Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill

Michael Shelden. Simon & Schuster, $30 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4516-0991-2
This portrait of the pol as a young man tracks Churchill’s coming-of-age from 1901, when he first entered Parliament, to 1915, when he resigned as First Lord of the Admiralty following the Gallipoli fiasco, with much personal material included. Shelden, a journalist, professor, and author of biographies of Mark Twain and George Orwell (the latter, Orwell, was a finalist for the Pulitzer), reveals a Churchill who early on was well known as a Boer War hero; an adventurer in India, Cuba, and Egypt; a prolific writer; and a member of Parliament. For someone of aristocratic background, Churchill held relatively progressive views, favoring women’s suffrage and helping push for unemployment insurance. His personal charm and wit attracted numerous women, including the American actress Ethel Barrymore and Prime Minister Asquith’s daughter, Violet, before he married Clementine Hozier at age 32. Shelden hews close to the man, his family and friends, and his policies; as a result, national and international concerns (as when he refers to Germany’s pre-1914 “continuing preparation for war” without offering further explanation) are given short shrift. Despite this and occasional trivial digressions, the book is a fluid and informative examination of the early career of one of modern Britain’s most outstanding political leaders. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Mar. 5)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2012
Release date: 03/05/2013
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-1-4711-1322-2
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-4711-1323-9
Paperback - 383 pages - 978-1-4516-0992-9
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-4516-0993-6
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