Churchill: A Biography Summary

The SQUEEZE: Historical figures often provide insight into the human condition today. Much has been written about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington and because of this, many believe there isn’t much else to say about the two and various other figures. However, not every author embraces this idea. Roy Jenkins is one such author, who decides that Winston Churchill’s career continues to provide much needed insight into our understanding of how the political world functions during wartime. In Churchill: A Biography, Jenkins centers the narrative on one question: given much of the current literature on Churchill, is there left anything to add? In answering this question, Jenkins evaluates Churchill’s leadership strengths and weaknesses, and asserts that his micro-management style contributed much to the disasters leading up to World War I. However, as Jenkins notes, Churchill grows as a leader during World War II, using his abilities to hold things together during a period of turmoil.

Notable Endorsement: "One might wonder whether anything fresh remains to be said about Winston Churchill, but Roy Jenkins uniquely combines the skills of a master biographer with the insights of a practical politician and draws a fresh portrait of the great Englishman with authority, elegance, and wit. This is far and away Churchill's best one-volume biography." —Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.


Common Q’s Answered by this Book:

  • What might contemporary business leaders glean from Churchill’s political style?
  • What were the strengths of Winston Churchill as a wartime leader and how might this knowledge provide insight for business management contexts?
  • Given the current literature on Churchill, how might Jenkins’s book be compared to other texts on the subject?

About the Author: Roy Jenkins was a British politician. As an author of 18 books, including Gladstone (1997), Jenkins won the prestigious Whitebread Prize for Biography. During his lifetime, Jenkins was currently active in British politics for half a century. Jenkins entered the House of Commons in 1948, subsequently serving as Minister of Aviation, Home Secretary, and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Jenkins also was the President of the European Commission and Chancellor of Oxford University. In 1987, he took his seat in the House of Lords.

Book Vitals:

Publisher: Plume (November 2002)

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