Winston's War: Book summary and reviews of Winston's War by Max Hastings

Winston's War

Churchill, 1940-1945

By Max Hastings

Winston's War
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2010,
    576 pages.

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Book Summary

A vivid and incisive portrait of Winston Churchill during wartime from acclaimed historian Max Hastings, Winston's War captures the full range of Churchill's endlessly fascinating character. At once brilliant and infuriating, self-important and courageous, Hastings’s Churchill comes brashly to life as never before.

Beginning in 1940, when popular demand elevated Churchill to the role of prime minister, and concluding with the end of the war, Hastings shows us Churchill at his most intrepid and essential, when, by sheer force of will, he kept Britain from collapsing in the face of what looked like certain defeat. Later, we see his significance ebb as the United States enters the war and the Soviets turn the tide on the Eastern Front. But Churchill, Hastings reminds us, knew as well as anyone that the war would be dominated by others, and he managed his relationships with the other Allied leaders strategically, so as to maintain Britain’s influence and limit Stalin’s gains.

At the same time, Churchill faced political peril at home, a situation for which he himself was largely to blame. Hastings shows how Churchill nearly squandered the miraculous escape of the British troops at Dunkirk and failed to address fundamental flaws in the British Army. His tactical inaptitude and departmental meddling won him few friends in the military, and by 1942, many were calling for him to cede operational control. Nevertheless, Churchill managed to exude a public confidence that brought the nation through the bitter war.

Hastings rejects the traditional Churchill hagiography while still managing to capture what he calls Churchill's "appetite for the fray." Certain to be a classic, Winston's War is a riveting profile of one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Military historian Hastings ... adds to his illustrious reputation with this magnificent analysis of Winston Churchill’s years of greatness." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A magisterial, commanding, and immensely thought-provoking history." - Kirkus Reviews

"[A] superior account of the man and his times." - Booklist

"Winston's War weaves it all together in a literate and thoughtful fashion. It's a careful portrait of a man who still fascinates us almost half a century past his death." - stltoday.com (St Louis)

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Author Information

Max Hastings Author Biography

Sir Max Hastings is an author, journalist, and broadcaster whose work has appeared in every British national newspaper. He now writes regularly for the Daily Mail and Financial Times and reviews books for the Sunday Times and New York Review of Books. He has published twenty-three books, among the most recent of which are All Hell Let Loose (2011); Did You Really Shoot the Television?: A Family Fable (2010); Finest Years: Churchill As Warlord 1940-45 (2009); Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-45 (2004); and Nemesis: The Battle For Japan 1944-45 (2007). He has also published three collections of writing about the British countryside and field sports. The son and grandson of writers, he was educated at Charterhouse (scholar) and University College, Oxford (exhibitioner), from which ...

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