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Churchill's Hour by Michael Dobbs

Churchill's Hour

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

There has to be something very special about a story when you know the ending and without doubt there is something very special here. Dobbs wrote a parliamentary trilogy which became excellent television in House of Cards. Now he takes Winston Churchill as his central character and, keeping absolutely to the facts (here 1941), manages to weave an extraordinarily thrilling and perceptive tale. This is terrific stuff. Highly recommended, as are the earlier two, Winston’s War and Never Surrender.

Comparison: Frederick Forsyth, Gerald Seymour, Robert Harris.
Similar this month: Stella Rimington, Alistair Beaton.

If you like Michael Dobbs you might also like to read books by Gerald Seymour, Robert Harris and Tom Cain.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Churchill's Hour by Michael Dobbs

In 1941, the war appears to be going badly on many fronts. Churchill is the confirmed leader and so his domestic political struggles are slightly lessened, but battered, bloody and almost bankrupt, Britain limps on. Churchill knows his country cannot win the war alone.

An alliance with America is paramount, and Churchill is determined to develop and use a friendship with Averall Harriman, American Ambassador to Britain, and personal friend of President Franklin Roosevelt. But his son's wife exploits this first. Pamela Churchill's passionate affair, conducted under her father-in-law's roof, presents Churchill with the appalling dilemma between saving his country, and allowing his son Randolph to be cuckolded.

With no British battlefield successes, and with a jubilant Germany controlling Europe, 1941 was a bleak year. America continued resolute against fighting, but by the year’s close Pearl Harbour had forced America into the war. Why had the Japanese been persuaded to attack American targets? And how were the rumours of the attack prevented from reaching American ears?

Decisions of love and war are often matters of perception. And so it was in this case.

This is an extraordinary novel of a man at bay, a nation facing disaster, and the political skills, human dilemmas and brilliant leadership that saved the day.


'An author who can bring historical happenings so vitally back to life, and made all the more impressive by being historically accurate in every aspect.'
Anthony Howard, The Times, on Winston

's War 'An intriguing tale of espionage and treason that charts the increasingly tangled lives of a unique cast. This is a work to enthral.'
Daily Mail

'Dobbs has done a brilliant job in evoking the drama the despair of Britain hovering on the edge of the abyss.'
Sunday Express

About the Author

Michael Dobbs

Michael Dobbs’ first novel, House of Cards, launched the career of the villainous Francis Urquhart, one of the most memorable fictional characters of recent years, who was immortalized by Ian Richardson in three award-winning BBC TV series. His books have foretold the downfall of Prime Ministers and the growing turmoil within the Royal Family. His recent novels, featuring Tom Goodfellowe, are Goodfellowe MP, The Buddha of Brewer Street, and Whispers of Betrayal, which with eerie prescience ahead of September 11th told of how a small group of trained and motivated people could hold an entire city to ransom.

For more than two decades Michael Dobbs has been at the right hand of political controversy. He was at Mrs Thatcher’s side as she took her first step into Downing Street as Prime Minister, and was a key aide to John Major when he was voted out. His experiences have led him to be described as ‘Westminster’s baby-faced hit man’ and ‘a man who, in Latin America, would have been shot’.

His highly acclaimed recent book, Winston’s War, was a novel about the extraordinary relationship between Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain and the young Soviet spy, Guy Burgess. It was shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year Award and is to be made into a feature film.

He was both Chief of Staff and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party and has a doctorate in defence studies. He has also been Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and a regular presenter of BBC TV’s ‘Despatch Box’.

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd May 2005


Michael Dobbs

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Harpercollins Publishers


464 pages


Action Adventure / Spy
Books for the Boys
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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