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Churchill's Military Histories A Rhetorical Study by Algis Valiunas

Churchill's Military Histories A Rhetorical Study


Churchill's Military Histories A Rhetorical Study by Algis Valiunas

In Churchill's Military Histories: A Rhetorical Study, Algis Valiunas breaks new ground by examining not only Churchill's works themselves, but his intentions in writing them. In clear and eloquent prose, Valiunas shows that Churchill's many volumes of military history, written throughout his lifetime, teach readers the prudence needed for self government in a democratic age. In addition, Valiunas argues that the defining feature of Churchill's histories is the way in which they maintain an aristocratic perspective on democratic times, without losing their democratic sympathies. Churchill's histories are largely tales of war, and they delineate the actions of great captains and political men, but they also honor the heroism of ordinary men, individually and in the mass. Valiunas offers readers an engaging interpretation of Churchill's military histories and demonstrates that Churchill knew war as few men do. From the cavalry charge at Omdurman to the defeat of Hitler, Churchill's achievements as a soldier and statesman were equaled only by his powers as a historian.


Algis Valiunas's book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Winston Churchill. Though many have written about Churchill's books, few have penetrated his intention in writing them. Valiunas offers a new and discerning picture of Churchill's military histories, showing how they reveal the statesman's remarkable grasp of politics and war. -- James W. Muller, The Churchill Center The sources and depth of Churchill's genius as a stateman are in plain view in his classic histories that range widely across the span of centuries. Algis Valiunas does a great service to our time by recalling attention to these masterpieces that are otherwise being forgotten as Churchill recedes from memory. Valiunas's supple treatment of Churchill's classics remind us of their timeless character, and offers important lessons for our new century. -- Steven F. Hayward, University of California, Berkely Winston Churchill was the greatest statesman of the twentieth century. As Algis Valiunas reminds us in this fine, ground-breaking book, he was also among its greatest and most perceptive historians. -- Paul A. Rahe, Hillsdale College A valuable book about Churchill's literary achievement. An excellent inroduction to the great man's moving and detailed accounts of wars ranging from the Norman Conquest to World War II. National Review Digging beneath Churchill's rolling prose, Valiunas shows us a first-class mind pondering the lessons that warfare teaches. With Churchill's Military Histories, Algis Valiunas shows that we cannot grasp Churchill the historical figure without an understanding of Churchill the historian. The Weekly Standard Winston Churchill, man of action, was also an historian of an uncommon sort today-a teacher. In fine words of his own Algis Valiunas describes Churchill's rhetoric as he taught democratic societies truths about war that they do not easily appreciate but need to know. -- Harvey C. Mansfield, professor of government, Harvard University Both a relic of the past era and a spokesman to this one. The New York Times [Valiunas] writes in a fluid and eloquent style. His prose is clear and understandable. For anyone interested in the facts about Churchill's literary life, he or she can get a pretty good survey from the Valiunas book. -- Ernest Teagarden, emeritus, Dakota State University H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online

About the Author

Algis Valiunas earned his Ph.D. in Social Thought from the University of Chicago. He is the author of numerous articles and reviews on a wide range of topics including literature, art, music, philosophy, history, and politics.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st May 2002


Algis Valiunas

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield


208 pages


Literary studies: from c 1900 -
General & world history
Warfare & defence



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