Winston Churchill: yet another biography, but just what we need

November 2, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: books, history, writers, writing.

By Andrew Roberts’ count, there are slightly more than 1,000 biographies of Winston Churchill. That’s one for almost every page of his massive new biographyChurchill: Walking with Destiny.

So, why write another one — particularly one of such length. Surely by now, we should be able to reduce Churchill to just three or four hundred pages to do him justice.

Not really, according to Roberts, a prize-winning historian whose specialty is the World War II era. There are lots of new sources, he says, most particularly the diaries of King George VI, which have recently become available. (You can hear Roberts discussing the book on a podcast at HistoryExtra, the BBC’s history magazine.)

Besides that, Churchill remains an enormous figure in the history of Great Britain and the world. His successes were nothing less than astonishing, and his failures were spectacular. He was in public life for more than 60 years and near the center of events for much of that time. His actions and decisions are still having tangible consequences.

In addition, every generation has to re-evaluate the great men and women of its history. In that way, we make their stories our own.

So, yes. Another biography of Churchill. Just what we need — especially now.

Roberts’ book has been well reviewed by The Guardian, among other publications.

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