Finest Hour 115, Summer 2002
After a brief lull, the cascade of new books about Winston Churchill has begun afresh. Here are titles we are acquiring for the Churchill Center Book Club. Our prices will be substantially below prices mentioned here, and lower than Amazon.com, of course!
• Cohen, Eliot: Supreme Command (Free Press, 272 pp., $25), will be reviewed in our autumn number. See also Cohen’s brilliant “Churchill and His Generals” in our Proceedings 1992-1993.
• Dobbs, Michael: Winston ’s War: A Novel (HarperCollins, 352 pp., £17, November). Fans of the book and television series “House of Cards,” with fiendish Francis Urquhart, MP , will be pleased to know that its author, ICS (UK) member Michael Dobbs, is now serving us a Churchill novel. Thus far, Dobbs’s novels have been purely fictional, if all too close to certain marks. Now he focuses his detailed knowledge of Parliamentary politics on real history. The story begins in September 1938, with Churchill nearly a decade out of power, derided over India, ignored over Hitler, and scorned for supporting Edward VIII during the Abdication crisis. Neville Chamberlain has returned from Munich bearing Peace in Our Time. Then Churchill receives a visitor at Chartwell named Guy Burgess: the first in a series of surprise developments that propel Churchill into Number Ten and change history. Churchill, who became a hero, and Burgess, who became a traitor by spying for the Soviets, are juxtaposed in a fascinating novel.
• Larres, Klaus: Churchill’s Cold War: The Politics of Personal Diplomacy (Yale University Press), forthcoming.
• Lukacs, John: Churchill: Visionary. Statesman. Historian (Yale University Press, 200pp., $21.95). An appreciation of Churchill as a statesman and seer of the future, plus Lukacs’s account of attending Churchill’s funeral in 1965.
• Ramsden, John: Man of the Century: Winston Churchill Post-1945 (HarperCollins, 416 pp., £20, forthcoming in October). A revelatory portrait examining the development of Churchill’s unique reputation and posthumous impact on Anglo-American relations and British history. Drawn on fresh material and research in three continents, this biographical study shows how his personality, attitudes and vision of himself shaped our own political perception of nationhood. Historian and CC academic adviser Ramsden argues that Churchill’s romantic, imperial notion of Britain contributed directly to contemporary political culture, particularly its attitude to Europe. He also illuminates the national identity of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA, and an analysis of the entire Churchill phenomenon.
• Royal Historical Society Transactions (Sixth Series, Vol. XI, Cambridge University Press, 449 pp., £25). FH 111 published twelve abstracts from the RHS 2001 conference. Complete transcripts of eleven papers occupy 236 pages of this volume. Available to members for £20/$30 from RHS, University College, London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT; also to be offered by the CC Book Club.
• Ruotsila, Markku: Churchill ja Suomi 1900-1955 (Otava). Reviewed on page 36. Ruotsila also wrote “Churchill and Wilson” in Finest Hour 92).
• Valiunas, Algis: Churchill’s Military Histories (Rowman and Littlefield). Recommended by several of our academic advisers. Valiunas’s fine appreciation of The World Crisis, written years ago for The American Spectator, means this is worth waiting for.
• von Krockow, Christian Graf: Churchill: Man of the Century (London House, £16.99). A new English edition of the original, reviewed in FH 102.
• Wrigley, Chris: Winston Churchill: A Biographical Companion (ABC Clio Press, $55). Already in print.
• Zoller, Curt: Annotated Bibliography of Works Concerning Winston Spencer Churchill (M.E. Sharpe in association with The Churchill Center, $75). The most comprehensive guide ever published, with comments about the contents, and a strong list of Churchill-related titles. Due momentarily.
• Churchill, Winston S.: The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches, compiled by his grandson, due out in 2003.
• Soames, Mary: Clementine Churchill, new, revised and expanded edition, will be published late this year.
In answer to inquiries, here are the alltime top sellers among books offered by the Churchill Center Book Club (and privately) Asterisk (*) denotes titles published in association with The Churchill Center.
Churchill/Weidhorn, India 1237
*Langworth, Connoisseur’s Guide 648
*Gilbert, War Papers, Vol I 473
*Gilbert, War Papers, Vol II 428
Gilbert, Ofcl. Biography Vol VII 319
Gilbert, Ofcl. Biography Vol VIII 246
*Gilbert, War Papers, Vol III 245
Talbott, Churchill on Courage 236
*ICS, Churchill Bibliographic Data 190
*Churchill, Malakand Field Force 185
Churchill, The Great Republic 160
*Churchill, My Early Life 143
Gilbert, In Search of Churchill 121
Gilbert, Ofcl. Biography Vol VI 118
*Churchill, Savrola 112
Hayward, Churchill on Leadership 106
Montague Browne, Long Sunset 101
Stewart, Burying Caesar 96
Churchill, The Aftermath 92
Rasor, Churchill Historiography 88
Gilbert, Churchill & Emery Reves 80
Jenkins, Churchill: A Biography 80
Wilson, Churchill and The Prof 71
Barrett, Churchill Bibliography 70
Finest Hour’s book column is named for the late Churchill bibliographer Fred Woods.