Who was Winston Churchill? Even fifty years after his death, he is one of the most iconic figures in British history. As a young man he was a maverick journalist; his many positions in politics before 1940 marked him as a courageous but foolhardy man.
Yet it is Churchill's record in war, which has recently been questioned, that confirms his genius as a military commander and national leader—someone who un-derstood the dangers of Nazi Germany before 1939 and someone uniquely capable to lead the empire through the turmoil of the Second World War. Christopher Catherwood argues that it was Churchill's stand in 1940-41 that saved Britain and that only he was able to bring together the allies that eventually defeated Hitler in 1945. Catherwood has produced a challenging yet lively reassessment of the life and career of Winston Churchill, lion of British history and flawed hero. (hb)