comprehensive grasp of the literature. His tempered view encompasses Churchill occasionally as a domineering bully, and sometimes as a despondent politician, but almost always as a buoyant, inspiring and high-spirited personality with creative imagination and energy of mind as well as body. Churchill and Company offers fresh and original insight into the most remarkable statesman of the twentieth century.' [Wm. Roger Louis, Kerr Chair in English History and Culture and Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas at Austin] Entertaining Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
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