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The Literary Churchill Author, Reader, Actor by Jonathan Rose

The Literary Churchill Author, Reader, Actor

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Jonathan Rose evaluates Churchill the Statesman in his other roles as Author, Reader and Actor. Not only was Churchill a best-selling author, he also won the 1953 Nobel Literature prize, here we learn of those who influenced his writing and those in turn influenced by him. Churchill’s writing is also under analysis with interesting side-steps into his literary dealings with agents and publishers.

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Mr Churchill's Profession: Statesman, Orator, Writer, Peter Clarke

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Born into an aristocratic English family, Winston Churchill made his name as a politician in the early 1900s, but his many talents and rich life experience offered alternative careers as a soldier, artist, historian and writer. This exciting and original portrait by awardwinning biographer Jonathan Rose investigates Churchill’s life and career as influenced by his love and understanding of literature. He explores how this inventive thinker was driven by his wide reading and his love of the theatrical, using a literary model of politics to become the peerless statesman who made an indelible mark on British History, a Nobel Prize winning Prime Minister whose leadership during the Second World War helped to secure freedom for a nation. Painstakingly researched and immensely readable, this in-depth study offers a new perspective on a complex personality and national hero, drawing a picture of a man whose sense of the dramatic changed the course of history.
~ Susie Cogan


The Literary Churchill Author, Reader, Actor by Jonathan Rose

This strikingly original book introduces a Winston Churchill we have not known before. Award-winning author Jonathan Rose explores in tandem Churchill's careers as statesman and author, revealing the profound influence of literature and theatre on Churchill's personal, carefully composed grand story and on the decisions he made throughout his political life. Rose provides in this expansive literary biography an analysis of Churchill's writings and their reception (he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 and was a best-selling author), and a chronicle of his dealings with publishers, editors, literary agents, and censors. The book also identifies an array of authors who shaped Churchill's own writings and politics: George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Margaret Mitchell, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, and many more. Rose investigates the effect of Churchill's passion for theatre on his approach to reportage, memoirs and historical works. Perhaps most remarkably, Rose reveals the unmistakable influence of Churchill's reading on every important episode of his public life, including his championship of social reform, plans for the Gallipoli invasion, command during the Blitz, crusade for Zionism, and efforts to prevent a nuclear arms race. In a fascinating conclusion, Rose traces the significance of Churchill's writings to later generations of politicians, among them President John F. Kennedy as he struggled to extricate the U.S. from the Cuban Missile Crisis.


'One of the most remarkable books ever written about Winston Churchill.'-Piers Brendon, Literary Review -- Piers Brendon Literary Review'

About the Author

Jonathan Rose is William R. Kenan Jr Professor of History at Drew University. His 2001 book for Yale, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, was winner of many prizes including the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History and was named a Book of the Year by The Economist magazine.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st May 2015


Jonathan Rose

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Yale University Press


528 pages


Biography: literary
Literary studies: from c 1900 -
Biography: historical, political & military



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