After several decades of historical revisionism, Winston Churchill, the ‘Greatest Briton’ remains one of the most controversial figures in modern history. Critics allege he was a diehard imperialist and warmonger, a bitter opponent of the working classes and a maverick opportunist with an insatiable appetite for power. Despite his record as ‘the man who won the war’, he is often accused of being a war criminal.
This book sets out to correct the historical record in a stimulating collection of essays. Arranged in chronological order to show his life in the context of 20th century world history, these essays are both detailed and analytical while still highly accessible to a general audience. Each one answers a specific historical question (see ‘View sample pages’ above for Contents) about Churchill through a critical examination of the existing historical record.
The author believes that Churchill deserves to be remembered as much for his domestic policy as his wartime achievements. Of particular interest is an evaluation of his role in introducing old age pensions and unemployment benefits for the very poorest in Edwardian Britain. This, some historians argue, made the difference between revolution and evolution at the end of the war. A special section examines his political philosophy, which is revealed to be more consistent than many imagine.
While attention is given to Churchill’s prodigious political accomplishments, the book also shows how he anticipated many important debates facing the world today.
Jeremy Havardi teaches history and philosophy in London, works as a freelance journalist and is the author of Falling to Pieces: Self deception and the divided mind.
Keywords: Churchill, Politics, Greatest Briton
Introduction: Churchill and the war on terror
1: The Promise of Youth (1874-1900)
2: Political Firebrand (1900-1911)
3: The Challenge of Total War (1911-1918)
4: Rebuilding a Shattered World (1919-1930)
5: Gathering Storm (1931-1939)
6: Saviour of the Free World – 1940
7: Towards Triumph and Tragedy – (1941-5)
8: Churchill as War Leader
9: Elder Statesman (1945-1955)
10: Churchill’s Political Philosophy