By Paul Johnson
Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670021055, 192pp.
Publication Date: November 3, 2009
For eminent historian Paul Johnson, Winston Churchill remains an enigma in need of unraveling. Soldier, parliamentarian, Prime Minister, orator, painter, writer, husband, and leader all of these facets combine to make Churchill one of the most complex and fascinating personalities in history.
In Churchill, Johnson applies a wide lens and an unconventional approach to illuminate the various phases of Churchill's career. From his adventures as a young cavalry officer in the service of the Empire to his role as an elder statesman prophesying the advent of the Cold War, Johnson shows how Churchill's immense adaptability combined with his natural pugnacity to make him a formidable leader for the better part of a century. Johnson's narration of Churchill's many triumphs and setbacks, rich with anecdote and quotation, illustrates the man's humor, resilience, courage, and eccentricity as no other biography before.
Winston Churchill's hold on contemporary readers has never slackened, and Paul Johnson's lively, concise biography will appeal to historians and general nonfiction readers alike.
"It turns out that while Wikipedia can ably trace the arc of Churchill's life, Johnson...can give the reader the definite sense of having known Churchill, or at least of having hung out with him for a bit...Churchill lets you spend some time in the man's company, and who wouldn't want that?"
-New York Times Book Review
"Paul Johnson is the most celebrated and best-loved British historian in America."
-Wall Street Journal
"[If] you appreciate clarity, authority, and verve in historical writing, you will understand why I gulped down [Churchill] and now declare it the most exciting biography I read in 2009."
-Jesse Kornbluth, Huffington Post
"Johnson clearly shares and revels in Churchill's generosity of spirit and limitless intellectual energy. He has produced a book that is a joy--and a worthy tribute to both of them."
"You read Johnson to be provoked and entertained, and on both these scores his biography, like its subject, succeeds wonderfully."
-The American COnservative
"With deft narrative skill and keen insight, Johnson masterfully sketches the phases of Churchill's life...Along the way, Johnson gives us wonderful insights into Churchill's character...Rich with anecdote and quotation, Paul Johnson's Churchill illustrates the man's humor, resilience, courage, and eccentricity as no other biography before."
Johnson's story arc is written in fluid prose that beautifully reveals the tension of achievement of Churchill's life."
-Dallas Morning News
"The book's most original offering is--in characteristically vivid prose and a consistent intelligence and urbanity--Johnson's distillation of life lessons from Churchill's storied career."
-Jon Meacham, Slate.com
One of the world's great historians has written a biography of the man who is one of the immense figures of the last century. And perhaps surprisingly, the book is short. Just 192 pages. It is pungent, pointed and eloquent, like some gorgeous, highly-distilled liqueur. Host Scott Simon speaks with author Paul Johnson about this revealing biography, titled, Churchill. More at NPR.org
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