In The Footsteps of Churchill
A Study in Character
By Richard Holmes
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780465030828, 376pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2005
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As one of the most admired political leaders of the twentieth century, Winston Churchill holds iconic status in popular memory. But in this incisive new biography, acclaimed military historian Richard Holmes offers a remarkable reappraisal of Churchill by examining the influences that shaped his character. Drawing upon never-before-seen materials such as letters between the young Churchill and his parents, Holmes paints the most complete portrait to date of the man who stood up to Hitler and led his people to victory against all odds.Detailing the decisive events of Churchill’s life—from his childhood to his experiences in the Boer War through his rapid rise in politics—Holmes demonstrates the central role Churchill’s character played in the key decisions of his public life. With an already inflated sense of self, Churchill had several lucky escapes in combat—in the Boer War and in the trenches of WWI—convincing him that he was saved for a reason and was destined for greatness. In the Footsteps of Churchill uncovers a surprisingly different Churchill—both admirable and difficult—through the lens of his character.
Richard Holmes is Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield University and the Royal Military College of Science in Britain. He is the author of numerous books, and is the general editor of The Oxford Companion to Military History. He lives in Hampshire, England.