Churchill and America

Martin Gilbert, Author
Martin Gilbert, Author . Free Press $30 (503p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5992-7
Reviewed on: 08/08/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
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In many ways, Winston Churchill embodied the "special relationship" between America and Britain—his mother was American, and he admired the country even before he courted the United States' assistance during WWII. In this thoroughly researched, consistently enjoyable study, Gilbert—the statesman's official biographer—covers the subject with his usual diligence and rigor, from the American roots of Churchill's mother to his first visit to the U.S. in 1895 and on to the end of his life. Historically, the most important connections were between Churchill and the two WWII presidents, Roosevelt and Truman, and the book is filled with detail on the war years, especially his indefatigable efforts to get America involved in the war. He tells his son, "I shall drag the United States in." But it's just as interesting to discover how Churchill embraced America so early in his life, not of necessity but out of temperament. In a letter home during his very first visit, he notes American vulgarity, but adds, "I think... that vulgarity is a sign of strength." This is a fascinating story, straightforward and well told, of one of the 20th century's most important leaders and the critical connection he forged between the world's fading superpower and its rising one. Photos and maps not seen by PW . Agent, Caradoc King, A.P. Watt (U.K.) . (Oct. 6)

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