This is an account of the first 58 years of the life of Sir Winston Churchill, arguably the 20th century's greatest statesman. With wit and candor, Manchester chronicles Churchill's life, from his earliest days as the neglected first child of Lord Randolph Churchill and his American-born wife, Jennie, to his entry into the political "wilderness" over Indian Home Rule in 1932.
The first volume of this magnificent biography ends with Churchill being exiled to the "back benches" of the British House of Commons for his unpopular stand on a variety of political issues, and for his chronic habit of irritating nearly everyone with whom he came in contact. By 1932, the verdict was in: When Russian dictator Josef Stalin inquired about Churchill, a noted British wag laughed scornfully, then sniffed: "Churchill? Oh, he's finished!"
Manchester's portrait of his subject is balanced and objective. In addition to a wonderfully written chronology of Churchill's life, Manchester provides a fascinating overview of the times in which Churchill lived. The author's account of Victorian England - its culture, its mores, and its view of itself in the world – and the sections which describe Churchill's early years, make highly entertaining and absorbing reading by themselves.
This report prepared by Mike Powers