The "important and engrossing" fifth volume of the official Churchill biography chronicles his visionary leadership in the tense years approaching WWII (Foreign Affairs).
This acclaimed biographical masterpiece opens with Winston S. Churchill's return to Conservatism and to the cabinet in 1924. The narrative unfolds into a vivid and intimate picture of his public life as well as his private world at Chartwell between the wars.
With ample access to Churchill's private papers, Martin Gilbert strips away decades of accumulated myth and innuendo, showing the stateman's true position on India, his precise role (and private thoughts) during the abdication of Edward VIII, his attitude toward Mussolini, and his profound fears for the future of European democracy. Even before Hitler came to power in Germany, Churchill saw the dangers of a Nazi victory. And despite the unpopularity of his views in official circles, he persevered for six years in sounding the alarm against fascism.
This book reveals for the first time the extent senior civil servants, and even serving officers of high rank, came to Churchill with secret information, having despaired at the magnitude of official lethargy and obstruction. Within the Air Ministry, the Foreign Office, and the Intelligence Services, individuals felt drawn to provide Churchill with full disclosures of Britain's defense weakness, keeping him informed of day-to-day developments from 1934 until the outbreak of war. People of all parties and in all walks of life recognized Churchill's unique qualities and demanded his inclusion in the government, believing he alone could give a divided nation guidance and inspiration.
"A milestone, a monument, a magisterial achievement . . . rightly regarded as the most comprehensive life ever written of any age." Andrew Roberts, historian and author of The Storm of War
"The most scholarly study of Churchill in war and peace ever written." Herbert Mitgang, The New York Times