Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940-45

by Sir Max Hastings

Biography / Autobiography History

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An in depth insight into the great war leader Churchill. Max Hastings gives a 'warts and all' account of Churchill's war years, not only looking at his trumphs but also some of his less successfull ideas and campaigns.

Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940-45 Synopsis

Pre-eminent military historian Max Hastings presents Winston Churchill as he has never been seen before. Winston Churchill was the greatest war leader Britain ever had. In 1940, the nation rallied behind him in an extraordinary fashion. But thereafter, argues Max Hastings, there was a deep divide between what Churchill wanted from the British people and their army, and what they were capable of delivering. Himself a hero, he expected others to show themselves heroes also, and was often disappointed. It is little understood how low his popularity fell in 1942, amid an unbroken succession of battlefield defeats. Some of his closest colleagues joined a clamour for him to abandon his role directing the war machine. Hastings paints a wonderfully vivid image of the Prime Minister in triumph and tragedy. He describes the 'second Dunkirk' in 1940, when Churchill's impulsiveness threatened to lose Britain almost as many troops in north-west France as had been saved from the beaches; his wooing of the Americans, and struggles with the Russians. British wartime unity was increasingly tarnished by workers' unrest, with many strikes in mines and key industries. By looking at Churchill from the outside in, through the eyes of British soldiers, civilians and newspapers -- and also those of Russians and Americans -- Hastings provides new perspectives on the greatest Englishman. He condemns as folly Churchill's attempt to promote mass uprisings in occupied Europe, and details 'Unthinkable' -- his amazing 1945 plan for an Allied offensive against the Russians to liberate Poland. Here is an intimate and affectionate portrait of Churchill as Britain's saviour, but also an unsparing examination of the wartime nation which he led and the performance of its armed forces.

Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940-45 Press Reviews

'One of the best books ever written about Churchill ! Hastings's efficient, soldierly prose marches along at a brisk pace and carries the reader with it. He has drawn on copious original sources and consulted experts familiar with them, enabling him to cast fresh light on familiar episodes ! a magnificent performance.'
Sunday Times

'The book's portrait of Churchill is scrupulously fair and often deeply moving ! in fact Hastings excels with all his character portraits, especially with Roosevelt and Stalin. Hastings is truly a master of strategy and high command.'
Antony Beevor, Mail on Sunday

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780007263684
Publication date: 02/09/2010
Publisher: HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007263684
Publication date: 2nd September 2010
Author: Sir Max Hastings
Publisher: HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 576 pages
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, History,
Categories: Biography: historical, political & military, Second World War, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000,

About Sir Max Hastings

Sir Max Hastings is the author of twenty-five books, many of them about war. He was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, which he quit after a year to become a journalist. Thereafter he reported for newspapers and BBC TV from sixty-four countries and eleven conflicts, notably the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Vietnam and the 1982 Battle for the Falklands. Between 1986 and 2002 he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and for his books, most recently the 2012 Chicago Pritzker Library’s $100,000 literary award for his contribution to military ...

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