Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Churchill in War and Peace

Churchill was a man uniquely suited to the role he played in WWII. He was a warlord and a statesman, a unique combination that gave him the personality to lead his nation through one of the worst periods in world history. The question this book seeks to answer is: What made Churchill that way?

Three periods of Churchill's life are the focus of the book: war, empire and peace. In the section on war, the author highlights Churchill's experiences during the Boer War and the war in the Sudan. Here he saw the horror or modern warfare against the traditional tactics of earlier generations. It gave him a dislike for scientific warfare, but also the realization that the challenge must be met. He also realized that more than a soldier he had to be a statesman to affect the outcome of world conflict. This section was my favorite and has lessons that we can help us today.

Churchill believed in democracy. People should be allowed to rule themselves, but he was also a staunch supporter of the empire. The empire gave Britain status in the world that Churchill was loath to lose. 

In peacetime, he was less successful in leading the country. Being a firm believer in constitutionality, he disliked Socialism. Although it cost him political office, he staunchly criticized Socialism believing that it was bad for the country.

This is an excellent book. Not only does it present a comprehensive look at the events that formed Churchill and how he used his experiences, it gives us lessons for today that we should understand. I highly recommend the book.

I reviewed this book for Booklook Bloggers.